Shadow Host - Curse of the angeleye 4/5

Reviewed: 3-17-06


1. The hour of eclipse
2. Darkness descends
3. Dying beauty
4. Follow the madness
5. The angeleye
6. Final prophecy
7. Before the storm
8. No chance to survive
9. Condemned
10. The hour of damnation

Out of Russia, Shadow Host strikes hard with a killer CD! I liked their previous CD 'Neverland' a great deal, but 'Curse of the angeleye' really takes the band to the next level. Although they have earlier releases (that are near full-length running time) than 'Neverland' and 'Curse of the angeleye', the majority of the songs on these earlier releases exist on 'Neverland' and I've always considered it the band's full-length debut. So I'll call 'Curse of the angeleye' their 2nd full-length CD, even though they've been recording material for a long time.

Both musically and vocally, Shadow Host sits in the small gap that seperates bands like Blind Guardian, Savage Circus and Persuader from bands like Manticora, Brainstorm, Mystic Prophecy and Iced Earth. They could also be compared (musically) to fellow Russians Catharsis, as both bands provide plenty of thick/catchy riffs and there are also keyboards that occasionally exist (though in the background!). So the band continues with the same style as their previous CD 'Neverland' and this is surely a good thing, as there are tons of power metal fans who greatly seek high quality bands in this grouping.

There isn't one song on 'Curse of the angeleye' that I don't thoroughly enjoy. It's a very interesting CD with a tremendous production, lots of awesome guitar solos and there are many twists and turns in the guitar work. These guys don't pick a rhythm and continue throughout an entire song, but rather pull the listener in different directions. The CD begins with the evil sounding "The hour of eclipse", which has keyboards, male/female vocals and is definitely one of the better intro's I've heard in awhile. Track 2 "Darkness descends" immediately follows and hits us hard with pounding riffs and the CD never lets up from this powerful beginning! Other highlights would be the intense track 4 "Follow the madness", the stomping track 7 "Before the storm", and I love the frequent but spectacular acoustic guitar play in track 5 "The angeleye" and track 9 "Condemned".

This is a perfect example of a CD that fans of the heavier side of the power metal genre must grab as soon as possible. Every moment without this rotating with Savage Circus, Mystic Prophecy, Brainstorm and so on is simply unnacceptable. Not much more to say here, as only those who have tastes severely embedded in the symphonic, neo-classical, or progressive metal genre's should be hesitant going in.




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