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Shadowside - Theatre of shadows 4/5

Reviewed: 3-28-08


1. Enter the shadowside
2. Vampire hunter
3. Highlight
4. We want a miracle
5. Illusions
6. Queen of the sky
7. Believe in yourself
8. Tonight
9. Kingdom of life
10. Red storm
11. Theatre of shadows act 1 - Shadow dance
12. Theatre of shadows act 2 - Here to stay
13. Rainbow in the dark (bonus track)

Shadowside is a new power metal band from Brazil and their full-length debut 'Theatre of shadows' is one of those CDs that will probably appeal to many die-hard power metal fans. The band is female fronted, but this is not one of those symphonic/gothic metal bands with angelic or operatic vocals. Instead, vocalist Dani Nolden sings in the rougher style of Kimberly Goss of Sinergy and Ida Haukland of the promising band Triosphere, who's impressive debut 'Onwards' (from 2006) is a favorite of mine.

Musically, as already hinted, Shadowside is comparable to other female fronted power metal bands like Ocean Soul, Thalion, Heavenfalls, Seven Angels, the previously mentioned Sinergy and Triosphere, and I also here similarities to Beautiful Sin in spots. In addition, there's a sprinkle of the true/traditional acts like Twilight Odyssey, Ligeia, Phoenix Reign, Helltown and Crystal Viper, though Shadowside definitely belongs in the first group of comparisons.

But it's one thing to play in a style of other popular bands (especially regarding Sinergy), and another thing to do it well. Shadowside does it more than well, and 'Theatre of shadows' is a very strong debut. It packs plenty of punch and has a great amount of melody, excellent choruses, speed, and Dani's voice not only fits the music perfectly, she's truly at the competitive level of Kimberly and Ida. Keyboards are present but not dominant, and I think they add something special to an already outstanding CD.

'Theatre of shadows' never drops down to an average level, as every song is at least good, and many are fantastic. Track 6 "Queen of the sky" for example, starts off slow and builds up to become an extremely catchy song with a short but ripping guitar solo and Dani providing flawless, soaring and emotional vocals. Another killer song is track 12 "Theatre of shadows act 2 - Here to stay", as its main riff is awesome and there's a sprinkle of the true/traditional metal style previously mentioned. The CD closes with a cover of Dio's "Rainbow in the dark" as a bonus track, and I think the band made a great cover choice, as it's well done.

This is a CD that's been very refreshing and enjoyable for me. As most of you know, I'm a major fan of female fronted symphonic/gothic metal bands (with angelic/operatic vocals), and sometimes it's fun to listen to a rougher female vocalist in a strong power metal band. So 'Theatre of shadows' comes highly recommended, and along with Triosphere, Shadowside is definitely a strong contender in the small world of female fronted power metal.




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