In Shadows Reign – Phoenix (2008, demo)
- Through The Dark Labyrinth
- Eye For An Eye
- Wheel Of Time
- Raising The Torch Of The Empire
- A Shadow From The Past
Alexander Austad – Bass
Daniel Elisenberg – Guitars & Vocals
Stian Elisenberg – Drums
Kristoffer Gravdal – Guitars
Producers: In Shadows Reign
Total Time = 42:00
In Shadows Reign is a new band out of Norway that plays a blend of Hardcore, Thrash, and Traditional Metal with a touch of influence from The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, specifically Iron Maiden and Metallica. The guys in the band look pretty young but their collective ability and attitude won me over right away. There is a ton of energy on PHOENIX and it’s evident by the overall attack that the band has paid specific attention to having a great dual guitar sound like Maiden and Metallica. Listen to the guitar intro to ‘Through The Dark Labyrinth’ and it screams Iron Maiden and NWOBHM, it’s really good! That opening guitar sold me immeadiately on In Shadows Reign because it gave me the feeling that these young guys have a good understanding about what came before the current Metal trends and they know how to incorporate both into their own style.
‘Through The Dark Labyrinth’ (live)
‘Eye For An Eye’ has an early Metallica influence musically and Daniel Elisenberg trades off clean and harsh vocals very well. On ’Wheel Of Time’ there are some very melodic guitar lines to go along with the speed and heaviness and those harsh vocals. I’m not usually a fan of that vocal approach but I like Daniel’s because I can still hear the words. To me, the lyrics are just as important as the music! One of my favorites on the demo is ‘Raising The Torch Of The Empire’ because of the soft acoustic intro that makes it sound like an epic but then the band kicks into high gear with a speed Maiden riff that really gets the blood flowing and the head banging. The bass and drums are a little further up in the mix and they cane be heard a lot better, Alexander and Stian really pound away and keep things very heavy even when the pace slows.
‘Depedation’ is a fast thrashing song that reminds me a bit of Slayer mixed with the NWOBHM when it gets a little more melodic with the cleaner vocals., a very powerful song. The crown jewel of PHOENIX has to be the 11+ minute ‘A Shadow From The Past’. This song showcases every strength that In Shadows Reign possesses: a solid rhythm section, good vocals, excellent guitar and diversity in sound. Most of ‘A Shadow From The Past’ is slow/mid-tempo but the band also kicks the power into gear halfway through for a Thrash attack. I also think the best guitar solos are here, there is emotion to them, as well as my favorite drum performance from Stian. The title track ‘Phoenix’ brings the band full circle again to the heavy riffing and speed that makes up the overall In Shadows Reign sound.
PHOENIX was released in November 2008 and it’s a demo so the production is a little raw but that can be helped when the band gets signed. I think the band did a good job in capturing their sound, it’s definitely a good sounding demo, I’ve heard some real bad ones over the years. What jumps out at you when you spin this disc is the dual guitars, the different styles and the pure energy the band has, you can just tell that these guys live for Metal and enjoy playing it. In Shadows Reign is a band I am going to keep a close eye on…..
‘Through The Dark Labyrinth’, ‘A Shadow From The Past’, ‘Raising The Torch Of The Empire’