ShadowDivine - Demo 2006
Heavy Metal/Thrash
6 songs (28:10)
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Ken
Surprise of the month

The day Sweden stops producing metal bands is the day the world ends. The country seethes with metal bands off all shapes, sizes and styles. ShadowDivine hail from the relatively small, if not obscure, town of Fagersta—mind your jokes!—Sweden (also home to the new school garage rock band The Hives). ShadowDivine was founded in 2005 by Peter Haga (Black Rose) on drums and keyboard, and Anders Gustafsson (Web Of Wyrd) on vocals, guitars. Eventually completing the three-piece was Frederik Andersson (ex-The Savages) on bass.

ShadowDivine churn out old school, aggressive metal that borders on thrash à la Germany’s Rage. Indeed, respectable comparisons to the amazing Rage are not unjustified, musically and vocally. Anders Gustafsson often sounds like a perfect vocal match for Peter “Peavy” Wagner (Rage founder, bassist and vocalist). However, Anders has much more of his own style to be considered clone, as does the entire band; and on this, their debut EP, ShadowDivine does quite well stacked up against Rage, Germany’s metal giants—no small feat!

The short—and aptly named—instrumental “The Gate” opens wide for the entrance of “Seven Steps To Hell,” a blistering thrash metal anthem that will no doubt induce a fierce desire to headbang aplenty! Midway through the verses Anders is in complete “Peavy” mode; a great chorus and solo round out “Seven Steps To Hell” and sets the bar very high. “Inner Sanctum” is another thrash metal gem, but this time around it’s a bit more mid-paced in parts, though no less a killer! “The Lover’s Waltz” and “In Vain” offer a little more variety and atmosphere than the previous two tracks: prominent piano and orchestration, sparse and open musical and vocal interludes, and more groove-based riffs intermingled with the frenetic thrash assault. “Walk The Walk” closes the gate on this EP. It’s easily the most dynamic song of the bunch: fast, slow and in-between, “Walk The Walk” offers every attribute the previous five offered while adding some operatic vocal melodies, hypnotically running beneath the surface.

ShadowDivine’s debut is quite a representation—especially for a new band! The production is not pristine, but it’s also a demo and should not be held to the same standards as we do with more professionally released albums. That said, this demo still sounds excellent. (The term “demo” clearly hasn’t the same meaning as it once did.) The comparisons to Rage are just; but those comparisons are befitting and respectful. It can only shine a brighter light upon the band. Truly deserving, ShadowDivine, indeed, “walk the walk.”

AUDIO: Seven Steps To Hell, Inner Sanctum and The Lover’s Waltz

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
Seven Steps To Hell, The Lovers Waltz and In Vain
Ken quoted 80 / 100
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