Metal To Infinity

Four leather boys and one metal chick, that’s the line up from Italian metal act Shining Fear. Their musical style and direction can be identified as Euro Metal Rock, and when I was listening to this unknown band for the first time, my thoughts directed to Lacuna Coil, but with a much heavier sound. And that’s exactly what makes this band worth checking out.  Shining Fear might be unknown so far, but the future looks bright for this young potential metal outfit! The band released a demo in 2005 (‘Catch The Breathe’), got critical acclaim by the metal press and they worked hard to get better and better. Through the years, the musical direction changed from Gothic-oriented work into more aggressive and songs with a rough edge.  I suppose that the band is at this moment in a situation that they feel comfortable. The songs have an own identity, the variation is present and they have skilled musicians on board! 

The first track on this debut album is the title track, and gives a good idea what to expect. ‘ApocaLife’ is a strong track which contains a deadly break in the middle section, which is a forerunner to a speed metal acceleration. The vocals of Barbara Mischeri bring the song back to the original speed, and it’s really remarkable how well the vocals and music fit together. 

The next track is called ‘Caresses In Darkness’, and again we hear a good up speedy riff, although the drums are a little monotonous.  The guitars and vocals are again from a superb level, and both drag the song into a higher speed.  ‘Haunting Damnation’ starts really dark and heavy!  The interaction between guitars and keyboards create a wall of sound and the song contains an outstanding melody line. There are a lot of breaks and the squeaking guitars are a perfect match with the arrangement.  

We continue with the song ‘No One Erase’, which begins really modest and calm.  This is only calm before the storm as the track is bursting out into maximum force and deadly speed! Woohoo, this  band is playing so tight and so solid!! After a lot of amusement we continue with the song ‘Eight’.  Well, this is a logical continuation of what we heard so far. Congratulations to the vocal parts and the killer break that lifts this track to a higher level!  

‘Two Worlds Collide’ has a great arrangement, again, and the spherical parts in ‘Absolute Contrast’ indicate that this band is thinking when they write music.  This is not just a speedy metal band, they pay a lot of attention to the arrangements of the songs and that’s what you will hear when you take a good listen to this debut album.   Those that believe that the best songs were at the beginning of the disk are totally wrong. Listen to track 8 ‘Come From Hell’ and you will agree that this track is one of the best songs that you have heard in days!  

The whole disc of ApocaLife was already recorded in November 2008, but I guess that being unsigned resulted in this independent release.  It’s a shame that bands with this potential have to beg for a little spot of respect from the record labels!  If you like your music hard, renewing and energetic, you know what to buy in your local record store! 

My rating : 95 / 100 (Review by Patrick De Sloover)