Having released six albums over a 14 year period and climbed to the top of what was respectfully termed the New Wave of American Metal hierarchy, Massachusetts- based quintet Shadows Fall made a deliberate decision. Instead of writing between tours and then quickly recording in order to make a tight deadline, as they've done in the past, the band chose to stay off the road for a full year and intently focus on their next album. Their reasons were simple; they wanted to create a full album that not only satisfied all of the band members artistically, but one that would capture Shadows Fall at their, without compromise.
The approach paid off, and then some. Shadows Fall's seventh full studio album, Fire From the Sky is a multifaceted gem - a razor- honed offering that ranges from dark and despairing to positive and euphoric, embracing numerous subgenres along the way, including thrash, Swedish death metal, hardcore, ‘80s commercial metal, neo- classical and classic rock. The songs are rhythmically complex and hardly predictable, but they're still cohesive and always catchy. Even when Shadows Fall are grinding away, they always find the sweet spot, creating songs that are both brutal and instantly accessible.
From track to track, Fire From the Sky is incredibly diverse. When the time came to find a producer to fine- tune their sound, there was only one choice - their good friend and Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz. Their history with Adam D dates back to the early ‘90s when he and Shadows Fall lead guitarist Jon Donais played together in the groundbreaking Massachusetts metalcore band Aftershock. At the time, Fair and Killswitch Engage bassist Mike D'Antonio were making the ground shake in the similarly- minded Overcast. Despite touring together and hanging out over the years, Shadows Fall were never able to secure Dutkiewicz to produce an album.
As the music industry sinks deeper into a period of transition and new paradigms are being created to replace the old brick and mortar system of old, the metal scene needs more forward- thinking bands like Shadows Fall. Seventeen years in the business have taught them to follow their instincts and defy convention, perfecting their music in the studio when everyone else is touring, writing from the heart instead of aiming for the radio and relying on their strong work ethic and their love for playing music to ride out the sometimes oppressive wave.
"It's safe to say that the state of the business we're in contributed to apocalyptic vibe of the record," Fair says. "We wanted to reflect that as a microcosm for the whole world being in a state of chaos, whether its political strife or climate change. The end of the Mayan calendar is creeping up on us and there are all these ideas about the end of days. But for all the darkness, there's also light. When you get pushed into the corner you realize you have to either fight your way out or give up and give in to the darkness. I think we've proven repeatedly that we're fighters."