Harking back to the early 00s when the NWOAHM was arguably at its strongest, Miss May I are working their hardest to keep the sound and spirit of these times alive and well on Shadows Inside. I must say, it’s working.
With that in mind, whether you’ll like this or not depends largely on your feelings toward that style of music. I doubt this will convince you of its various merits if you’re not a fan, but if you are, then there’s a lot to like about Miss May I.
Taking the template and running with it, Miss May I offer us 35 minutes of heavy, aggressive metal interspersed with anthemic choruses the likes of which would definitely have seen them at the top of the pile 10-15 years ago. Having said that of course, even these days they’re a high-profile band in their own right, and with good reason; Shadows Inside kicks serious arse.
So, the modern metal approach of mixing elements of hardcore and melodic death metal is, at this point, tried and tested. However, whereas most examples of this these days come across as tired and dated, Miss May I still have so much passion and vibrant drive that the songs on Shadows Inside are full of fire.
The heavy parts crush and the sung chorus sections are infectious, catchy, and emotive. What more could you want? As far as metalcore goes, this is definitely in the big league.
The songs are instantly memorable, but without quickly losing their appeal after you’ve listened to them a few times. Also, kudos to the band for trying out a few different variations on their theme across the album. These are songs that largely have their own individual identities; you can quickly tell them apart from each other and they show a decent amount of diversity.
Managing to effectively play this style of music in 2017 without sounding completely generic or stale is a hard thing to accomplish, and not many bands do, but for the most part Miss May I is one of them.