Here we have some scorching melodic death metal, full of blisteringly hot leads and molten solos. In many ways the guitar is the real star of this show, and across 50 minutes of bright, energetic material, it shines brightly.
As I’ve mentioned before on this site, I like a good solo. As such, this is a very enjoyable album for me, as it’s chock full of them. The playing is basically above reproach.
There is however, and most thankfully, more than just guitar solos on this album. There are actually fully-formed songs too. Hurrah! This means that Shades goes from an enjoyable distraction to an actual well-rounded and satisfying experience. The music is sharp and energetic, and has a slight blackened feel to it in places, especially when keyboards and synths are used to enhance the music.
So, think of a mix of Dissection and Carcass, along with a touch of maybe Strapping Young Lad’s modern extremity. There’s even a bit of progressive Emperor here and there. Add in a few other bits from the European melodeth scene, alongside some of the more American modern stuff…it’s a starting point, but should hopefully indicate the kind of things that Coiled Around Thy Spine get up to on Shades.
Professionally recorded with a full, clear sound, this album really does have a lot to offer. I suspect that this album will simply disappear into the underground, with only a select few getting to enjoy its considerable melodic chops. I hope I’m wrong, however, as Shades is a really damn fine record.
Very highly recommended.