Release Date: September 17, 2002
Reviewed by Vin Cherubino

Mix together hardcore and thrash metal with Metallica and you have a perfect representation of Shadows Fall. Much heavier then Metallica, but with such a strong similarity that it’s hard to deny. What really makes them special however is the ability to completely dominate Metallica in an incredible display of what metal should be. The Art of Balance is truly one of the most outstanding underground metal releases to date.

Singer Brian Fair sounds strikingly similar to James Hetfield during most parts of his powerfully melodic and angst filled screams. This man deserves a bonus in his paycheck for being able to put himself aside the greatest thrash metal lyricists of all time. The guitar work of Matthew Bachand and Jonathan Donais is simply incredible, capturing the essence of beautifully blazing fast hyper solos and thrash metal in a sound wave of pure metal bliss. The double bass drums paired with silky smooth bass lines force an incredible thrash/head banging sensation that runs through you whether you want it to or not. It’s brilliantly brutal, unconforming, and ready to take you on. “The Idiot Box” just happens to have one of the most impressive breakdowns I have heard in a long time, making this song an instant classic.

Anyone remotely interested in metal will find this CD to be one of the best pieces of plastic to ever grace their CD player. Those longing for the days of old Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth can revitalize those dreams through this CD. Any effort aimed at the resurgence of American metal is greatly welcomed, and Shadows Fall is amongst those who really can make a difference.

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