Shadowlynx – Forged As One
Shadowlynx is a Boston, MA-based band that loves Power Metal and storytelling. Formed in 2015, they have one full-length album out and, according to one member, tons of songs to work with for a possible new release down the road. Like many others, they fuse in more than just one genre of Metal, adding Thrash and NWOBHM along with elements of Hard Rock and Classic Metal.
- Shawn Boucher – Vocals/Lyrics
- Jack “Lynx” Lincourt – Guitars/Keyboards/Vocals/Lyrics
- Keith Kryzynski – Guitars/Backing Vocals
- John Miker Jr.– Bass/Backing Vocals
- Christian Guepy – Drums/Backing Vocals
January 16th, 2017
- The Black Crusade
- We Are Legend
- The Last Straw
- Run Out Of Tears
As with any Power Metal album, an opening must clue the listener to what is coming. Clashing swords and sounds of battle is what we get here. “Attila” is precisely what you want to follow. Chugging Power Metal guitars over a thundering, galloping rhythm with heavily belted vocals and chanting choirs is the order of the day. The lyrics are history set to music with all the anger and fury that can be mustered to highlight the brutality of war. The guitar solos cross over into an Iron Maiden-esque duel of NWOBHM magnitude, showing more than one influence here.
For “The Black Crusade,” I hear a bit more thrash Metal in the attitude, bringing in yet another element of Metal to craft something that is not just a classic Power Metal album. Sticking with just one genre is not easy, which is perfectly fine for me. I like the different ways bands blend and mix their wounds to push the boundaries to new limits.
“Destiny” is one of those slower songs with an epic build. Continuing the theme of battle and the protagonist going from fighter to legendary status, we get the wording that shows this is how it must be. The Gods ordained this path and shall be seen through to the end. Then, “Beasts” keeps the surreal going. The dreams predict the way and the path that must be followed. As they say, “The writing is on the wall.”
I love a good guitar part, and “We Are Legend” starts with a killer pattern that shifts into a hammering riff. I hear early Iron Maiden in this one, the driving twin guitar assault that takes your ears in different directions only to deliver you right back to the start, closing the loop. We get more lower-end choir chants and some excellent falsetto blasts for part of the chorus. You’ve had almost everything you need on a Power Metal album by now. Almost.
“Diamonds” opens like a Power Ballad, soars through an epic chorus, then comes back down for the next verse. Yes, it hits the last wicket to be a proper Epic Power Metal album! You get the powerhouse vocal performance, the variable guitar leads, and the shifting tempos and phrases from the bass and drums. The keyboards layer underneath, creating a more extensive, more fulfilling presence in the song. It may be the rhythm guitar, but it works the same. The song feels bigger because it has different elements that make it sound more complex and creative.
Going distinctly heavier, “The Last Straw” goes hard, bringing in the heavy choir voices over a solid guitar riff. The melodic bridge leading to the final verse replaces true guitar solos with some interesting tandem fretwork. I really like the tone they chose for that harmonized piece. It’s just right to run to the end and drop out for the next song, “Run Out Of Tears.” The chugging rhythm is back, coupled with the riff and a beautiful tempo. The last question is, how will they end this album?
“Hailfyre” is meant to close the story, to bring about the proper closure needed to complete the loop. By opening with storm sounds and a melodic intro, then racing into a proper Power Metal track, they take the opportunity to run to the end rather than slowly crossing the finish line, worn out and dragging ass. The album ends with an explosion, a final note to end the war.
Shadowlynx is not a simple Power Metal band. They cross over into other styles to round out their sound and give them more room to work within, allowing them to expand the range and scope of the story they desire to tell. By bringing in NWOBHM and Thrash, they allow themselves room to roam, wander the soundscape, and create bigger compositions. This was initially released over six years ago, and it definitely makes me wonder what else they might have up their sleeves.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 8
- Overall – 8.80