Every once and a while comes a band, out of the blue that reminds me that true underground heavy metal is still alive. SHADOW WRAITH is one of those bands. They appeared out of nowhere and their debut album “Leap Castle” was a true surprise, since their unique, uncompromising style diverges from the saturated retro stuff that pop out continuously.
Mainly inspired by the late 80’s and early 90’s Prog/Power Metal scene SHADOW WRAITH offer an uncompromising, inspiring blend of Heavy/Power metal with both Prog/Symphonic touches here and there, while they do not fall into the trap of cheesiness or becoming too complex for the listener. The album’s structure is plain and simple yet effective and entangles the listener into a challenging musical journey.
Since the album is inspired by the haunting of the Leap Castle its obvious that the heavy songs will be imbued with folk/medieval elements as well as Celtic guitar riffs. Songs “900 A.D.” or “Gerald of Kildare” are fine examples of what I mean, yet the band remains firm attached to their classic Power/Heavy style.
As I previously mentioned the band treads on the 90’s musical paths which means there are a lot of SAVATAGE, SHADOW GALLERY, SYMPHONY X influences mashed up with traits of lesser-known bands, like GOTHIC KNIGHTS, early KAMELOT, ETERNITY X, early ZANDELLE, DAYS OF YORE etc.
There are only highs and no lows to the quality of the song writing and while songs like “My Brother, Condemned”, “Gerald of Kildare” and “The Earl of Sussex” stand above the rest, each tune manages to captivate the spirit of 90’s underground Heavy/Power Metal and the medieval mystery that it’s unfold through the lyrics.
SHADOW WRAITH was the big surprise of 2020’s albums. I believe that if the album had a more powerful production, it would be a real breakthrough for the band, yet, as with the Leap Castle itself, it could become a mystery that issues the challenge to be explored!
See the discussion about the album on our forum pages.