Upon first seeing NightShade’s newest album cover, with their dramatic and dark album cover name splattered and slashed across the luminous nature scene, it’s evident that the album will be a heavy hitter with a dark feeling to it. For a French/Canadian emerging metal band, they aren’t doing too shabby for their fourth studio release; and their newest album Predilections proves it.
Predilections is actually full of surprises in comparison to the typical emerging, metal band. Filled with tons of heavy, intense, in-your-face beat downs, NightShade brings a range of rhythm for the listener. While this is expected given their dark album artwork, the surprising thing about Predilections are the impulsive elements NightShade throws in throughout the album. “Reminisce / Solace” which features guest vocals by Kiarely from from Conquer Divide, is a perfect example. Here NightShade introduce higher clean vocals that contrast well with the strong, powerful riffs in the album.
For a release that focuses directly on the fast-paced, adrenaline beat down, you’ll find moments of light and airy electronic and melodic fills have a tipsy element to the tracks. Songs like “Uchronia” and “For Those Who Fight” have experimental fills that give you a chance to breathe from the heaviness of the rest of the release, but it’s refreshing in the way that NightShade incorporate sounds from that favorite 2009 experimental-metal band that you found on Myspace. NightShades specifically uses elements similar to old AttackAttack! and I See Stars, integrating them strategically with a hard hitting metal drive to create a smooth composition. By mixing these elements into their music, they’ve created something mature and intense without making it sound as if they produced it over Garageband. Because of this, Predilections get a six out of ten, as the album explores very distinct and experimental sounds intertwined with traditional metal that may be unappealing to the standard metal listener.
Buy it, Stream it, or Skip It?: I’d say Stream it! it’s an acquired taste to the average metal listener. However, if you are a fan of metal groups like Chelsea Grin or Born Of Osiris, then I’d say Buy it! There’s something packed in this release you will like.
– Words by Jake Lahah