Monday, November 2, 2009

Shaded Enmity - Like Prayers On Deaf Ears (2009)

Shaded Enmity are a band out of Washington State who perform a very intensive study on the roots of melodic Swedish death. Take the earlier works of a band like In Flames or Dark Tranquillity, like Lunar Strain or The Gallery, then dial up the level of aggression sixfold. Like Prayers of Deaf Ears is the band's second full-length, following Thoughts & Remembrance from 2005. This is a much faster album, with more blasting and walls of melody that crash at you from lightning fingers.

Prepare yourself for an immediate assault, as "Beneath Her Wretched Sky" and "The Perfect Incision" open up like a hail of angelic machine gun fire, passionate melodies spitting shrapnel into your face. The title track gives you a brief acoustic break before once again snaring you into its graceful vices. Many of the songs follow suit, tranquil intros followed by molten aggression, but never without a fair to strong range of melodies. Favorites would include "Her Gorgeous Eye" and "The Last to Perish", as well as the acoustic piece "Adventures in Suicide", but much of the material is consistent.

Like Prayers on Deaf Ears is perhaps one of the best albums of its type from the US this year, with a stronger foundation of functional melodies, and a level of energy which will force the listener into a state of hyperventilation. If anything, the album can often become tiring in its pursuit, and the Lindberg-like snarl of Joe Nurre rarely mixes it up. But to listen for a few tracks at a time, the album shines.

Highlights: The Perfect Incision, Her Gorgeous Eye, Adventures in Suicide, The Last to Perish

Verdict: Win [7/10]

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