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Forgotten Melodic Death Metal Albums: "Shadow" a Review of the Album by Japanese Melodic Death Metal Band Shadow

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Why should people listen to the band Shadow?

There are albums in the history of heavy metal that are largely forgotten by fans of the genre. One such album is the album Shadow by the band of the same name. These guys and gal (yes her name is Tokiko Shimamoto) are from Osaka, Japan and they play an outstanding style of melodic death metal! With that stated, it is time to introduce you to the titles of the songs first.

Track Listing for the album Shadow

  1. "The Arrival at the Last Quarter"
  2. "Lunar Eclipse"
  3. "Eden"
  4. "Weep for the Sin"
  5. "Beyond the Drizzy Nights"
  6. "The Reunion in Soul Asylum"
  7. "Breath of Awakening"
  8. "Observes from the Satellite"
  9. "Toward Obsession"

A Shadow in the Darkness Symbolizing the Band's Name


The album Shadow was released by a very famous record company: Spinefarm Records

The album was released by the famous Finnish record label Spinefarm Records in 2001 (formerly Spikefarm Records). This is the same label that saw producer Anssi Kippo do a lot of solid production work helping such bands as Gothic hard rockers Lullacry. Shadow are said to be on hold at this very moment. It is a real shame because this band is really talented! Note: as of 2020, Shadow as a band is no longer active which means that Japan has lost a very talented band. But through this review, their music will live on in some capacity.

Who plays on this album called Shadow?

Band Personnel for “Shadow”

  • Tokiko Shimamoto: all vocals and growls
  • Yuichi Sumimoto: guitars
  • Shinichiro Okada: guitars
  • Yoshio Kubo: bass guitars
  • Mitsuhiro Enomoto: drums

The song called "Reunion in Soul Asylum"

Why is the album "Shadow" so creative? Because it has lots of musical influences that will impress you

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You will more than likely hear a lot of In Flames and Dark Tranquillity influence in their songs. One such example of this is the song called Beyond the Drizzy Nights. They might have meant to say drizzly but misspelled the word. Or maybe that’s just the way they intended to write the word. I also hear some acoustic guitar and electric guitar mixed in the way that the Swedish band Opeth does. But fortunately, Shadow’s songs are not even nearly as long as those of Opeth. This fifth song also has some neoclassical style elements in it. They may have also been influenced by Swedish guitarist Yngwie J. Malmsteen. Beyond the Drizzy Nights also has some guitar work that reminds me of the band In Flames and their music from 1993 all the way through 1999.

The song called Beyond the Drizzy (Drizzly) Nights

Analysis of the Songs The Reunion in Soul Asylum, Breath of Awakening, Observes from the Satellite, Lunar Eclipse, and Eden

The Reunion in Soul Asylum has a little bit of Gandalf influenced guitar play in it but the song is faster than any Gandalf would write. Gandalf was a Finnish death metal rock kind of band that was influenced by AC/DC. The song Breath of Awakening has some lead guitar work that is not just known for its speed but for its creativity. Observes from the Satellite has some more Dark Tranquillity influenced riffing that we see here. Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me why Shadow use this type of guitar play. Dark Tranquillity are considered to be the founders of the melodic death metal Gothenburg style and in so doing, they have likely influenced Shadow to play music. But how this band opens up this album is no less impressive. Lunar Eclipse is a song that gives us a clue that the lead guitar work is influenced by Arch Enemy. Eden is a song that starts out slow but then transitions to a good written melodic death metal song.

The song called "The Arrival at the Last Quarter"

Favorite melodic death metal band out of these

Why Shadow Is Such a Great Melodic Death Metal Band?

Shadow is one of those melodic death metal bands that does not make you feel gloomy, sad or despondent. Their creativity is like few other bands in the genre. The vocals for this album done by Tokiko can be thought of as a sort of warmup for the next album Forever Chaos which would not be released until 2008.

"Shadow" Final Thoughts and Observations

The Arrival at the Last Quarter lets the listener know that this band is ready to play fine melodic death metal and keep them interested. There is a growl by Tokiko to begin this song and you know that she is ready to growl, sing and do whatever it takes to let fans know that Shadow are ready to rock and roll. The song is very much in the style of Arch Enemy during the Angela Gossow era and afterwards. Shadow is the first Japanese melodic death metal band that I ever heard about years ago while looking through a Century Media Records Catalog. “Shadow” is a very good melodic death metal release from a band that sadly has pretty much disappeared from the scene and many fans will not remember them. If you are somehow able to hear the music of this band, you will be impressed by them!

The song called Lunar Eclipse

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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