Shadows Fall: Threads of Life [2007]

Released April 3, 2007
Recorded 2006 at Studio 606, Northridge,California
Genre Thrash metalheavy metal,metalcore
Length 49:05
Label AtlanticRoadrunner
Producer Nick Raskulinecz
Threads of Life is the fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Shadows Fall. Released on April 3, 2007 in the U.S. through Atlantic Records, the album debuted at number 46 on the Billboard 200.[12] The first single, “Redemption“, made its premiere on Sirius Radio‘s Hard Attack station on February 16, 2007 and was released on iTunes on February 20.[13] The song “Redemption” received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Metal Performance at the 50th Grammy Awards.

Background

Shadows Fall finished their contract on Century Media after the release of Fallout from the War, and signed with Atlantic Records for this release. The album was released outside of the U.S. through Roadrunner Records. This is the bands only album with these two record labels. The ballad “Another Hero Lost,” was inspired by the death of Brian Fair’s cousin, who was stationed in Iraq.

Recording

The band entered the studio during September, 2006, to begin recording the album.[15] It was recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 in Northridge, a community located in Los AngelesCalifornia. The band overwrote for this album, and ended up bringing thirteen songs to the studio.[16] According to Brain Fair, this was the first time the band had more than enough material for a record. Threads of Life was the first, and only, Shadows Fall album to be produced by Nick Raskulinecz, known for working with Foo Fighters and Velvet Revolver. Raskulinecz grew up listening to thrash metal, according to Fair, and thus fit well with the sound the band was looking to create.[17] The deviation from Zeuss, who has produced most of the bands albums, was explained by bassist Paul Romanko in an interview:

When Zeuss and I talked and we just kind of came to the conclusion that it was time to pull someone else in. We kind of felt like the idea’s pool had kind of dried up a little bit, we were finishing each other’s sentences.[18]

The album was still mixed by Zeuss, allowing for some familiarity, and Romanko notes that it was Zeuss himself who originally suggested the change.[19] The label, Atlantic Records, had no influence musically on the album.[20] The label did not hear the album until after it was mastered. In regards to the overall recording process, Fair commented, “We didn’t write a safe record.”

Reception

Threads of Life received positive reviews from critics. Alternative Press stated, “Threads of Life is the most unashamedly ‘true’ metal album any major label’s released yet this year — and it’s also one of the best.”[5] MetalSucks complimented the bands effort stating, “Threads of Life is exactly what you would expect from Shadows Fall — aggressive thrash riffing and Swedish death-metal inspired guitar interplay underneath Brian Fair’s assortment of screams, singing, and something halfway in between the two — only this time the band has refined their songwriting abilities even further and lets their ’80s hair metal influences hang out even more.”[8] The Phoenix added to this praise, “Threads of Life is rife with catchy, immaculately produced riffs, and singer Brian Fair has refined the gruff bellow heard on previous albums into a competently tuneful Hetfeldian growl; the call-and-response between Fair and the syrupy, multi-tracked clean singing of guitarist Matt Bachand sounds better than ever.”[9]

Several critics addressed the more mainstream sound of the album. Blabbermouth provided a good summary, “The band has hit that very elusive line between broadening the appeal of the music and selling out completely – talk about the art of balance!”[6] 411Mania added that “the production could of [sic] been a bit more gritty and had more of an edge to it.”[1]Perhaps the largest critic in this aspect was Vince Neilstein of MetalSucks, who criticized the “overwhelming presence of auto-tune on Brian Fair’s voice during the clean sung parts,” concluding that it overly detracted from the listening experience.[8]

“Redemption” received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Metal Performance during December, 2007. Brain Fair explained, “The song is a celebration of the power of music and the human voice as an agent of change and to have it recognized in such a way is incredible.”[21] The 50th Grammy Awards took place on February 12, 2008, with the award ultimately going to Slayer. Other nominees in the category were King DiamondMachine Head, and As I Lay Dying.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Shadows Fall, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. Redemption 4:17
2. Burning the Lives 4:04
3. “Storm Winds” 4:50
4. “Failure of the Devout” 5:25
5. “Venomous” 3:31
6. “Another Hero Lost” 4:04
7. “Final Call” 6:48
8. “Dread Uprising” 4:14
9. “The Great Collapse” 1:38
10. “Just Another Nightmare” 4:55
11. “Forevermore” 5:21

Lyrics

1. Redemption

Intimidation, I stand before you now.
Hold my ground, you won’t strike me down.
A validation of all the blood I spilled, survived of my will,
There’s nothing to say,
Yourself you have betrayed,
We must try to seize the day,
All the world will hear you,
Our voices can’t be bound,
All the world will hear you,
Redemption in the power of the sound,
Interpretation,
Of all the thoughts I shared,
Draw you near,
Creating all your fear.
A brand new nation.
For those who persevere.
The future is so clear.

2. Burning The Lives

Soon a darkened Pyramid will rise. Their will be no escaping from the all seeing eye.
Lost In Blindness. Serving shielded masters still unknown. Chaos is their goal.
Corrupt you heart and soul.
The air is getting thin. Will you give in? All the voices of the lost and forgotten.
Still lay in their graves they’ve been silenced for their thoughts.
Lost in blindness.
This history is written in their blood. Chaos is their goal. Corrupt you heart and soul.
The air is getting thin. Will you give in? Burning the lives and the pride of innocents.
Tearing down all that we built!

3. Storm Winds

Fighting to control my mind. But tragedy is all I find!
The panic builds up from deep within the subconscious mind.
Always thought that the pain would end with the passage of time.
No matter how many layers deep you try to hide yourself.
They will crack and peal away to reveal something else.
From the past we must break free. Come to terms with all that tortures me.
Tragic memories invade. Let the storm winds wash them all away.
I will be the only one who is left to decide.
There will be no more that is left for compromise.
Break away from the curse of man’s original sin. Turn away as you stay hidden behind a twisted grin.
Tragic memories invade.
Let the storm winds wash them all away. Purified I stand before the flames.
As the ashes cover yesterday.
Imprisoned by actions of the past. No use holding on.

4. Failure Of The Devout

I am the heir of a damned kingdom. Born into a legacy of regret.
Searching for the promise of salvation.
Overwhelmed by the tides of our despair. Been pulled deep into chasm.
By the grip of our desire.
THE GRIP OF OUR DESIRE. Must escape the weight of this depression.
The choices that lead you to dismay.
Who would save those who condemn themselves? CRIPPLE! Cripple your own savior.
The failure, The failure of the devout.
Set in motion by final sacrifice. Change begun in the name of righteousness.
Infiltrated by greed, lust, and hatred.
Once more corrupted by the hands of man. Been pulled deep into chasm.

By the grip of our desire. Must escape the weight of this depression.
The choices that lead you to dismay.
The handsome mask of the devil. The lure of the cross! Of the dark!
You violate the sacred with your greed.
Prey upon people’s misery and needs.
With your greed, With your greed, With your greed!
I am the heir of this damned kingdom.
Born into a life of regret. Searching for a promise. That’s no longer kept.

5. Venomous

I only wanted to. Kill the pain and sorrow. Instead I buried you.
And killed the happiness in me.
Can you hear the laughter. Coming from my grave? Suddenly it seems to me.
That I am my own worst enemy.
We can never hope to breathe. In this misery. Full speed with blinders on.
Never stopped to see the horror.
I think you always knew. I’d drag you down to hell with me.
Suddenly it seems to me. That I am my own worst enemy.
We can never hope to breathe. Tangled in this misery. Think of all I’ve said and done.
All the fights I thought I won.
Another scar for the chosen son. The ungodly one. How can I.
Purge this venom from my veins?
Your sweetest suicide. Drags you in and flips that switch. As you fade away.
With the breath of every hit.

6. Another Hero Lost

I’d never leave you.
But fate has come to silence me.
Darkness is all I see.
I can not reach you.
And soon the earth will cover me.
It’s become so hard to breathe.

Darkness is all that I see. Forever is waiting.
The final steps you’re taking.
Will soon be buried in the sand. All the battles. They say we won.
They leave another thousand lives undone.
Another thousand lives undone. Forever is waiting. The final steps your taking.
Will soon be buried in the sand.
You’re gone, But not forgot. Another hero lost. The sorrow builds with every passing.
All the lessons that you taught.
And all the light you brought. Lives on in the eyes of your son.

7. Final Call

Seeing it all. Heeding the call. Lost! Without hoping to be found.
A willing exile, I turn away.
Rather face the endless silence. Than the hopeless and fear of today.
The ashes choke the sky.
Death’s swift hand in disguise. Awaiting the final call. No use hesitating.
ARE WE. Fearful of how dark it’s grown.
The emptiness surrounds. WILL NOT BELIEVE. Refuse to think I’m on my own.
Who will be CAST OUT?
Trust in the lies that held you bound. Their twisted values lead you astray.
They disgrace the world with violence.
Leaving bitterness despair and decay

8. Dread Uprising

Reflecting on this life. Through the eyes of ancients. The wisdom of beyond.
CHANT! Chant them down.
DOWN! Into nothing. This power screams out from within. Like the tree’s that struggle towards the sun.
Once again in due season we are reborn. Strike down the heathen. THIS MUST END.
Swaying deeply in rhythm with the winds. There are eternal lessons within it’s pulse.

Raising their false banners of hope. Lies everlasting. Fighting to save their self interest.
DREAP UPRISING. An End to it all. DREAP UPRISING. Watch as they fall

9. The Great Collapse

[Instrumental]

10. Just Another Nightmare

The echoes creep into your dreams. Torn awake from your sleep.
Unholy nightmare of savagery.
THIS CAN NOT BE! The warmth soaks into your fingers and soaths away the pain.
Frantically replays the days.
The tattered clothes still drape your fame. Crimson cloaked memories.
Blood soaked destiny.
This can not be the way it seems. Incapable of these things. Lost of hold of demons inside of me.
(The damage is done) The desolation that’s inside of us.
The violence lurks beneath the skin. (Beneath the skin)
Do not be fooled by the quiet. (What I’ve become) The silent killer dwells within.
The conclusion comes crashing in.
This is happening once again. Can it be that I am capably murderous.

11. Forevermore

The threads of life start to tear. Hang above the pit of our despair.
Seems the end is growing near.
The life you knew will disappear. Every human life will overlap and interwine.
Create the fabric and the destiny of all mankind.
START THE FIRES TILL THEY SURROUND. They start the fires burning until they surround.
Is there nothing left. Worth fighting for?
Forever more. Beneath the waterline. Sinking further down. I dwell in silence now.
Awake and face the truth of all that you have lost.
A tongue tied explanation raining down from scattered thoughts.
START THE FIRE TILL THEY SURROUND. They reinforce their doubts until they draw blood.
Forever more. Beneath the waterline. Sinking further down. I dwell in silence now.
Forever More. I will leave this world behind.
Finally I drown. I dwell in Silence now.

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