It’s been a long five years of waiting for a new Shadowside album for their loyal and increasingly larger fanbase after the success they enjoyed with their previous album, INNER MONSTER OUT, but in 2016 the band finally returned to Studio Fredman in Sweden, for a marathon 20-day recording session with producers Fredrik Nordström (Arch Enemy, Evergrey, Hammerfall, Bring me the Horizon) and Henrik Udd (Architects, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquility, Dream Evil, turning out their strong work to date, SHADES OF HUMANITY.
The album explores deep and controversial subjects such as depression, abortion, the Mariana dam disaster and mankind’s moral values, and branches out in more mature and bold musical ways, although never leaving behind the heavy guitar riffs and catchy melodies that have always been Shadowside’s trademark.
SHADES OF HUMANITY brings back a few influences from their first two albums, THEATRE OF SHADOWS and DARE TO DREAM, and remains heavy and modern like on INNER MONSTER OUT, however they display the natural evolution of a more experienced Shadowside, determined to bring the fans a work that shows the band’s best moment ever.
SHhadowside were very aware they couldn’t leave the studio with anything that was less than previous albums, and in spite of the album’s success, they didn’t let that influence and get in the way of the songwriting process of SHADES OF HUMANITY, which features all band members as songwriters.
An additional energy boost for the new album came from Swedish bass player Magnus Rosén (ex-Hammerfall), who joined Shadowside in 2015 and makes his first appearance with the band on SHADES OF HUMANITY. Not only did he bring decades’ worth of musical experience to the fold, Magnus wrote the songs UNREALITY and HAUNTED (Japan bonus track) with guitarist Andy La Rocque (King Diamond).
The first single is the song ALIVE, a track that features an intense atmosphere with massive riffs and Dani Nolden’s vocals loaded with emotion, alternating between soft melodies and rough, high-pitched screaming. ALIVE is also the first music video for SHADES OF HUMANITY, shot in Orlando, United States, where Shadowside got together with director of photography Daniel Stilling, known for his works inThe Martian movie, starred by actor Matt Damon, and Criminal Minds series.
The album cover was developed by designer Douglas Jen of Furia Music, and demonstrates the heavy atmosphere of the lyrics, representing the several aspects of human personality, marked by defects and unfinished drawings that symbolize the imperfection of all people.
1. The Fall
2. Beast Inside
3. What If
4. Make My Fate
5. Insidious Me
6. The Crossing
7. Stream of Shame
8. Parade the Sacrifice
12. Haunted (japanese bonus track)
Dani Nolden (vocal)
Raphael Mattos (guitar)
Magnus Rosén (bass)
Fabio Buitvidas (drums)
Recorded and produced by:
Fredrik Nordström and Henrik Udd
(Fredman Studio, Sweden)
Japan (Spiritual Beast)
USA and Europe (EMP Label Group)
Brazil (Furia Music Records)
"There’s more to SHADOWSIDE than them simply being a metal band with a talented frontwoman whose lyrical topic matter addresses issues more comparable towards Bono than Joey DeMaio. Dani Nolden is clearly an entertainer first, preferring to use her music and her voice to have the greater impact as a catalyst for change rather than having to preach. Her vocal prowess on tracks such as Alive and Beast Inside in particular highlight her impassioned yet powerfully melodic tone." - KNAC (4,5/5)
"It gets clear that, after each hearing, this is an epoch-making album, in other words, it's everything a fan wanted and wants to hear. For being a concept album dealing with several human issues, each track ends up connected to the other, with nothing being less than SPECTACULAR and SURPRISING." - Metal na Lata (10/10)
"Dani Nolden's vocals are of an incredible versatility, alternating styles and feelings as per the song's neeeds. Most songs are between 3 to 4 minutos long, but that doesn't keep them from being magnificent compositions." - Metal Militia (5/5)
“This platter is full of delicious riffs, high octane vocals and killer Metal insanity, that smashes you in the face from the start with The Fall its heaviness impresses as Dani Noldens powerful Vocals grasp you around the throat as the band pummel you, combined with Raphael Mattos Riffs shredding and the vigorous rhythm section of former Hammerfall Bassist Magnus Rosén and Fabio Buitvidas on Drums this opener impresses and works you neck muscles!” - The Metal Gods Meltdown (9,5/10)
"The album, at the same time as it shows a natural evolution compared to its predecessor, sounds like the band's biggest step when it comes to modernity. Having come from a quality Power Metal, however not as innovative, SHADOWSIDE today sounds like a traditional Metal band with the lightest hints of Prog, but managing to sound current, modern, without falling into traps that the trends usually set." - Portal do Inferno (9/10)
“Dani is actually singing beautiful, besides she also looks pretty cute and beautiful. Must admit I'm a sucker for female front bands. Depending on the style, they usually add a different element to the music than a guy would do.” - Calles Rock Corner DK (5,5/6)