Location: Providence, RI
Not a lot of metalcore makes it to this website and gets featured, usually with more heavier and brutal stuff being reviewed and shared. However, Providence-based band Shadow Of A Doubt, formed in 2009, have dropped their debut EP, ‘Mirrors’, and I consider it to be worthy of a page on Total Deathcore. This five piece consider themselves metalcore, however, a listen to their debut EP will soon have the listener doubting that claim and assuming them to be a lot heavier than they define themselves as.
Shadow Of A Doubt waste no time in throwing the listener headfirst into the deep, murky waters of Riff Ocean, opening the EP with ‘The Mirror’, a track that seems to exist purely to provide an introduction to this release. It consists of a standard downtuned, palm muted, simple riff and some long growls that get a little boring, but the track is only 57 seconds long, so it isn’t too monotonous. Next up, ‘Bloody Mary’, no doubt a nod to the ghostly legend, beginning with a clip of two small girls creepily chanting ‘Bloody Mary’ three times but then erupting into a glorious, exhilarating fanfare of psychopathic, screeching screams, face blasting riffs that sound like battleship cannons firing, and a backing double bass that reminds me of a Vietnam-era machine gun.
‘Another Empire’ is a totally different ball game to the other tracks on this EP, starting off with a harrowing acoustic guitar intro but soon evolving into a blastbeat-filled cacophony of rising guitar melodies and scales, hyperspeed quick spazms of death-metal riffs and the ever-present screams of the vocalist, Eric Brown. This EP doesn’t have a lot to offer in the way of low, guttural growls, however the screams are up to such a standard, that personally I feel growls are not needed. Plus, this band is metalcore, and so do not really need to use growls so much as heavier genres do. The next track, ‘In Sickness And Greed’, again changes the sound and tone of the EP, using riffs, structures and progressions seen in slam metal and thrash metal. The main riff of this track is very reminiscient of Lamb Of God, using simple open chords and then also using some short melodies, proving that Shadow Of A Doubt can produce a lot of variety and change, while being very experimental.
The final track, ‘Bleach’, is yet again a massive variation from what was initially offered in the first two tracks, certainly showing that this band are not afraid to venture outside of the proverbial metalcore box and offer their own tantalisingly tasty variations of popular playing styles and sounds. Growls are used on this track, appearing just after a catchy clean gang vocal part, and they seem a little weak and forced – the only letdown I have experienced on this EP.
I admire the variety that Shadow Of A Doubt have showcased on this debut, and I have a lot of respect for them for not being afraid of losing fans and ratings because they sound a hell of a lot different to standard metalcore. An EP for even the most brutal of metal fans.