Firespawn – Shadow Realms (2015)

Firespawn - Shadow Realms (2015)
As I suspected in September, this is a patronizingly stupid work of deathpop (reminder: straight up pop rock/metal with death metal aesthetics and instrumentation) of such simplicity that it will probably worsen the quality of discourse here at DMU for a few days by virtue of having been released. This sort of thing should probably been relegated to the level of Sadistic Metal Reviews, but part of having greater volume on this site is going into depth on why the chaff is chaff, as opposed to the cream of the crop. Shadow Realms is the type of album that could very easily be commercially successful if it got the right marketing push, but I don’t think that’s actually going to happen, and no amount of sales is going to secure this album a place in your mind for very long.

All the stereotypical elements of a deathpop album are here in full force. The instrumentation and production is “perfect” in the sense that everything here is appropriate to the 50% Stockholm/50% Gothenburg mixture that was used in this album’s construction. Shadow Realms is slightly melodic, not particularly Bossy, and generally built from fast, somewhat technical instrumental performances, but the end result is that each musician is playing something solely because if they didn’t, there would be no album. Some songs might slightly, almost imperceptibly bend towards other substyles at times, but the actual songwriting is as formulaic and rudimentary as it can be. L.G Petrov’s extremely simplistic and almost sing-song vocal performance continues to be the main emphasis on this album. Everything else is subordinate to the point that it severely inhibits the rest of the band’s ability to contribute anything beyond the banal and overdone.

By slamming together a roster of musicians with so much experience, Century Media has ensured that Shadow Realms sounds like death metal, even to those who give it more than the most superficial of listens. It’s still unfortunate that the musicians don’t have anything interesting to perform. All of the bands mentioned in Firespawn’s promotional materials have released better material than this, although not necessarily in a similar style. Stylistic specifics, though, do not take precedence over quality and coherence of output, and thusly listening to Shadow Realms is a complete waste of your time.

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7 thoughts on “Firespawn – Shadow Realms (2015)”

  1. Daniel Maarat says:

    I believed you just described death ‘n’ roll Gabe.

  2. OliveFox says:

    Has there ever been a worthwhile Metal “Super Group?” Not just a band that rotates veteran’s, but a legitimate Traveling Wilbury style metal Super Group. Borknagar? Bloodbath? Star-One? All fairly lame. Metal does not seem to lend itself to big personalities coming together for no apparent reason. Maybe trad-metal could get away with it, but death/black/grind/prog are ill-suited to such delusional projects.

    Unless I am forgetting a crucial band of course. Speckmann in Krabathor counts as a “Super Group” to me!

    1. Daniel Maarat says:

      Zyklon B

    2. Cynical says:

      Thou Art Lord, on the latest album at least.

  3. Pump Disciple says:

    Can’t believe the comments this has on YouTube, they say things like masterpiece and best ever, are people this easily impressed?

    1. Gabe Kagan says:

      YouTube comments tend to be a bit hyperbolic at the best of times… and I feel like my predisposition towards understatement as a form of comedy is on full display by phrasing it like that.

  4. fenrir says:

    I believe the problems with bands like these will only stop when Metal stops being a “business”. The Greatest metal has seldom or almost never come from commercial enterprises. Black Sabbath and Slayer are exceptions and they did their best in the first few years of existence… Look at all these death metal bands, great debuts, ok-ish follow-ups and then a bunch of average and irrelevant ones. In the case of black metal, NO great black metal has come out of big labels and commercial efforts.

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