BLACK SHADOW "Call Of The Death"

This release by the Russian band BLACK SHADOW, which features a member of ASHEN LIGHT, was originally released back in 2005. Now the Russian label More Hate Productions has seen it fit to re-release the album, and after listening to it I am not sure why they bothered. To put it very bluntly, "Call Of The Death" is generic, to a degree where it will bore and irritate the listener. Coming off as a clone of DARK FUNERAL, BLACK SHADOW are the reason Black Metal will always be the victim of mockery from other metalheads. From the carpenters nails adorning their bracelets to the eviler-than-thou corpsepaint, their image is just as shallow and empty as the silly song-titles. The music itself is hardly any better, and though there are some decent ideas on display, most of it is drowned out in the otherwise horribly overplayed formula. The bottom line here is that while you could probably do a lot worse with your choice of Black Metal, there is still absolutely no reason to prefer "Call Of The Death" over its peers. If generic and formulaic Black Metal is your thing, stick to the elder bands, at least it was slightly interesting back when they laid the foundation of the genre.

BLACK SHADOW "Awakening Of The Black Dragon"

Lord Demogorgon and Asmodeus are the main duo that are responsible for creating this pitch-black Russian monster known as BLACK SHADOW. They have often been accused for being a cloned Russian version of the Swedish Black Metal arts DARK FUNERAL, but on the other hand there is just a bit more to their sound than being your 100% water-proof DARK FUNERAL clone act. "Awakening Of The Black Dragon" is BLACK SHADOWs 7th full-length album, and there is undoubtedly lotsa Swedish melodic Black / Death Metal worship (à la NECROPHOBIC, MÖRK GRYNING, DARK FUNERAL and such legions mostly) to be found on this record, just no doubts. Despite the programmed drums, this dynamic duo makes it all sound like there could a full band behind BLACK SHADOW. Overall BLACK SHADOW is able to create a pretty respectable amount of chaotic and light-speed parts within their songs on this record but somehow they still do not sound too over-the-top at all because after this momentary vicious whirlwind of blackened aggression, they always tend to find certain breaks from their Black Metal machine, just to allow a listener to take a breath or two before their satanic hammer starts falling on their heads again. 11 songs within 60 minutes may feel like too much for a Black Metal release, but then again if it is all enjoyable and entertaining from start to finish, no one should complain. I for one, did enjoy the heck out of this 7th BLACK SHADOW album though.

BLACK SHADOW "Through the Dark Flame of Moloch"

It is always special when a band sings in their native language and Black Shadow are no exception, mixing raw Black Metal with their Russian language to concoct something so destructive, it took four bottles of vodka just to wake the listener up from the audio onslaught they have just been through. Sure the band uses a drum machine, but who is going to know (oops)? "Through the Dark Flame of Moloch" marks their eighth Satanic ritual and it never gets any tiring, not even after thirty-six minutes of total chaos, so for the record "Through the Dark Flame of Moloch" is for fans of Black Metal, the Russian language and Satanic music, oh and by the way Satan, whose your daddy? Black Shadow of course.

BLACK SHADOW "Through the Dark Flame of Moloch"

More hate shall be spread... the Russian 2-man Black Metal horde BLACK SHADOW smashes all the icons and crucifixes down and make all the hypocrite Jesus lovers weeping on the bands 8th studio album, titled "Through The Dark Flame Of Moloch". My first impression about this particular release was, this must be BLACK SHADOWs most diverse sounding album to this very date, in which they have also concentrated on creating something else but just those infamously blackened and merciless hyper-speed blast-beat mayhems 24/7. For example in the 2nd song off this record, "The Bringer Of Gift Of The Forbidden Craft", a healthy dose of Death Metal riffage is present strongly, which I like myself a lot. Those much despised and hated DARK FUNERAL influences are still offered on this opus but this time, in very tiny doses only. Somehow it is this another already disbanded Swedish Black / Death Metal troop named ALLEGIANCE whose name seems to come to the surface more often than DARK FUNERALs name this time, just probably due to this increased musical diversity within their stuff on "Through the Dark Flame of Moloch". Demogorgon and Asmodeus in BLACK SHADOW really do have a good concept in their hands to make a high quality Black Metal stuff - just like this album proves it so loud, clear and somewhat deliciously.

BLACK SHADOW "Through the Dark Flame of Moloch"

Black Shadow from Russia is one of those bands that have released quite some albums, even some are in my possession, but never got any attention. With Through the Dark Flame of Moloch they have released their 8th album since 2004, all sung in their native language. Being promoted as intense Black Metal with Swedish melodic guitar structures in the vein of Setherial, Lord Belial and Dissection, they raise the bar quite high. Although the mentioned influences are there, they can not reach the bar. It is a bit above average, not bad but to generic if you ask me.

BLACK SHADOW "War - Undying Flame Of Abyss!"

Russia is known for its vast and often quality Black Metal scene - and if this 2-piece Russian Black Metal horde BLACK SHADOW is anything to go by, then using the word "quality" can be highlighted perhaps teeny-weeny more in this acts case. "War - Undying Flame Of Abyss!" is BLACK SHADOWs 6th studio album in a chronological order, which has been fully been composed and played by Lord Demogorgon. What, in fact, surprises me a great deal about this disc here, Lord Demogorgon has been able to make the album to sound like there is a full band behind this recording - hell, even the programmed drums tend to sound like there could have been a human pounding the drums, with exception of those highly blasting parts, of course. But this certain Black Metal style that he has incorporated into this record, follows greatly some Swedish traditions for a melodic but aggressive Black Metal mayhem. You know, MÖRK GRYNING, DARK FUNERAL, DISSECTION, SETHERIAL and LORD BELIAL; they are some of those names that are about to crawl to mind when spinning this album through - and with a very good production, things get even a bit sweeter here. This is truly some really well made, diabolic Swedish tinged Black Metal that you could have expected such labels as No Fashion or Black Sun from Sweden, churning out back in the day. A pretty darn amazing Russian act this BLACK SHADOW undoubtedly is... check them out. You should not regret in by doing so, I think.

BLACK SHADOW "Against the God - In the Name of Darkness!"

Black Shadow is a long-running Russian Black Metal duo featuring Lord Demogorgon (on vocals, bass and guitar) and Asmodeus (on guitar). This 8-track opus, titled Against the God - In the Name of Darkness!, was originally released on S.B.M. Records in 2007 (limited to 100 copies only - with four studio tracks recorded in 2002, plus two bonus live tracks). It has fortunately been re-released by More Hate Productions, who, also have plans to re-release the bands entire back catalog. Black Shadow uses a drum machine on this release; they have always done so and probably will also do so in the future, I guess. Musically they are like Dark Funerals long-lost cousin. If you listen to the title track, Dark Funerals influence is pretty obvious. You cannot avoid comparing Black Shadow to those ineffable Swedish kings of darkness. Black Shadow is at home with hyper-speed blasting stuff, not giving much mercy to the listeners while letting the band invade your speakers. All the studio stuff sounds really good, but the same cannot be said about the bonus live tracks. Those sound really raw and extremely unpolished. If you want to find out how it would sound if Dark Funeral was cloned in Russia, the answer can be found right here.

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