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Jan 24, 2012
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Shadows Lie – “Echoes” (2007)

Independent Release

Review by Lithium

The observation that shadows lie can be interpreted in two ways. Shadows by their very nature must be cast upon something and therefore often ‘lie’ upon the floor or on the ground. Shadows also lie in the sense that their two-dimensional images of three-dimensional objects do not always present an accurate depiction of reality. While the MySpace URL of the band Shadows Lie suggests the first meaning, their song “Shadows” suggests the second. In fact, this duality of meaning proves to be an apt metaphor for the two different styles of songs found on this full-length debut. Roughly half of the songs on “Echoes” include little or no electric guitar. Instead, these pieces are driven by acoustic guitars and sometimes bass and drums as well. One of the best tracks of this type is “Secret”. “Free your lips into my ears and speak to me, speak the secrets that you keep”,’ implores vocalist Kira Leigh in melancholy tones with sweet vocal harmonies and acoustic-guitar accompaniment. “Broken”,’ meanwhile, features Kira in more of a sarcastic mood as she lets her man know exactly what’s wrong with him. It’s a catchy, almost bouncy tune bristling with acoustic guitars and light electronics. The remaining songs have more of a full-band sound, either right from the beginning or progressing to that as the song unfolds. A highlight among these is “Blank”.’ The song starts off with only vocals and acoustic guitar as a bass comes in during the verse. Things quickly build to a climax as the verse ends and crunchy electric guitars and drums burst in to begin the chorus. “I see a light on, but where have you gone?” a seriously pissed-off Kira protests. In exasperated tones she demands to know, “Is there anybody home in there?” With respect to composition a somewhat minimalist approach is used throughout. Rather than simply putting up a lush wall of sound, Shadows Lie uses instruments on an as-needed basis with powerful effect. Instead of the omnipresent keyboards employed in Gothic metal, here we find haunting electronics that more accurately conjure up the spooky things we know must be lurking amongst the lying shadows. The sometimes-sparse instrumentation is more than made up for by strong melodies with nifty little twists and hooks aplenty. Catchy, complex rhythms and phrasing also play a key role in keeping the listener engaged. Singer Kira Leigh delivers an earnest performance that is as powerful as it is vulnerable. Her voice has a sometimes-angry, sometimes-sorrowful quality that also can be quite soulful but always is authentic. And Kira is not the least bit afraid to push her voice to the limit. Her lyrics explore a suitably dark spectrum of topics covering everything from rain to relationships, from isolation to recrimination.  “Echoes”  is a first-class piece of alternative rock with an intelligence that will appeal to adult sensibilities. It also may appeal to the little Gothlings who spend their free time on Internet message boards posting about all things Evanescence, right down to the precise color of the polish at the ends of Amy Lee’s freshly manicured fingers. Hard rock and metal fans of all stripes will appreciate Echoes’ rawness and emotion. In short, this is a good album and Shadows Lie obviously is very good at what they do. And that’s no lie.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Dead End
  2. Ghost
  3. Echo
  4. Blank
  5. Keep Falling Down
  6. Overwhelmed
  7. Shadows
  8. Invited
  9. Broken
  10. Secret
  11. Zoe
  12. Everything
  13. Portrait
  14. Flame
  15. Keep Falling (acoustic)

 

Line Up

  • Kira Leigh – Vocals, Lyrics
  • Frank Grullon  - Guitars
  • CT – Bass
  • Marco Britti – Drums

 

Links

MySpace * ReverbNation * Facebook * Site

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