At first listen, you might think Japan's Shadow was perhaps a Scandinavian outfit. But like fellow countrymen In Flames, Shadow produces darkly melodic death metal (owing much to its European place of origin) on the band's eponymous debut. Perhaps the most immediately remarkable aspect of the band is its female lead singer, Tokiko Shimamoto, who spits out utterly satanic venom with throat-tearing velocity. This girl will give any metal screamer a run for his money. Like many death metal bands, the melodic content of Shadow's sound lies in the sweeping, neo-classical melodies of the guitars rather than the vocals; indeed, co-axemen Yuichi Sumimoto and Shinichiro Okada have studied hard the records of Yngwie Malmsteen and Tony MacAlpine. While the guitarists have a way to go before attaining the fluid grace of their heroes, they show great potential; some of their harmonized runs would make Racer X proud. Rhythmically, the band plays at light speed (powered by tireless drummer Mitsuhiro Enomoto), but possesses a valuable grasp of dynamics and tempo variation; check out the delicate nylon-string breakdown in "Beyond the Drizzly Nights" for evidence of this. An impressive and well-executed debut.
AllMusic Review by Andy Hinds