Thirty years is a long time to get your first full-length album out, but that's how long it took Germany's Javelin to deliver Fragments of the Inner Shadow. It's a package of 13 songs, with 11 new ones and the inclusion of the title tracks from two EPs, Dark Broken Land and Season of Grey. Dark. Grey. Shadows. There seems to be a theme here.
There is a rather darker, or weightier, feeling to Javelin's power metal. Some of this comes from the twin guitar wall of riffage that permeates many songs like Captured Under Sand or Falling. It also comes from Carsten Hille's high soaring vocals that seem to have a somber current within as well. You might catch a nuance of progressive metal here and there, probably best in Closer To The Pain.
Mostly, the material is simply heavier power metal where you have to listen for the spirited highlights that rise from within the heaviness and the speed. One is the guitar work in the latter third of Closer To The Pain. Another is the fine drumming within The Cenotaph. At least one time, Javelin pulls everything together for a strong listening experience with Healing: bold vocal line, nice acoustic guitar, and soaring solos wrapped in an ever progressing arrangement. Other times songs simply fall flat like The Arrival with this one persistent guitar line that feels like a mosquito buzzing around your head. Another is Birth Of A Plague which is all galloping power while wait for the guitar solo to show up and wrap things up. Yet, in the end, the strength of Javelin comes in their persistence as musicians to finally accomplish their goal of full album. In this case, Fragments of the Inner Shadow is a fine accomplishment for the band. Recommended for fans of darker European power metal.
Javelin's Fragments of the Inner Shadow is classic German power metal with a darker side and some nuances of progressive metal.
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