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Light & Shade: The Essence Of Everything
Light & Shade The Essence Of Everything CD Album Review

Light & Shade The Essence Of Everything

Modern Progressive Power Metal

I'm not sure how time and attention we need to give to international band Light & Shade and their debut album The Essence Of Everything on Italy's Scarlet Record. Suffice first to say the band is composed of four experienced musicians from other well known bands in the European theater. The members include vocalist Adrienne Cowan (USA/Seven Spires), guitarist Marco Pastorino (IT/Temperance, Secret Sphere), bassist Luca Negro (IT/Temperance) and guest drummer Alex Landenburg (DE/Luca Turilli's Rhapsody).

Light & Shade Band Photo

Light & Shade

The next thing to add is that they Light & Shade play a variation of progressive power metal, a more modern variation. One, even while there is some orchestration and moments of light piano, their heavy metal has a harsher tone to it, thanks to the fierce riffage. Second, there are several songs with death and dirty vocals, at least three at my count. Curiously, these do no come from a male member of the band, but from vocalist Adrienne Cowan. Actually, this is the element that put me off to the band and the album. Not so much the death vocals alone, but the entirety of her vocals. Certainly Ms Cowan can sing clean and melodic as necessary, but largely she's all over the place, mostly screeching and screaming. What I found myself doing was, rather than listening intently to the album, skipping through songs simply because I felt I was being yelled at. That's not a pleasant experience.

Nevertheless, musically there are a few interesting songs here. One is You Are with it's nice touch of guitar and piano to start, more prominent melody, and a male/female duet. All's well until Cowan gets screamo at the midpoint. Lionheart also has an acoustic guitar start which continues. Cowan's vocals light over guitar and melody, yet she can't help herself, getting pitched once more. For more straightforward progressive power metal, Light & Shade proves their worth with Spirit of Anne and longer closing number The Essence of Everything. The former has a brisk pace and a killer guitar solo at the end. The latter offers some delightful, even classical, piano play in the latter third to the end.

Honestly, I probably gave Light & Shade and their debut album The Essence Of Everything more attention than necessary. It's safe to say that I will not be spinning this album again. I'm simply not interested.

Light & Shade - Drown In The Absurdity

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The Bottom Line

Light & Shade and their debut album The Essence Of Everything offers modern progressive power metal disturbed by uneven vocals that range from melodic to more screamo and death vocals. No thank you.

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