Shadows Fall

The metal band Shadows Fall is steadily moving up the music-game food chain. They started off in 1995 and released their first album, Somber Eyes to the Sky, two years later. That led to a recording contract with the indie-metal-rock label Century Media, a second CD, Of One Blood, and a worldwide tour with, among others, the Misfits and King Diamond. The group's explosive style and front man Brian Fair's "you never really needed those eardrums, did you?" howling got them noticed. By 2003, the band was invited to play on the Ozzfest tour and MTV2's Headbangers Ball. Their fourth album, The War Within, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart, selling more than 300,000 albums. Not bad for a metal band without backing from a major label.

Last year the group released a DVD, The Art of Touring, with six of its music videos mixed in with live concert and backstage footage. That brought the band a deal with Atlantic Records, but Century Media got one more CD out of them before they departed. The June 2006 release, Fallout from the War, is a companion disk to War Within made up of outtakes, rerecordings and a couple of cover tunes. Fallout may have been a perfunctory effort meant to fulfill their contractual obligations to Century Media before jumping to the big leagues with Atlantic, but fans can be sure that their live show will be the usual blistering, torrid performance.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez