The Shadeless Emperor is a Greek Melodic Death Metal quintet that has chosen to celebrate their eight year as a band (which would be this year) by releasing their first full-length record. Tying in quite well both with the name of the band, their choice of genre and their overall lyrical focus on themes such as fantasy, mythology and philosophy, the record has been given the title Ashbled Shores.
Despite being a very ‘classic’ Melodic Death Metal bands in many aspects (such as the heavy emphasis on more advanced, catchy melodies, the use of instrumental parts to introduce the album as well as a bridge inbetween songs), I also seem to find a hint of their Greek heritage buried deep in their music – Not just through the Greek mythological themes that has seeped into many of the tracks present throughout Ashbled Shores – But also through some musical approach that I am having a hard time pin-pointing. In short, something about The Shadeless Emperor leads me to compare them to their kinsmen Rotting Christ (despite a radically different musical style and sheer level of aggression). Somehow, the band has managed to permeade their tracks with the same downtrodden, deep tones that their kinsmen have done, albeit with a more melodious overall feel. As such I almost felt like the band could not possibly be of any other nationality once I learned of their heritage, due to this undefinable sounds alone.
And while I do seem to ramble about this single aspect, it does (for once) serve a purpose. To me, tracks such as ”Sullen Guard” is a prime example of what the genre has to offer. What really makes it stand out, however, is this dark and down-wowen sound, which gives it just a little extra edge – Just enough to make them truly memorable.
Sure, they might not be in the same master class such as many other of the more well-defined bands within their chosen field, but for a first full-length release, I would say that Ashbled Shores is quite impressive.
All in all the album contains nine tracks, one introductory instrumental track and another, similar bridge near the end of the musical venture.
Recommended for fans of the newer Arch Enemy, The Ward and, to a certain extend, Rotting Christ.