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TO CAST A SHADOW All Alone (2009)

To Cast A Shadow

Scandinavia seems to becoming a dark, cold bastion for goth metal.

In many ways, metal gets a bad name - considered a bit too unsavoury and underground for blue collar consumption. But despite their melodic / doom / goth / metal badging To Cast A Shadow demonstrate an accessibility that many mainstream rock audiences would savour.

Originally released in 2007, All Alone is the culmination of the coming together of three like minded rockers - Marcus Granlien - guitar, Stian Dalslaen - bass, and Kent Helset -drums - plus a female vocalist. Camilla Granlien takes the mic for the album but has since been replaced by Gunnhild Huser.

The band don't shy away from displaying their heavy metal influences - the opener Erzsebet exploding out of the traps with some neat lead guitar lines, some ponderous riffs and haunting vocals, while the title track All Alone starts with some more tasteful fretwork before descending into similar territory.

And while much of the band's sound can be traced back to Birmingham and Black Sabbath, it's the songs and Camilla Granlien's melodic vocals that raise To Cast A Shadow above the chasing pack.

Which all adds up to a recipe for bridging the increasingly long wait for the next Evanescence album to arrive. It remains to be seen what new vocalist Gunnhild Huser brings to the party, but while not quite as commercial as Evanescence, you can't help but think that if To Cast A Shadow were based stateside, commercial success would be almost guaranteed.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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