When I first encountered Shadow of the Sun supporting The Heather Findlay Band in November 2011, they were something of a work in progress. The new project from Dylan Thompson, former guitarist of The Reasoning laid some solid foundations for the future, but at that time there were some aspects that still needed a bit more work.
Just over a year later, their impressive debut album “Monument” sees a lot of hard work honing the arrangements on the road paying off.
The first thing that strikes you is the in-your-face guitars; the album has a huge guitar sound. The overall feel is more hard rock/metal than prog, although it has it’s atmospheric moments, with some subtle and sparing use of keys. Lee Woodmass and Rhys Jones make a very solid rhythm section. Dylan Thompson’s guitar playing has more emphasis on inventive riffs than on solos, although he does cut loose a few times, most notably on “Crimson Flags”.
Matthew Powell handles the vast majority of the lead vocals, reminiscent of Metallica’s James Hetfield in places. Much of the time Dylan Thomson sings harmonies, though I’d have liked to have heard him sing a bit more lead; when he does he’s very effective, his melodic style complementing Matt’s vocals.
The excellent production with the powerful yet clear sound makes for a strong début, and it will be very interesting to hear how this band develops.