October 20, 2020

This album seems to have been a long time in the making as Sins Of Shadows began life as a project in 2013 and was put together by the two French musicians Elena Penalver (formerly of Ink City) and guitarist Nicolas Jacon. They released two EPs as a duo before bassist Sebastien Normand (Esquys/ex-Nepenthys) joined in 2018 thus making the band complete as a power trio. Together, they have now independently released their debut album which brings together a mixture of new material and re-arranged songs from the second EP, Today’s The Day.

The band specialises in a mixture of hard and progressive metal and they say that they have always been influenced by Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Megadeth, Evergrey and the band’s name was even taken from the opening track on The Divine Wings Of Tragedy by Symphony X. So, prog metal is in the band’s blood and they have made a very good prog metal album with an immense sound which is remarkable given that they have done this with armed only with Penalver’s voice and lead and bass guitars so no florid keyboards or major orchestration to fill out the sound. Indeed, there is so much happening on this album as the band experiments by the addition of ’80s speed metal and thrash, then a little stoner rock and a touch of doom/Goth especially with the often melancholic tones of Penalver. Special praise to Jacon and Normand for their guitar work which is the classic mix of lead and bass runs with Jacon being a special talent indeed with his riffs and out of this world guitar runs. Over this, Penalver lays down hard hitting and perfectly delivered vocals in English which also gives the band a flavour of Delain, Epica and Within Temptation. The drums are un-credited but they are awesome and so loud whilst not over powering the guitars or vocals. I hope they are real drums but if it is a machine then I will have to take everything back about lifeless drum machines!

I find it strange that a band with this much musical talent and song writing capability has not yet been snapped up by a label. Everything is in place and all that this band wants/needs is the backing and finance of a record label as The Master’s Way is a fabulous album and given the right resources then the next one could be a real killer.

The Masters Way track list

  1. Master’s Way (4:28)
  2. A Man In The Crowd (5:06)
  3. Not In My World (4:48)
  4. Today’s The Day (4:37)
  5. Far From Me (6:02)
  6. The Mountain (3:27)
  7. Sense Of Hope (8:54)
  8. My Lost City (5:22)