‘Threads of Life’ sees the band deliver a trademark-yet-progressive blast of incendiary metal - a heady brew of old-school sensibilities and cutting-edge hard rock delivered with passion and precision. “We just wanted to write a full-on metal record,” says frontman Brian Fair. “We were like, ‘I don’t care what’s going on nowadays. Let’s write some fucking metal!’ I mean, that’s always been our attitude, but this time we went even further into our rock and thrash roots.”
“Redemption,” the album’s anthemic opener and lead track is a veritable crash course in Shadows Fall’s patented mixture of metallic riffage, hardcore aggression and melodic groove-laden uplift. “This is the Shadows Fall sound condensed into 4 minutes,” laughs Fair. “I think it’s a perfect representation of what we do and I think it really encapsulates the whole album, which is why we opened with it. It has a bit of everything you’ll get in the next 45 minutes!”
“Final Call,” the album’s epic 7-minute centerpiece, which includes some spectacular twin-guitar shredding from Donais and Bachand, is a rallying cry for hope and unity in a time of cynicism and despair. “So many of the ideals and goals of our government seem to be so far from what I’m trying to accomplish in my life, that I feel like I’ve been exiled to my own little plane of existence,” says Fair. “But at this point, I’m fine with it, because there are others who feel the same way and I think there are more of them out there than people realize.” Fair’s also not afraid to whip himself into a righteous rage when the situation calls for it. “Failure Of The Devout,” “Burning The Lives” and “Forevermore” all take lethal aim at those responsible for the current precarious state of the world, be it corrupt political systems or organized religion in general.
The most powerful example of Shadows Fall’s broadened musical, lyrical and emotional scope is “Another Hero Lost,” an achingly heartfelt ballad inspired by the death of Fair’s cousin, a US soldier who was killed last year in Iraq. “I didn’t want to take away from the tribute vibe by making it this brutal, crazy song; it had to be straight-up from the heart and really pure and true. It’s also the most personal song I’ve ever recorded. Lyrically, it’s from my cousin’s perspective, as well as just me sorting through the emotions that my family and I were going through at the time. The song has no political agenda at all, it’s just me remembering someone I grew up with, who meant a lot to me. I know a lot of people have been going through similar things recently, so I think it’s a song they’ll be able to relate to. Hopefully, there won’t have to be many more songs written about something like this.”