ALBUM REVIEWS            



Ambition's Price

Graveshadow are a symphonic power metal band from the USA that incorporates Doom, Thrash and Gothic styles of heavy metal into their music. The bands debut release was their self titled 2014 E.P. quickly followed by their full length debut album 'Nocturnal Resurrection' in 2015. The bands second album 'Ambition's Price' was released in 2018.    
If I were to write a one word review for 'Ambition's Price' (the album), it would simply be "wow". The power, the energy, the vocal range and the sheer infectiousness oozing from every minute of the albums fifty minute length is just outstanding. Graveshadow launch the album with the hard hitting and punchy 'Doorway To Heaven', with ample head banging opportunities and a staggering introduction to the amazing vocal range of singer Heather Michele Smith. Effortlessly switching from the clean and clear power metal style to the snarling, growling and throaty rasp of death metal, Heather is a versatile and flexible singer. The album follows the power metal path with the blistering 'Widow And The Raven' scorching the earth with its pace and speed. A catchy sing a long style chorus adds weight to an already cracking song, with Gravshadow displaying a passion for head bangingly addictive and "foot on the monitor" style heavy metal. The title song 'Ambition's Price' sees the album hit the brakes and inject a much heavier ambience, heavily stomping on at a mid tempo pace. 'Ambition's Price' also features the singer at her deepest growled vocal style, coming across as menacing and aggressive, well suited to the doom/death vibe of 'Ambition's Price'. High paced power metal returns in emphatic fashion with 'Hero Of Time' rocketing off at high velocity. Full of catchiness that will have you hooked from the off, 'Hero Of Time' is a head bangers dream, a dream that will have you head banging heavily.    
The heaviest doom style song on the album also plants one foot into ballad territory too, with the nearest to symphonic vocals you'll hear on the album. 'Gates' effortlessly moves from doom to death, ballad to doom and death to ballad, almost confusing the listener as to where it is headed, but what a journey 'Gates' is. With so many musical styles on offer in just one song, 'Gates' is a perfect example of the variety Graveshadow has to offer. The eighties NWOBHM buzzing guitar style makes its presence felt as 'The Unspoken' gets underway. The vocals snarl and growl menacingly as 'The Unspoken' marches on, becoming clean and clear as the chorus break arrives. Raise your fists high and aggressively punch the air in delight as the album moves into the second half with the plodding 'Return To Me'. Mid tempo in pace and very heavy, hinting at the progressive metal style, 'Return To Me' has enough force to crush buildings, reducing them to rubble and leaving only devastation in its wake. The more melodic, and yes I just said melodic, side to Graveshadow shows its face with the hard rock influenced 'Slave'. Not wishing to be pigeon holed into just one genre of music, Graveshadow have done an amazing job with this album, stepping into so many genres, you're gonna get dizzy if you try and count them all. Just sit back and listen to a great album...and when I say sit back, I actually mean get up, raise your fists high and head bang hard.    
Two of the best songs on offer are up next. The fiercely heavy and thrash metal tinged 'Liberator' races off, highly energetic and full of enough heaviness to sink a ship. 'Liberator' has singer Heather snarling and growling, yet also delivering clean and clear vocals. Her range is absolutely astounding and a perfect match for the musical style of Graveshadow. Mid song, and you will hear a riff that is gonna lift the hairs on the back of your arms and neck, such is its effect. That one riff is pure heavy metal and is worth waiting the forty five minutes to hear. Also worth waiting for, is 'Warchief', in my opinion, the best song on the album. Mixing both vocal styles over a fast paced power metal foray, 'Warchief' is addictive, infectious and is one hundred percent sing a long able. 'Warchief' was the first song I ever heard by Graveshadow, and even before the vocals kicked in I was hooked. The album is brought to a close with the most anthemic style song on offer, 'Eden Ablaze'. Marching on majestically, hard rock meeting power metal, 'Eden Ablaze' is a melodic end to a great album.    
Overall, a passionate and powerful display of power metal, spliced with other genres such as thrash, death and doom, Graveshadow have delivered a superb album.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV