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Only A Shadow Remains: Control
Only A Shadow Remains Control new music review

Only A Shadow Remains: Control

Thrash Metal
Rating: 2.5/5.0

This solo project from Armon Nicholson was supposed to get a higher rating, but thrash nowadays is rather diluted by endless bands who think they're the second coming of Slayer. It's just not happening, more so with Control. Sure, the labor behind this work of heart (which happens to be the title for the album's fattest song) may have been grueling, but the current market doesn't care about personal sacrifice. Judging by how much here needs improvement, Armon has an epic struggle ahead of him, but to his credit he's making those painful baby steps toward improvement.

Instrumental opener Degeneration aspires to the same grim heights as Death, Sacrifice, Sodom, and early extreme metal galore. Nu-uh, it totally fails. Only a very patient listener will discern its merits, buried as they are in an awful mix. The brutal stuff commences for the mediocre serial killer yarn I'm Inside You and continues on the title track. Ho-hum. Work Of Heart proves a serious stomper until a tedious succession of sloppy offerings pours from your speakersóDissipate, Tyrant, Black. In the same breath: Unoriginal, tired, bland. In kinder words: Still on its way to something memorable. Yet there's a smidgen of redemption floating around here, like the Carcass reminiscent Revenge and Ash, which has a few golden moments but fails to make an impression. For starters, the production is DIY and not surprisingly raw. On the vocals department Armon fancies himself a belter of the Tom Araya mold and it's passable at best. The lyrics are unimaginative, done to death, and dry. However, amid the glut of awfulness are a few promising gems.

First, Armon knows his songwriting. He already knows how to draw the proverbial box and hopefully he'll start thinking out of it real soon. Second, if Control is but a field test of things to come, at least it's halfway decent, leaving ample room for future growth. Third, musicianship-wise Armon has the chops for more ambitious endeavors. Though it's tempting to make bones about the album's packaging, it'll be ignored for now, thereby leaving its creator a shred of dignity.

This may be a bad start, but it's hardly the last we'll hear from Only A Shadow Remains. For all you solo artists coming in from the cold, remember that the path to recognition is fraught with pain and suffering. And patience. Don't forget patience. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

Note: All Amazon advertising in this review first benefits the artist, then Craig Hartranft also receives a residual. Click, and thanks for your support.

In Short

This may be a bad start, but it's hardly the last we'll hear from Only A Shadow Remains.

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