As Seattle was to grunge in the '90s, New England is to metal this decade.

As Seattle was to grunge in the '90s, New England is to metal this decade. Boston-area bands like Killswitch Engage, Unearth and Hatebreed have found success by staying true to their metalcore roots. Shadows Fall is no exception. The band's appearance on last year's Ozzfest tour helped its third album, "The Art of Balance," become the first in the history of its label to exceed 100,000 copies in sales. "The War Within" contains all of the elements that put the act on the map: a sound owing equal parts to '80s thrash merchants (like Testament and Anthrax) and European metal, excellent dual guitar work from Matt Bachand and Paul Romanko, and Brian Fair's alternately screamed and sung vocals. It's also the group's most mature recording, wherein acoustic interludes evolve into full-on thrashfests with singalong choruses. Widespread commercial airplay remains unlikely. Still, Shadows Fall keeps gathering strength.—BT

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