Late this past April, up-and-coming hard rock group 2 Shadows released its new album, Bring The Cold Inside. While the album runs just seven songs deep, it is a record that the band’s targeted audiences will agree is worth hearing at least once. That is due in large part to its featured arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. While the arrangements that make up the album’s body do plenty to make it worth hearing, its production proves somewhat problematic, or so it would seem. This will be addressed a little later. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements adds its own share of interest. It will also be discussed later. Together with the noted musical content, the two elements make the record worth hearing at least once.
Bring The Cold Inside, the new album from up-and-coming hard rock band 2 Shadows, is a work that audiences will find interesting. That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are of interest because of their blend of sounds and styles. From one song to the next, each arrangement has its own identity separate from its counterparts. The songs mix elements of metalcore with more melodic hard rock leanings for what is an interesting overall musical presentation in each song. At the same time, one could also argue there is a bit of a death metal leaning incorporated into the arrangements along with the noted other styles and sounds. Again, this enhances the songs even more, making for reason enough for audiences to hear the record. Even as the band takes on Green Day’s ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ its heavier leanings take prominence over the more brooding, subdued nature of the original song. The only moment in the arrangements in which things really change is the record’s finale, which is an acoustic take of its own original, ‘Scratching at the Surface.’ Even in that case though, the arrangement still reaches its own unique level of heaviness. Again, taking all of this into account, the arrangements that make up the body of this album do their own share to make the record worth hearing.
While the arrangements featured in this record make for their own share of engagement and entertainment, the production that went into their presentation detracts from that enjoyment to a point. As already noted, there is a lot going on in each arrangement. Between the vocals and the overall instrumentations, there is so much sound and so much energy. That sound and energy ends up more often than not, almost becoming a wall of sound. The vocals become washed out by the instruments and the instruments just all sound too often, like one big mass. Maybe it is just the speakers on this critic’s computer, but the fact of the matter is that in this case, the arrangements just could have been better balanced through the production. Instead, it all becomes muddied, and in turn, somewhat difficult on the ears. Now as problematic as this is, it is not enough to make the record a failure, but it certainly would have made the overall presentation had more attention been paid to the sound balance throughout the record.
Moving on from the album’s production, its lyrical content works alongside its musical arrangements to give audiences more reason to give the record more reason to hear the record. Throughout the course of the record, its lyrical themes will engage audiences just as much as its musical arrangements. Case in point is the record’s opener, ‘Keep Breathing.’ This song presents a theme that at least to this critic is that of someone trying to help another person who is going through a lot of emotional and mental turmoil. That is inferred right from the song’s opening verse and chorus, which state, “Your lease of life is burning/Your affliction now returns/I can’t help myself/There’s something here/It’s reaching for you/Run away/It bleeds me out/It runs me down/Through my skin.” The seeming theme continues in the song’s, which states, “I see within your eyes/There’s nothing left/The devil deep inside that just won’t rest/The marks upon your skin/They just won’t mend/It locked you in/Will you ever win/Just keep breathing.” If in fact this critic’s interpretation is even close to being right, then it makes the song a work that will relate to plenty of audiences. That is because it comes across as helping people who are trying to help others fight those mental health battles.
On a completely opposite hand, a song, such as ‘Blackened Wings’ shows in its own way, the importance of the record’s lyrical themes. That is because of the thought and discussion it is certain to generate. The opening lines, with their mention of “pious mountains of sand always falling back into their hands/Their paper bones shearing blackened wings/And always investing in the never-ending,” conjure thoughts that perhaps the song centers on the religious institutions in this world. However, as the song progresses, the declaration that “You told me love would last forever/But my love’s buried six feet deep/And we’re all left to rot and wither” hints at perhaps a broken relationship. From there, the song makes mention of “Following siren psalms/Down the drain”, again lending the song to interpretation of a commentary on the Christian faith.” Simply put, there is a bit of depth here that is certain to engage audiences, and in turn generate plenty of discussion among listeners. This further proves the importance of the album’s lyrical content and is hardly the last example of that importance.
‘Scratching at the Surface’ is one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content. This song comes across as a commentary about someone who has had enough of others being fake, not only toward the subject but in general. This is inferred right from the song’s opening lines, which state, “Why can’t I see/Why can’t I hear/This wooden box you built of slander/Won’t keep me inside/You look away/You ridicule/How dare you say you know me/You don’t even know yourself/Why can’t you cope/Why can’t you heal/Do you even try to take the time/To lick your wounds/I dim the light/I hide my fear/I’m trapped inside your design/Give me time and you’ll be mine.” The song continues the inference, stating as it progresses, “Your keys/My cage/Lower me down to my grave/Your mind is stuck in a place so hollow/You think you’re heaven/But you’re ground zero/Just below your halo/Is there even a sign of sorrow.” Everybody knows at least one person like the one described here. This is that person who just has no scruples; that person who doesn’t care that he or she is just a horrible individual who is just so fake. The interpretation is pretty clear here. This song is certain to help any listener get through the frustration that such individuals cause, once more showing the importance of the record’s lyrical themes. When this is considered along with the other themes examined here and with the rest of the record’s lyrical content, the whole of said content leaves no doubt that the record’s lyrical themes are just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements. When that musical content is paired with the lyrical themes, the whole makes even clearer why this record is worth hearing, even despite its apparent production problems.
Bring The Cold Inside, the recently released new record from 2 Shadows, is an intriguing presentation that metal fans across the board will find worth hearing. That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements blend elements of a variety of metal subgenres, from metalcore to death metal to melodic hard rock for a unique presentation in each composition. The production of those blends is a little problematic, but not to the point that it makes the record a failure. It is just an item that deserved more attention. Speaking of attention, the lyrical themes that fill the album alongside its musical arrangements will keep audiences’ attention because of their ability to connect with listeners and the depth thereof. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of this record. All things considered, they make the album worth hearing at least once.
Bring The Cold Inside is available now. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at: