The beauty of metal often lies in the endless ways you can mold your music. One band could be playing a more brutal breed of metal, while others, like Light Among Shadows, rely on a more classical and symphonic sound to write their music. With their latest album Under the Waves, Light Among Shadows summons the symphonies.
As is often the case with symphonic metal or genres of the same family, the emphasis is put on the vocals. Though singer María Barragán has an excellent voice, I found that it lacked energy. It was almost too clean. Many would say that clear vocals are part of the appeal for this genre of metal, but in my humble opinion, having more attitude with your voice makes it easier to express feelings. The music itself feels repetitive and generic, without much soul. Again, I’ve said it before, but I always get the same feeling with this type of metal, as if they put more work into the overall epicness and presentation of the sound and not the structure itself. Drummer Alejandro Tineo and bassist Christopher Reed keep the music tight with a solid rhythm, but even then the drums feel empty and the bass is barely noticeable in the mix, unless I turned the bass nob on my speakers to the max. Guitarist Adrien Fowl has a solid tone, but there are no memorable riffs or solos on this album.
That being said, the merit of this album lies in the overall production. I won’t take back my original comment about bands focusing too much on “the overall epicness and presentation […],” but at least it gives a certain feel and magic to the album. The lyrics are about fairy tales, fantasy stories, and tales of horror, which got my attention and will surely appeal to many people. Though the individual musicians have some work to do to increase the emotion in their performances, the four musicians complement each other and play well as a band.
All in all, there is no question that Light Among Shadows know how to write songs, but they would improve with proper structure and showcasing more of their individual talents. There is much potential in this band, and they surely have a fan base which is loyal to them. This is not a vibe I enjoy, but maybe you will! Give them a chance and you may discover something!
Written by Johnathan Robinson
*edited by Kate Erickson