Review by Shannon Shumaker
Musically, The Relapse Symphony’s Shadows (The Acoustic Sessions) is absolutely killer. Sometimes, guitar work on acoustic albums seems to fade into the background, fall short, or simply feel bland, but that isn’t the case with The Relapse Symphony’s acoustic re-release of Shadows. Throughout this entire album, the guitar work is superb and the vocals are gritty and strong.
The guitar work on “We Are The Broken,” the first track on Shadows (The Acoustic Sessions) starts the album off strong - it’s just a taste of what is to come. The strong guitar work throughout this song and many others (such as “One More Yesterday” and “Walls”) keeps this acoustic album upbeat and moving forward.
The only real gripe I have with this album is the lack of passion in the vocals at times. I feel that acoustic albums should be for stripped down, raw versions of songs, some of the tracks vocally just fall a little flat for me. For instance, while the guitar work on “We Are The Broken” is some of the strongest on the record, the vocals just don’t sound as passionate or emotional as I’d expect an acoustic track to sound - there just isn’t any energy or fire behind them. The same is true with the incredible track, “Savage Eyes,” which, with such strong lyricism, falls short without emotional vocals and half-hearted “Whoa”s.
That being said, however, there are absolutely some songs that shine on this album. “Battlefield Of Lies,” for instance definitely hosts some very beautiful harmonies. “Make Your Move” is a really catchy and upbeat track, and on top of that, the vocals do have a lot of energy and versatility. In fact, the vocals and the lyrics on “Make Your Move” are some of the strongest on this album, which is no surprise considering that it was also one of my favorite tracks on the non-acoustic version of the album. “Walls” is also another strong track vocally - you can definitely hear the emotion in the vocals in this track, and the keychange halfway through the song is absolutely flawless.
While I don’t think that The Relapse Symphony necessarily nailed this acoustic album, they have absolutely proven their versatility with it. There are some songs on this album that maybe just don’t work as well acoustically, but similarly, there are some songs (especially “Make Your Move” and “Walls”) that absolutely shine acoustically, adding another level of emotion to already catchy songs. If you were a fan of the band’s original album, Shadows, then I highly recommend giving Shadows (The Acoustic Sessions) a listen.
Listen to "Make Your Move"