We somewhat appropriately open the album with "The Dark Gift Of Life" and there's no messing around here...from the very first note we're crushed against a wall of sonic intensity and it simply refuses to let up, from Edwin's guttural vocals through Rudy and Romain's relentless riff-work...it's melodic but oh so equally menacing; we really have witnessed the birth of a demon...a solid introduction. "Frozen Griefs" picks up immediately afterwards and here even more so you can feel the strong influence that thrash has had on the band. It's tempo, it's structure and delivery, even down to the solo, this is a great throwback to that classic, defining era from which thrash blossomed like the thorniest of roses.
"The Engraved Path" begins suspiciously calm and really reinforces a sense of evil, the sinister intentions that filter through your sub-conscience, you know something wretched has crawled out of hell to deliver this track personally and it doesn't disappoint; combining an old-school metal vibe with darker, devilish undertones, you'll find this track engraved in your psyche, while both contrasting and complimentary, "Meanders" does exactly that as it initially flows gently through your speakers. Granted it picks up, but, it shows there's more musical depth in the five-piece than you'd assume. "Lord Vlad" hits you like a stake through the heart with it's brutal, blood thirsty, Dracula-inspired story telling, before we finish up on "The Shadow Of Forgotten"...a brief instrumental closing outro of sorts, rounding things off nicely.
Altered Shade have shown here on this debut that they are more than ready to step out of the shadows and make a name for themselves in an ever diverse world of metal, with not only an abundance of genre's to choose from, but fresh new scenes to tap into across the globe. Home is where the heart is, and if your heart belongs to all things heavy in music it doesn't matter what nationality you are; fuck the yellow brick road, follow the path of souls.