I have repeatedly express my opinion for the Finnish Metal scene, and the way bands over there often manage to create music that crosses many boundaries to achieve a unique and interesting character. Shade Empire exist since 1999, and this is their fourth album, following the 2008 release of Zero Nexus. As I already said, I am a little biased when it comes to Finnish bands therefore I was anxious about what to expect from this one as well. The album starts with a killer melodic intro which somehow escalates and then all Hell breaks loose. They are playing a mixture of Symphonic Black, with enough Death elements, tons of very interesting melodies, and some magnificent keyboard lines that somehow enhance the atmosphere of the album. The music is impressive, in any way you see it, and the band seems to be in a very creative period. The first thing that draws the attention is the way the keyboard melodies blend with the guitar riffs, giving a spectacular, and somehow cinematic result. Raw and aggressive, with brutal vocals, but also with the appropriate melodic lines, the music creates a great atmosphere. The guitars are almost flawless, creating some really unique riffs and melodies, and so are the vocals, sometimes closer to Death and others closer to Black screaming, narrating, growling, and coloring the songs. Along with that comes a rhythm section that creates an endless groove, that varies from hyper blasting to slower parts, but with the same ease and perfection. Brutality and melody go hand in hand and often, one steps down for the other to take the leading role, maximizing the result and making the listener craving for more. Another strong point of the album is the ability of the music to create scenes in your mind while listening, with images of devastated places, deserted cities and endless nights coming out of mine over and over. There are no less good moments, or indifferent songs, and despite the length of some songs, it never gets boring. It's one of those albums you want to listen again and again, with each spin bringing new things to the surface, that make your experience a bit more complete, and put some extra details or dead bodies to the scenes we mentioned before.