Graveshadow is a symphonic / gothic / power metal band from Sacramento, CA. They are fronted by vocalist Heather Michele. She sounds great, and shows off her fantastic range and in an instant, can switch to growling vocals that tear right through you. I was lucky enough to see them last year open for Sirenia and they are great live. The new album “Ambition’s Price” is a giant leap forward for this band in my opinion. The recording quality of this album is top notch and every song has raw guitars, as well as solid bass, drums and keyboard work. At the end of the day, the album is carried by Heather’s incredible talent to sing in about every way one can sing metal music. Add the very catchy choruses and you have a very good album! In the bands music you will find songs about vampires, werewolves and other creatures, along with songs about personal struggle.
The album opens with Doorway to Heaven. A great keyboard into sets the mood and then the guitar riffs kick in with the drums and bass picking up the tempo. This song has it all and gives you a great feel of what is to come. Heather starts out with her very melodic singing which takes us through the first part of the song. Then out of nowhere, her growling vocals explode into the song and are simply awesome. The song never loses it melodic feel, even with all the different vocal changes. Toward the end of the song, it becomes very soft and you really get to hear how perfect Heather’s voice is. The whole song is an emotional ride throughout.
The title track Ambition’s Price is another song that stands out. Once again it has a great musical opening. All the songs have a great atmosphere in them that is dark and haunting. Heather is once again singing in a perfect voice, and we are treated to a nice melodic guitar solo. Aaron Robitsch is a very good lead guitarist and along with William Lloyd Walker III, they make a great guitar tandem.
The next song Hero of Time has a great pace to it that always feels like it is moving forward. We are treated to a blistering guitar solo in this song that just rips into you. It is a short song at just over three minutes, but it leaves a lasting impression on you.
On the flip side, we have Gates that is almost six minutes long. A solid one-minute intro really sets the tone of this track that starts as a power ballad, and that has its share of growling vocals. We also find another solid melodic guitar solo in this song. As we near the end, the intensity picks up and finishes strong.
Return to Me has a totally different feel then the first part of the album. Vocally it is Heather just singing straight forward. Her vocals throughout this song are a bit haunting, we have no growling vocals on this track. What we do have is some great melodic keyboard and guitar music, especially towards the end of the song. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. I just love the haunted feeling it leaves you with.
Liberator comes at you like a thousand tons of bricks. It opens with some seriously thrashing guitar and growling vocals to boot. The first minute of this song tears you face off. It is definitely one of the hardest songs on the album and really shows the range of Graveshadow. It also has a nice organ piece in the middle. This album has melodies, growling vocals, thrash metal and everything in between. There is nothing about this album I do not like.
Warchief does not make you wait for a guitar solo, it opens with one that is completely in your face. Then Heather starts in with more outstanding vocals. The song also has the endless guitar sound chugging through it. It is another stand out song amongst many.
I never review every song on an album, because I want someone who buys it to experience some songs for the first time themselves. I can honestly say this is my favorite release of the year so far and I was not expecting that. This album is great in every way and has eleven songs and over 50 minutes of music for your listening enjoyment. I highly recommend you pick this album up and get ready for some great in your face music.
You can pre-order your copy of Graveshadow’s ‘Ambition’s Price’, out April 13th via M-Theory Audio HERE!