1. Blinded
2. End
3. Endeavour
4. Black River
5. Subways
6. Wound
7. Mountain Under the Sea

Mattias Lindström - Bass/Vocals
Nicklas Svehrén - Drums
Andreas Wiik - Guitars


Fredrik "Masken" Johansson - Nyckelharpa & Hurdy Gurdy

Recorded and mixed by Tobias Walka WMT
Additional Recording by Wiik
Mastered by Göran Finnberg @ The Mastering Room

Released 2012
Reviewed 27/5-2012


Swedish veterans Shiftlight are fifteen years into their career but only one album which is this one and Distance is the name of it, the debut album that was released digitally last year and a physical copy will be out 2012. Fifteen years and the debut album being released on a small local label, why is that? One might think that they are not that impressive so that no label can be interested or something like that but considering what is being released on labels already I doubt that. So a question is wether they have gone the distance to make an impressive debut album, they are being compared to bands like Opeth or Cult of Luna in the press information, those are quite highly regarded bands so it is something to live up to for this trio.

They are painting musical landscape on canvases of anxiety and aggression, they paint in many layers and they do it with shifting tempo and power and a bit of a progressive edge. The sound is also large and powerful, a very good production can be seen over the seven tracks which also shows for a decent bit of variation and not too long either which is always a positive. Something that isn’t a positive however is the vocals which I find being quite monotone and if the instrumentation and song structures drives the music forward the vocals makes it stagnate and that is a bit unfortunate because I think they had something going for them. Excitement and adventurous music is what I hear as long as I hear the instrumental parts but as soon as the vocals begins this is lost and that feeling of adventure and excitement is lost.

Cautious is one way of describing this album which despite the rather flawed vocals still is a good album, but in a way it is a bit disappointing as it could have been so much better had the vocals been more varied and interesting. Was it worth the fifteen year wait? about that I don’t really know, maybe it is but at the same time maybe it isn’t as it is good but nothing spectacular and had they been working for fifteen years writing this album it can be seen as a bit underwhelming but seeing it as a debut album I think it establishes a good base for the band to develop from and I did read in the press information that they are already planning for an upcoming album.

In the end I think that the worth of this album depends on your preference, if you adore the bands mentioned around this review I think you should look into this band because their music might appeal to you very much. If you are just interested in broadening you musical palette into the anxiety ridden darkish extreme metal I think that you might be better of looking towards any of the other bands mentioned here. But not to take away from this band as this is an exciting debut that unfortunately promises a little more than it finally keeps, but it still works rather well.




Label: Kamarillo
Three similar bands: Isis/Opeth/Tool
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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