Shear – Breaking The Stillness

March 5, 2012 in Reviews by blackwindmetal

Breaking The Stillness

Shear first came across my radar just over a year ago when I happened across the Finnish sextet’s EP, In Solitude, somewhere over the internet, and since the four tracks on it were available for free download via the band’s page, I decided to try them out.  And I really liked what I heard.  The songs were solid, so when I found out that a full-length CD was coming down the pipes I was looking forward to hearing it.

Funnily enough, I’ve wound up having a lot of ambivalence about this album.  At first, I was really digging it.  I liked vocalist Alexa Leroux’s aggressive vocals, and I liked the aggressiveness of the music.  There is a lot of great technical stuff going on in this album and the guitar work is flawless, as is the production.  I liked the synths a lot.  It’s a very well-polished album for a debut full-length.

I’m not sure what changed, but the more I listened to it, the more ho-hum I began to feel about it.  I have no idea what happened, but the album began to bore me after about the third or fourth listen.  Lyrically, I got a little irritated by the relationship angst stuff some of the songs focus on.  And I eventually began to feel a sameness about the compositions, though they are tight and well-executed.

But somehow this band has gotten under my skin because I often find myself humming some of their very catchy chorus while I’m going about my day!

Two of the songs from the EP appear on the full CD, “In Solitude” and “Scorched.”  Both of them remain the strongest songs on the CD, in my opinion, especially “Scorched.”

But I can’t help feeling that the EP, despite its shortness, is the stronger release.  The other two songs on it, “Mistakes” and “Trapped In A Shell” are great songs, the latter in particular is probably Shear’s strongest song out of all I’ve listened to.

So, in the end, I’m not sure Breaking The Stillness lives up to its predecessor, but while it’s by no means a bad album at all – and indeed I think there will be a broad audience for Shear’s music and this is a very promising start – perhaps it just doesn’t fit my personal tastes.  But still…they have a lot of catchiness because I can’t get some of their choruses out of my head!

The album comes out comes out via digital release in North America on March 13, G/A/S gets it March 23, the rest of Europe gets it March 26, and it’s out in Finland March 28.

Allyson’s rating 3.0 out of 5