Shadows Of The Valley

How good is Shadows of the Valley on a scale of 1-10?


  • Total voters
    67

ArcherRanger

Prowler
This is easily my #2 track from the album with only empire ranking higher. The album as a whole is a throwback to the older 80's style maiden, with a fusion of post reunion 2000's style. SOTV is the perfect example of this with both riff and lyrical references to classic maiden, with post reunion harmonies and counter-melodies. The title and last chorus "into the valley of death..." are a HUGE reference to the trooper, talking about the same historical event, the 1854 charge of the light brigade at the Battle of balaclava during the crimean war. The trooper is taken from the perspective of a dragoon in the light brigade where as shadows of the valley is the perspective of the officer in command of the brigade reflecting on the event years later. Th officer was actually one of the 190 dragoons who survived the charge.
 

JudasMyGuide

Ever the Southern Gentleman
9/10 for me. The third after TRATB and the title track. When Smith introduces that Into the Valley of Death theme in his solo (around 5:24) my heart skips a beat. You know what I'm talking about.
 

JudasMyGuide

Ever the Southern Gentleman
Well, "a pronounced distinctive part by a single guitar" is a "solo" in my book, but well, semantics...

EDIT: Simply put, I personally divide guitar parts into "riffs" and "solos" and that part is closer to the latter. :)
 
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tuto

Invader
I dont think were speaking about the same thing here. At 5:12 is a guitar melody that sets up the mood for the solo. Then at 5:24 starts said solo
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I dont think were speaking about the same thing here. At 5:12 is a guitar melody that sets up the mood for the solo. Then at 5:24 starts said solo
What exactly is it you think we might speak or think different about?
 

tuto

Invader
What exactly is it you think we might speak or think different about?
I just thought we were talking about the solo itself at 5:24, and whether it was Dave's or Adrian's. The melody that preceedes it I really can't tell who is playing it, maybe Jan (?)
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
This is the one song that doesn't do anything for me. It has a lot of nice moments but overall it just feels long and kind of boring. The Wasted Years riff just seems too uncreative and there are a few other moments that seem too familiar. And overall it just feels like the song doesn't really go anywhere, it's just a bunch of parts glued together with no buildups or climaxes or any real direction. It just keeps going until the end. It really gives off that filler vibe, but it's almost worse because this song isn't short.

4
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Am I the only one who thinks Adrian and Jan traded roles here? This is this album's Lord of Light, When the River Runs Deep is its Pilgrim; if I had not known better, I would have sworn each song was written by the other guy.

Not keen on the Wasted Years intro; it's too random to be self-reverential, too derivative to be artistically valid.
I like the main rhythm, but it seems a little monochrome the way it just keeps going; it doesn't help separate the verse from the chorus. And it just continues into the first instrumental break, and even into the third verse and chorus! Such repetition can work if it underpins some dynamic melodies (see Revelations) but that ain't happening here for me.

It does finally improve in the second instrumental break, especially at 5:30 when a very interesting solo plays off a muted variation of the songs best melody. And the finale is good, it just didn't get the build-up necessary to pay of the way it should.

It's not as bad as this review might make it seem, but I find it the album's least interesting track.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Am I the only one who thinks Adrian and Jan traded roles here? This is this album's Lord of Light, When the River Runs Deep is its Pilgrim; if I had not known better, I would have sworn each song was written by the other guy.
I have the same with Total Eclipse. Adrian starts the song, it's a typical Adrian guitar style riff, kinda like 2 Minutes, Return of the King or The Wicker Man.
But Dave(!) is one of the credited people, not Adrian.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Great solos on this song. The intro is a little...wtf? I really don't much love this track. 6/10.
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
Am I the only one who thinks Adrian and Jan traded roles here? This is this album's Lord of Light, When the River Runs Deep is its Pilgrim; if I had not known better, I would have sworn each song was written by the other guy.
I don't agree. The main riff in this song has Janick written all over it. It's a really strong rocker once we get past the intro. 8/10.
 

BeThyJames

Trooper
Keyboards are too prominent in the mix for me and I really don't like the intro. After that it kind of plods a bit too. Last few minutes save it.

6
 

Gk1

Ancient Mariner
The production and sound quite bad throughout the album. As a matter of fact somehow the bad sound is very prominent in this song. It has got some great parts but it is quite repetitive. I think that the whole album has some great parts. For the most part some really great solos.... great melodies....however the arrangements in many cases are quite poor.
 
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