• Shadow Of Doubt – No Mercy

    Shadow Of Doubt – No Mercy
    Released by: War Records
    Released on: June 2nd, 2017.
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    Comprised of Ely Castillo (formerly of Bitter End) on vocals, Patrick Flanigan on guitar, Jeremy Pacheco also on guitar, Lorenzo Sixtos on drums and Justin Crude on bass, Shadow Of Doubt, who hail from Texas, have been around since 2014. No Mercy, a new four song cassette E.P. out next month, is their first recording for War Records (owned by Andrew Kline of Strife) and their first official follow up to a demo that they released in 2014. The four songs were recorded at Bad Wolf Studios by Phillip Odom and then mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (the same Brad Boatwright who has mastered recent released by Integrity and Power Trip).

    Beyond kicks the recording off, just short of two minutes of classic hardcore inspired mayhem. Guitars up front, big drums, heavy bass lines and some seriously pissed off vocals. There’s a big Agnostic Front influence here, but most won’t complain and the unexpected slowdown and the direction that the vocals go around the half way point see the band putting their own stamp on a traditional sound.

    No Mercy, the title track, is two and a half minutes of righteous anger with Castillo’s vocals front and center in the mix and playing a bigger part in the band’s sound than they did on the opener. Things occasionally get a bit melodic here, which is kind of surprising, but it never takes away from the intensity of the playing or the band’s style. The NYHC influence on this band is undeniable, you can hear it in every track on this recording, but again, they do what they do really well.

    Neglect starts off with a calm, quiet bit of guitar work, the drums really subdued, mostly just some light work on the cymbals. We know this won’t last, and it doesn’t, because it all comes crumbling down thirty seconds later resulting in a sort of groove-heavy hardcore sound that sounds like it was influenced by Cro-Mags. There’s some weird melodies going on in the background vocals but it makes this track stand out and gives Shadow Of Doubt their own sort of sound. This is a good thing, particularly because in a lot of ways these guys do wear their influencers on their sleeves.

    Last but not least is the fourth and final track, Fade, which clocks in at just over three minutes in length. Some impressively chunky bass work from Crude anchors this one as Castillo goes off behind the microphone with an impressively angry tone. The guitars are riff heavy and impressively heavy but again, there’s a solid backbone here, a groove of sorts that makes this easy to get into.

    No Mercy is also being released by War Records as a ten song CD, but that wasn’t made available for review.