HADAL – Painful Shadow

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Sliptrick Records
Distributor/label URL: https://sliptrickrecords.com/
Released: 2017
Buy Album: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XKCNQB8/
Band Website: http://www.intothehadal.com/

Band line-up:

Alberto – Vocals
Max – Guitar
Franco – Guitar
Daniele – Drums
Teo –Bass


01. Intro
02. Painful Shadow
03. The Shape Of Lies
04. Dying Fall
05. Slow Violence
06. Illusion
07. Vox Arcana08. Nocturnal
09. Land Of Grief
10. Black Flowers
11. White Shade (bonus track)


Hadal started in 2009 and this is the bands first full-length album. The ‘extensive gigging’ they have done evidently has paid off, as for a first album this is a very mature release, although the separate members are no noobs – at different points, they’ve played with Necrosphere and Luca Turilli. Apparently, Alberto, the vocalist, joined in 2014 and helped change their direction somewhat. They claim to keep all the music true to the 90’s roots that inspired it, citing Paradise Lost and Amorphis, amongst others.

Title track ‘Painful Shadow’ is the first proper track, and it’s a great opener, although, I’m pretty sure he sings the line “like snakes on a plane” at one point, which is weird. Alberto’s vocals are distinctive. I really enjoy the fairly soulful singing as well as the growling, which whilst may not be groundbreaking it’s done in a refreshing way, and the almost lilting riffs are delivered with panache. As well as having the doom metal sound, I still hear quite a bit of trad goth influence in it, particularly on tracks like ‘Land of Grief’. The whole thing is slow and melancholic, rather than heavy. ‘Vox Arcana’ is definitely my favourite on the album. I’ve actually caught myself singing it when doing the washing up (that is my main gauge of how good music is, whether or not it takes my mind off housework), it really is a catchy little number.

Having said all this, I wouldn’t claim the album to be perfect. The playing, mixing and mastering is admittedly faultless, but there are times when I find it a little forced. There’s the odd, slightly chichi moments and times when I find his vocals a bit indie 90’s and out of place for the music.

All in all though, it’s an album I’ve enjoyed and I’ll be buying!

Review by: Bob Davidson