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Review  by 

Matthew Haumschild

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The Shiver: 

"The Darkest Hour"

01. Ocean

02. The Key

03. Little Lonely Boy

04. Forgotten Soul

05. Bury

6. The Secret

07. Into The Darkest Hour

08. Runaway

09. Anything

10. Over

11. Now I Forget – Acoustic (Bonus Track)





 Very eclectic.

               I suppose, one of the drawbacks to downloading albums these days, is not getting the booklet that would normally come with a CD. In this instance, there wasn’t a digital booklet. I mention this because, there have been several times where I had no idea what Sciamanna was singing. Not that it sounded bad because it didn’t, however I would like to sing a long and I have no idea if I am singing the right words!

            The Shiver: who are they and how on Earth did I hear about them? My good friend Dominic Latscha, a fellow journalist on posted something on my Facebook wall ( about an interview that another Gryphon Metal writer, Salvo Russo, conducted with Federica “Faith” Sciamanna, the singer for “The Shiver,” and told me I should really check them out.  I had no clue who she was and no idea who they were. I decided to click on the link to take a look. The link contained a YouTube clip for one of their songs, “Ocean,” and before I listened to the interview, I wanted to know what I was getting into.


            Now, I am a sucker for bands that have a front woman, however, bands that have come out recently with female singers, have sounded just awful. This was not one of them I can assure you. What I dug about “Ocean” (and subsequent tracks) was the production. The songs sound very rich, with layers of guitars, bass and keyboards mixed in with ambient synths and layers of background vocals. The singing was mixed in a way where one could hear her but didn’t dominate the mix like every other band. The melodic singing fit the song and the band’s sound perfectly. The song sounds like it fits in the modern rock genre. The guitars had a very specific sound to them that wasn’t heavy like a metal band but felt like more in line with modern rock. Check out the clip and see for yourself.

            “The Key” is by far my favorite track on the album. This is what I was talking about in my first paragraph. I have no idea what she is singing about in this song but it sounds very cool. The only change I would make would be to cut the intro by 5 to 10 seconds because I feel that it’s too long. The song begins with a erie, dark/depressing keyboard/piano with singing. Then the song stops and a full barrage of cymbals, thundering drums, crushing guitars, and some excellent synth in the background. But what really got me, was just before the first verse, the producer, cuts all of the high end frequency out of the song along with the guitars, making it sound like the band is playing underwater. Then a very clean crisp drum fill brings the song back. The guitar is playing atmospheric sounds in the background, adding to the tapestry to the song, while the singer is singing about…who knows…but what I really liked, was how clean and pronounced the drums where. The snare sounded so snappy! Along with the kick drum and hi-hats. There would be times that I would turn to this track just to listen to what the drums were doing. The beat is infectious. The chorus brings the band back to rock and I think she is singing, ”you can’t stop me, you can’t hurt me,”…something about pain “sorrow….it just won’t go away!” It sounds just awesome! The arrangements for the rest of the song is something you don’t hear every day, the structure for the song changes three more times, adding in elements I wasn’t expecting at all. If this band were bigger, other artists would be remixing this track. Sick sick track!

            The rest of the album is very eclectic. “Lonely Boy” sounds dark but not evil depressing dark, more like a nighttime dark, pleasing. It’s a bit atmospheric, almost like a lullaby. “Bury” and “The Secret” remind me of other songs I’ve heard before from other bands but still noteworthy no less.

            I do have a few criticisms about the album. After a while, I forget that I am listening to them. That’s good and bad: good because I’m not shutting it off because it sucks, bad because it’s not standing out enough and if it doesn’t stand out, I or any other listener, might not think too strongly about the band or the album as a whole which can ultimately hurt the band.  The introduction to “The Key” is a little too long. If it were shorter, the song would be on the radio, I must have listened to this song 20 times this week.  The production and the layering in the songs are extremely well done. I like listening to the little things like the tambourine in the background, the shaker as the click track, just the little things that add to the big picture to the songs.

            Overall, I liked this album a lot.  I’m happy I purchased it and I would recommend it to anyone. I enjoy the brand of metal the band produces and it’s a shame they’re not bigger, I would totally see them play live.



Matthew Haumschild





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