The work these boys have put into this is just phenomenal and, putting aside the fact that there are some ripper tracks, there is a clear jump in sound quality from their previous albums.
The first time I saw Miss May I back in 2012 (goddamn that makes me feel old) they were supporting Parkway Drive at one of my very first underage shows at Festival Hall. Front row, with Ryan Neff falling into my lap I went home raving about the absolutely incredible act that I had just witnessed. I knew then that the boys would explode onto the scene with their unforgettable melodies and loose-lipped, poignant message. I was not wrong.
Six years later, having left Rise Records last year to join seemingly untameable forces with SharpTone the new album is nothing short of anthemic, the movement from track to track effortless, and the content is undeniably hard-hitting.
“Shadows Inside” reminds us exactly why we fell in love with Miss May I in the first place, reminiscent of their much earlier stuff without feeling like there have been any steps taken backward – the title track “Shadows Inside” starts the album off with a straight punch to the gut, an indication of what’s to come. It flows seamlessly into “Under Fire” which will undoubtedly be a crowd favourite when they get around to touring.
After the second run through I found myself singing along with every track but my personal favourite “Swallow Your Teeth” is in arguably catchy, unexpected of a metal-core album. Neff’s clean vocals are joyously well presented and the contrast between his vocal and Levi Benton’s guttural screams are perfection. The lyrics are cleverly unforgettable and will get you hook, line and sinker.
Each track is evidently distinct from each other; something that is hard to come by in a fifth studio album. There is no question that Miss May I are experts at song structure and intonation. They know how to write great songs.
“Shadows Inside” takes us through a narrative of heart wrenching agony and emotional wreckage but always with the knowledge that every pain will reach it’s inevitable end and tells us that there will be triumph amongst the wreckage. This is an album of incessant and ever increasing power and passion. There are no low points.
If you’ve never been a fan of Miss May I you will be. This album transcends any expectations you may have of a metalcore album, for all the right reasons.