My review: IAMTHESHADOW – Pitchblack


My review

Third album for the Portuguese ( plus the Ep ALL OUR DEMONS ) and we are facing a change, an approach turning towards novelties that strengthen the sound without losing anything of their overt style.

These are songs showing courage, wisdom and method for the fact that they give above all to themselves reasons for pride that include not wanting to repeat endlessly a possible cliché.

They are 12 grey feathers surrounding our heart: Pedro Rui and Vitor are immersed in a journey and step by step they show them to us, they place them inside a Darkwave that feeds on flashes of Coldwave without forgetting particles of Postpunk.

These are feathers that will caress our wounds and make our daily pains and labours more bearable.

The general atmosphere of the album doesn’t differ much from the other productions, but here we find a greater presence of guitars and a remarkable propensity to create songs full of solutions that endear our listening: we are in front of a considerable change and we all benefit from it.

The three guys don’t abandon the darkness and moreover they invited in three songs three artists like Diego Merletto from The Frozen Autumn, Kadri Sammel from Bedless Bones and Yvette Winkler from Vaselyne to give further meaning to their innovative and experimental path, in addition to being a legitimate consequence of the friendships they established.

We just have to go and take a closer look at these petals, smell their flavour and become inebriated with intensity.

Song by song


The first grey feather: the open track starts immediately pointing out that electronics, keyboards and a bass can coexist in the Portuguese band: a powerful and sensual beginning.


A magnetic guitar, keyboards suspending our breath, Rui on bass does not spare himself and off you go, the second feather shows its wet and wild body, this is flying poetry.


The song that gives the title to the album is the confirmation that something new surrounds their style, Pedro’s voice is the daughter of the signs of the best Darkwave singers, in the chorus it is doubled and we are surrounded by a lethal and seductive cold.

The Days

With the fourth feather, the guitar shows its elegance, Pedro starts confidently and then Vitor and Rui dominate the scene, while the voice swells our veins to shake us, eventually using a higher tone that surprises and conquers us definitely.

Higher Than The Soul

Here we are catapulted into the hills, we run, sweat and dance with the fifth feather: the band we knew and loved well shows its best beat and we enjoy it like in a trance. Intense and dark.

Awake & Asleep

This song, written with Diego Merletto from The Frozen Autumn, is a flame, a tear dancing among dark and dense keyboards.

The voices are passionate, sublime, melancholic, capable of releasing chain emotions.

It is a tune that generates tension, expectation, that slips inside us without a possibility of stopping it: Pedro and his companions find with this moving melody the key to make us slaves of a Darkwave with its best, convincing dress.

There is a great work in terms of melody of vocals, perhaps as never before, and it can only produce a great pathos.

The guitar, which seems to be kept in the background, is instead essential to unite everything, giving a greater meaning to keyboards. But it is effective and equally fundamental.


And the state of Grace increases: having found the melody, the depth of a bass shattering our stomach, the guitar confirms that it knows how to be a queen that emanates depth in its kingdom with keyboards protecting it. It is immediate seduction, one of the most beautiful tunes ever for the Portuguese, we cry silently, moved, this feather will remain in our eyes.


It is already difficult and maybe useless to find in our mind a song that seems to oust the others, but Ouroboros, with Kadri Sammel from Bedless Bones, is a clear harbinger of the future: the new and the old here are facing each other, they live together perfectly; vocals, the two voices together, their melodies show a different petal, and the music seals everything perfectly.


The ninth feather starts slowly, later becoming a hypnotic dance: the 80s turn their gaze to this track that seems to be the daughter of that time, with its identity, its sad structure and Pedro’s vocals that are like a tear suspended among keyboards. Rui’s bass moves, beats us but does it with respect and the guitar blends with all this in total perfection.


Here it is, the new demonstration that the band is evolving, is looking for new horizons.

This grey feather sees inside it the voice of Yvette Winkler from Vaselyne and everything becomes rarefied, suspended, an enchantment that with the partially slow rhythm later finds a vivacity confirming its beauty. Mysterious, it digs inside us with new and convincing musical solutions.

To last

The eleventh feather arrives and we are facing the likely absolute masterpiece of the record.

Here everything is pure experimentation for the three guys, the song smells of immensity and tension, suspended and so sad that we are moved.

The air becomes rarefied, a voice that shows all its delicacy while being deep, keyboards chords that take us from the hill to high altitude, the song also knows a lack in drumming: at that point we get short of breath and later we catch it again.

And the end is a pleasant catharsis.


And for the last feather a dancing rhythm is back, a guitar that appears and disappears to make us curious, and this song closes the circle perfectly, conquers us and leaves our palate satisfied. Here too the attention to vocals is magnificent, and the atmosphere is that of a day where we could feed on beauty, this poignant and grey melody is the perfect synthesis of an impeccable and valid artistic journey, a perfect gloss confirming that now this band is ready to reach new consensus.

Alex Dematteis

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