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Shelter With Thieves - A Dark Chapter in the Human... Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.25
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 6
Production 5.75
Creativity 6.25
Lasting Value 6.5
Reviewer Tilt 7
Final Verdict: 65%
Member Ratings
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Shelter With Thieves - A Dark Chapter in the Human...

Reviewed by: Undue Noise (03/07/09)
Shelter With Thieves - A Dark Chapter in the Human Experiment
Record Label: None
Release Date: November 2007


"Poor Miss Shepherd." "Riot Gear Fashion Show." "Nursery Crimes." "Dance Fucker Dance." These are just a handful of titles that I first glanced upon when looking at the cover to A Dark Chapter in the Human Experiment, dreading the predictably horrible experience that irrelevant titles seem to preempt. Oh how wrong I was.

Hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada, alternative four piece Shelter With Thieves deliver their debut album, A Dark Chapter in the Human Experiment; a stunning, sprawling frenzy, encompassing a multitude of styles and themes. Self-dubbed “alternative rock,” the genre heading does not encompass the array of sounds on the album. Dabbling in all areas of musical experimentation, the band has no fear in altering traditional song structure to create their music, with many songs shifting in time signature and musical composition. All of the tracks are dissimilar, with each song fleshed out with pulsing drums and accented guitar work, meshing to create an album that is an experience to listen to.

Nothing is predictable on this album, giving Shelter With Thieves an edge over their competitors. Vocalist Mike Johnson sings almost flawlessly with the music; his voice always on the edge of a scream but never quite reaching that level of hysteria, giving a duality to the intricate guitar work that makes itself known prominently through a mixture of thrash style riffs and gentle acoustic backing. The lyrics are simple but effective; believable and visceral and compel emotion without being pleading. Album highlight “The Conduit” showcases all of the band’s best attributes; the steady progression, the constant drum beat and the overlapping guitar solos, as well as the lyrics; “Sleep it off / They all belong to what we hide / Never take too long to switch sides,” sung by Johnson with steadily more and more anguish at each refrain, conveying so much more emotion than screaming ever could.

Praise is due to Shelter With Thieves for offering such an intriguing and complex album, especially without the support of a record label. Despite the production being substandard, it doesn’t affect the overall sound quality; the garage-sounding production gives the album much more energy than a major label producer polish could. While some songs do lack in resonance, therefore making them less memorable than others, as a whole, the album is an excellent debut. Hopefully it leads to many great things for a deserving band.

Shelter With ThievesMike Johnson - vocals and guitar
Lloyd Smith - guitar
Matt Johnson - drums
Dave Mullett - bass guitar

Recommended If You LikeCoheed and Cambria; Thrice; heavy and prog rock; QOTSA

myspace.com/shelterwiththieves
 
Displaying posts 1 - 6 of 6.
10:02 PM on 03/15/09
#2
fadedmemories
You'd be good for me
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Good job Olivia.
11:16 PM on 03/27/09
#3
Broden Terry
I'm glad I built myself an igloo
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Such a great review Liv! I'm going to have to check this out. I'll give it a download first.
12:59 PM on 04/04/09
#4
Undue Noise
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Such a great review Liv! I'm going to have to check this out. I'll give it a download first.
Ah thank, sorry I only realised you commented on this haha. I'm surprised anyone noticed this review, but I just thought I'd give a mention to a good, unknown and unsigned band. Thanks for saying so Broden!
Thanks Jay!
02:56 PM on 04/04/09
#5
Broden Terry
I'm glad I built myself an igloo
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Ah thank, sorry I only realised you commented on this haha. I'm surprised anyone noticed this review, but I just thought I'd give a mention to a good, unknown and unsigned band. Thanks for saying so Broden!

No problem, I've only heard their Myspace songs but I think it's so good that they mix heavy with melodic. Of course I noticed it. You wrote it and you're really a very talented reviewer.
01:39 AM on 04/05/09
#6
fadedmemories
You'd be good for me
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Ah thank, sorry I only realised you commented on this haha. I'm surprised anyone noticed this review, but I just thought I'd give a mention to a good, unknown and unsigned band. Thanks for saying so Broden!

Thanks Jay!
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