The War Within (Shadows Fall album)

Last updated
The War Within
Shadows Fall The War Within.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 21, 2004
RecordedApril – May 2004 at Planet Z Studios in Hadley, Massachusetts
Genre Thrash metal, metalcore
Label Century Media
Producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris, Shadows Fall
Shadows Fall chronology
The Art of Balance
The War Within
Fallout from the War
Singles from The War Within
  1. "What Drives the Weak"
    Released: March 22, 2005
  2. "Inspiration on Demand"
    Released: June 4, 2005
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Chronicles of Chaos Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]
LambgoatStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [3]
Revolver Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg
Sputnikmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [4]
Rock Hard (de)8.5/10 [5]

The War Within is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Shadows Fall. The album has sold over 300,000 copies worldwide. [6] The War Within is the band's best selling album, and in 2005 made sales history on Century Media Records when it became the labels best selling album of all time. [7] To date, the album retains this status. The album was also issued as a limited edition digipak with an exclusive bonus DVD that featured bootleg concert footage along with drum and guitar lessons from members of the band. The album debuted at number 20 on the Billboard 200 during its release. [8]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Shadows Fall American metal band

Shadows Fall is an American heavy metal band from Springfield, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. Although Shadows Fall has experienced several line-up changes, for most of its recording career, Shadows Fall has been composed of Jon Donais, Matt Bachand, Paul Romanko (bass), Brian Fair, and Jason Bittner (drums).

Century Media Records record label

Century Media Records is a heavy metal record label with offices in the United States, Germany and London. In August 2015, Century Media was acquired by Sony Music for US $17 million.


Lyrical themes

The following is a quote from Tom Bejgrowicz, who worked closely with Brain Fair on the overarching themes and concepts portrayed by the album. He also designed the album artwork.

The idea for The War Within turned to one man – any man, mind you – and the chaos and beauty that surrounds each of us here on earth. Birth, death, love, hate, riots, pollution, power, religion, nature, corruption of the mind, the soul, and so on. By simply living, we are open and susceptible to them all – to confront each of them, from within. [9]

The track "Those Who Cannot Speak" is dedicated to Brian Fair's autistic niece and nephew. Fair explained in an interview:

It’s something I’ve dealt with my niece and nephew who’ve had different forms and mild learning disabilities when it comes to speech – associating objects with language and things like that. And I also read a lot of Faulkner and he always seemed to have characters that kinda had that amazing poetry in their internal monologue but couldn’t speak. And that always intrigued me. [10]

Critical reception

The War Within received positive reception on its initial release. The album debuted at position no. 20 on the Billboard 200 — the band's highest charting album. Wade Kergan of Allmusic notes that the band has grown beyond the metal-loving hardcore crowd, now having more in common with the classic thrash of Metallica. [1] Michael Gluck of Lambgoat commented that the album "delivers itself with a fury and honoring of eighties metal guitar and vocal harmonies." [3] In 2005, the album was ranked number 370 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time. [11]

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California, by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

The song "What Drives the Weak" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Metal Performance in 2006, however the award went to Slipknot for the song "Before I Forget." [12] [13] In a 2009 MetalSucks feature titled "21 Best Metal Albums of the 21st Century... So Far", the album was listed as number 20 based on poll data from professionals in the metal industry. [14] The editors wrote, "The Art of Balance, their third album, was solid, but The War Within was where they really hit their stride. The dual guitars of Donais and Bachand spotlighted great solos and dual harmonies that could be appreciated by both Anthrax fans and pentatonic sweep enthusiasts."

Grammy Award Accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.

The Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance is an award presented at the Grammy Awards to recording artists for works containing quality performances in the heavy metal music genre. The Grammy Awards is an annual ceremony, where honors in several categories are presented by The Recording Academy of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position". The ceremony was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.

Slipknot (band) American heavy metal band

Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. The band was founded in 1995 by percussionist Shawn Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray. After several lineup changes in its early years, the band settled on nine members for more than a decade: Crahan, Jordison, Gray, Craig Jones, Mick Thomson, Corey Taylor, Sid Wilson, Chris Fehn, and Jim Root. Gray died on May 24, 2010, and was replaced during 2011–2014 by guitarist Donnie Steele. Jordison left the band due to illness on December 12, 2013. Steele left during the recording sessions for .5: The Gray Chapter. The band found replacements in Alessandro Venturella on bass and Jay Weinberg on drums. After the departure of Jordison, as of December 2013 the only founding member in the current lineup is percussionist Crahan. Fehn left the band due to lawsuit on March 18, 2019.

Track listing

All lyrics written by Brian Fair; all music composed by Shadows Fall.

Brian Fair American singer

Brian Fair is an American musician from Massachusetts, best known as lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Shadows Fall. He graduated from Milford High School in 1993, and went on to study literature at Boston University.

1."The Light That Blinds"4:58
2."Enlightened by the Cold"3:02
3."Act of Contrition"3:41
4."What Drives the Weak"4:44
6."Inspiration on Demand"3:52
7."The Power of I and I"3:34
8."Ghosts of Past Failures"4:13
9."Eternity Is Within"4:08
10."Those Who Cannot Speak"5:15
Japanese edition bonus track
11."Teas'n Pleas'n" (Dangerous Toys cover)3:14
Limited edition bonus DVD
1."Stepping Outside the Circle" (bootleg fan footage compiled and edited by Zach Merck) 
2."Of One Blood" (live bootleg) 
3."A Fire in Babylon" (live bootleg) 
4."Guitar Lesson 1" (with Jon Donais & Matt Bachand) 
5."Guitar Lesson 2" (with Jon Donais & Matt Bachand) 
6."Drum Lesson" (with Jason Bittner) 

Song usage


Chart positions

2004The Billboard 200 20 [8]
2004 Top Independent Albums 1 [8]
2004 Japanese Albums Chart [15] 205
2005"What Drives the Weak" Mainstream Rock Tracks 38 [16]
"Inspiration on Demand"33 [17]

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Zeuss is an American record producer, mixer, guitarist and songwriter.


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