Bart M. : When I think of metalcore I think of American suburbs where the kids with the good lives live; kids who do not have a lot to complain about and one day decided to pick up some instruments and start playing music. Fed by the problems they saw and heard on the various media streams, pained by the idea that none of those problems were theirs, lyrics were created about how awful the world in all its facets is, and in how many ways this can mentally scar people that it is almost unbearable. And nobody understands that. The answer to this is some kind of misplaced anger that takes form through loud screaming, passages of clean singing and a lot of musical hassle. And with that hassle I mean rough breaks, blastbeats and low tuned guitars.
The typical formula for any metalcore band. Shields from London doesn't do an awful lot to change this stereotype, and they do not have to, because stereotypes are and will be loved in every genre, just because with them you will always know what to expect. After releasing two EP's, Shields has finally released their first longplayer, a record with twelve thrilling, angry, aggressive songs. The band does not have any unnecessarily difficult parts in their songs, which makes the music easy to follow. If you listen very carefully you might even taste a little Converge here and there. What Shields does to differentiate themselves from other bands in the same scene is how they use the guitar: not only as a raging riff-machine, no, we also hear a lot of haunting guitar melodies running in the background and even the rare Maiden-ish solo.
All in all, 'Life In Exile' is a record that anyone who is into this genre will definitely have no trouble digesting. The great thing about metalcore, even though I am not into it, is that it has given an entire generation an outlet through which they could express the anger inside of them, sometimes incite each other with it and eventually let it all out in the pit. I think it is a good thing that Shields is going to help the next generation with that.