May 012023

On May 5th Time To Kill Records will release None Shall Prevail, the third LP by the Polish death metal band Shodan. In two words, it’s absolutely stunning.

Of course we have a lot my words to spill about it, but we’ll leap ahead through them to emphasize these: The album is a genuine rarity, in the sense that it has the potential to appeal to fans from across many genres of extreme metal, from brutal death metal to technical death metal, from prog metal to melodic death metal (and more).

Moreover, the band don’t reveal these different influences in separate songs, but beautifully integrate all of them in every track through songwriting that’s elaborate, dynamic, and executed with eye-popping skill. In addition, the record is exceptionally well-produced to emphasize these signal qualities, delivering both power and clarity.

Of course, it’s still way too early to be throwing around references to year-end lists, but None Shall Prevail is so spectacular that it seems like a very safe bet we’ll see it on many of those in the waning months of 2023.

Shodan and Time To Kill announced the album through a superb video for the lead single (and opening track) “Tamed in Unison”. With a view of the album as a whole, the logic of that choice becomes apparent.

The song is as volatile as a canister of nitroglycerine in an off-road vehicle actually being driven off-road — through a rock slide. Which is to say that it’s both frightening and explosive. Shodan quickly demonstrate the ravaging power of their ferocity, igniting blast-beat fusillades, vicious tremolo’d riffing, monstrous growls, and hair-raising screams — quickly segmented by spine-shivering rhythmic jolts and melodic arpeggios of eerie menace.

The importance of those otherworldly arpeggios should be underscored. They add character to the song, providing a furiously hard-charging attack with an atmosphere of chilling dread. Another element of the song that really stands out (apart from its sheer destructive power) is a wailing and eventually delirious guitar solo that isn’t at all what you might expect to appear — part bluesy, part psychedelic, part prog, part shred-fest.

And oh man, there’s still more to make that song stand out (including another riveting solo). The uber-talented rhythm section do so much more than keep time and shift the momentum, adding their own dynamic escapades in attention-seizing fashion, and the band also subtly work in strands of melody that create downcast, distressing, and haunted moods

In just one song, Shodan show themselves as multi-faceted songwriters. Like a spinning gem, the music shows many faces, revealing not only the muscular heaviness and savage aggression of death metal but also the influence of progressive rock and an ear for mood-changing melody.

You’ll be happy to know (and to discover for yourselves) that Shodan didn’t exhaust their ideas with “Tamed In Unison“. It’s a great song, but the album includes many more. As you make your way through them, it also becomes evident that in addition to being adept at crafting songs of many facets, and being well-armed with impressive technical skills, Shodan layer in ingredients that give each song its own memorable melodic features, many of which are carried by the continually spectacular soloing.

To be sure, those melodies are usually dark in their moods, creating sensations of fear and frenzy, of despair and anguish, of fury and violence. At times those melodies expand into a sweeping scale, making them even more dire in their impact. Yet here and there (with “Ethos” and the title tracks as examples), the music sounds downright glorious, and “Lords” comes across like a primitive devil ritual.

In addition, the soloing (whose tones vary but are always beautiful) itself reveals different faces, sometimes exotic and supernatural, sometimes hallucinogenic, sometimes white-hot in their delirium, and sometimes even a bit like jazz fusion or cold wave. And like everything else, the vocals are remarkably varied, with gang yells and near-singing accompanying terrifying roars, voracious howls, and rabid shrieks.

But you should also expect to be pulverized on a regular basis. It’s as if Shodan have the key to converting their instruments into sledgehammers, jackhammers, mortar blasts, and bunker-busting bombs. Perhaps needless to say, sore-neck syndrome is a serious risk in just about every one of these tracks at one time or another.

And so, as we previewed earlier, the album is thus a rarity, in the sense that it has the potential to appeal to fans from across many genres of extreme metal, from brutal death metal to technical death metal, from prog metal to melodic death metal. And because the songs are so consistently elaborate and so uniformly well-crafted, the whole album becomes a tremendous thrill-ride. If there’s an album that genuinely deserves the cliché “all killer, no filler”, this one does. As we enter the spring in northern latitudes, it’s one of the best death metal albums the year has yet seen.

But don’t take our word for it. Set aside the time and listen to all of None Shall Prevail for yourselves:



Did we mention that all this musical extravagance is the work of just three people? They should take a deep bow:

Szczepan Inglot: Guitars, Vocals
Michał Jarosz: Drums
Tomasz Sadlak: Bass, Vocals

Time To Kill will release None Shall Prevail on CD and digital formats, and you can place your orders now:




  1. Reading this, i once more am excited about the next Dormant Ordeal.

  2. Thanks to this article, I went to discover their first two albums too and they are really good, worthy of plenty of listens to decode all the intricacies of the music. They came fully formed, they sound like themselves, I can’t pin another band mixing genres like this. Sometimes I even get Tribulation vibes, but way heavier, through the filter of Decapitated. I hear a groovier Headshrinker too. Thank you, No Clean Singing.

  3. Though entirely distinct, “through the filter of Decapitated” is absolutely spot-on. I am also going to visit Shodan’s earlier material as well.

    Fantastic review and recommendation, NCS!

    • Thank you Joe! Even after all this time I’m still insecure about making comparative references to the music of other bands, but I do get the comparisons to Decapitated here.

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