2 Shadows’ “Mad God” harbors enough grandeur and violence for a half dozen bands. There’s almost something orchestral about the way 2 Shadows develops the single that you hear in the alternating light and heavy passages, the presence of piano, and the flamethrower intensity of its emotions. There’s abundant artistry here, but you get the sense that 2 Shadows are holding nothing back. The aforementioned piano is another indication of their iconoclastic tilt as, frankly, many of their contemporaries wouldn’t dare wed such a power-chord blitzkrieg with the comparatively gentler passages, much less make them work for listeners. 2 Shadows makes the entire song work with memorable results.
Glen Bridden’s singing goes above and beyond at every turn. He essays the softer portions of the song with sure-footed emotion always cognizant of creating and sustaining a mood for listeners. Bridden, likewise, invests the entirety of his being into every word and this strength becomes even clearer once he unleashes the full fury of his voice when the song begins crushing listeners. There are some vocal pyrotechnics, without a doubt, but it’s never self-indulgent and you get no sense that he’s attempting to compete with Tryst Germaine’s guitar.
There’s a smattering of lyrical eloquence scattered throughout the writing that elevates “Mad God” a few added notches. It isn’t flashy pseudo-poetry wedded to a backing track, but 2 Shadows clearly has aspirations for writing lyrical material a cut above your standard metal fare. Mature listeners will welcome that. It’s in good hands with Bridden’s voice as his phrasing, timbre, and authority fill each line with a weightiness that it would otherwise lack.
Germaine’s guitar playing is one of the song’s key highlights. If you are looking for extended solos and flashy licks, you’ve picked the wrong band. It’s impossible to say Germaine isn’t capable of pulling off such moments, there’s ample evidence for his skill heard throughout the entirety of “Mad God” but his first and foremost interest, even now, remains serving the song.
The accompanying rhythm section playing provides the track with a meaty bottom end. It is never obtrusive, however, but rather merely sets a base for Germaine and Bridden that allows them to roam free throughout the arrangement. They are wise to never overstay their welcome and the song not even reaching the three-and-a-half minute mark condenses its power into an aural fist that spares you nothing.
2 Shadows, nearly ten years into their run, are leveling up with “Mad God” – it shows growth as a result of all their hard work. All of the jitters from first-time metal bands have long since drifted into irrelevance. It’s replaced, instead, with walking tall confidence that will prove harder and harder to top as they continue forward. If you seek this out, be prepared for a pivotal experience that you won’t soon forget. It’s that powerful. “Mad God” also keeps drawing you back for more – there’s a lot to hear and discover here. It is well worth every second of your time and constitutes a triumphant moment in the band’s expanding career.