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Mp3 exclusives: Only Living Witness and Shadows Fall

In the fishwrap this week, James Parker resurrects the legacy of Only Living Witness, the band that Shadows Fall, Converge, and Killswitch Engage credit with having sparked Massachusetts' now-burgeoning metalcore economy. Century Media is now reissuing the OLW back catalogue, Shadows Fall big-up the band with a cover on their new Fallout from the War, and OLW singer Jonah J. Jenkins is now in-demand again, as a new generation of kids like 36 Crazyfists re-discover the Witness catalogue. It's awesome to see Jonah finally getting the recognition he deserves: We got to know him just as Witness was breaking up, and we've been big fans of his ensuing bands -- first with Miltown, his brush with pop, then his about-face back to vintage SST-style hardcore with Milligram and now Raw Radar War. He'll also appear on the upcoming Converge album No Heroes, singing lyrics written by Jake Bannon on a track called "Grim Heart/Black Rose."

Listening back now to Only Living Witness's Prone Metal Form, we realize with new clarity what attracted us to them in the first place: the title track did a damn fine job of adapting to metal's new post-Black Album economy, while "Twitching Tongues" quoted from mid-'80s thrash (it's easier now to hear how much the riff of that song was indebted to Megadeth's "Wake Up Dead"). The undisputed jewel in their crown, though, is "December" -- which is, not coincidentally, the track that Shadows Fall chose to cover. "Just — dude! It’s such a sick, heavy riff!" says SF's Brian Fair. "What a way to end an album . . . it’s got that very evil vibe, but the vocals are so powerful and melodic. Plus Killswitch Engage always soundchecks with 'Prone Mortal Form' — Joel does his line check with that every single time. So we had to choose another one."

DOWNLOAD: Only Living Witness, "December" (mp3)
DOWNLOAD: Shadows Fall, "December" (mp3)

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