Behind The Tracks: Shadow Smile - Signed In Blood (Single) (2023)

‘Signed in Blood’ is the first single from Shadow Smile’s fully crowdfunded debut album (also titled ‘Signed in Blood’). After 8 successful self-released singles, Shadow Smile opted not to sign with a label, but to turn instead to their audience, funding their first full-length release of their career. And it worked! The result is a concept album about the Seven Deadly Sins and the first single is now unleashed.

But the first single from the album was not originally to be included on the album at all: “We had the full album mapped out and had finished recording, it was time to mix and master all the songs and we had a bit of a feedback session with our producer, Daniel Jeffery” says singer Connor McGovern. “Although we were really proud of the album we’d put together, we came to the conclusion that we didn’t have a song suitable to open our live shows. I’ve always been a fan of those iconic show-openers like ‘One Vision’ by Queen or ‘Nightmare’ by Avenged Sevenfold”.

“So we went back to the studio and spent some time writing and ‘Signed in Blood’ came together one afternoon. From concept to full song, the writing just flowed perfectly.”

‘Signed in Blood’ started life as piano chords and the chorus melody. Connor and Ethan Goebel-Todd (Shadow Smile’s bass player) sketched out a lot of the melody and chord ideas before Joe fletcher (drums) composed his parts: “I usually work out drum parts by jamming along but, for the album, I’ve really taken a more compositional approach and mapped everything out theoretically before committing to the rhythms” he notes.

Musically the song takes influence from bands as varied as Ghost, Avenged Sevenfold, Def Leppard, and Bring Me the Horizon. “We wanted a huge, arena-filling sound with real groove and a ton of symphonic elements”.

The guitar work is very classic-metal in places and the solo from lead guitarist Adam Smith is designed to serve the song instead of simply showcasing his abilities. “We were thinking about classic rock bands like Queen who take elements of the vocal melody and construct a solo around them which adds to the song on a fundamental level,” he says.

Lyrically, the song is written from the point of view of Mephistopheles (the demon to whom one can sell one’s soul) who coaxes the listener into handing over their soul in favor of excess and comfort.

Connor added: “There is a biblical element but it isn’t pro or anti-religion in any way. None of the albums is, it’s just fun to write from the point of view of the bad guy sometimes. Songs like ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ were a real influence on the lyrical tone”.

‘Signed in Blood’ is available to stream now on all major services and you can find out more about Shadow Smile at

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