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Shadowman Reviews

Prog Rock Records has compiled some of the reviews for Shadowman:

...The first song puts the pedal to the medal right away. "Rise" is a prog-metal blast similar to what Dream Theater would do. Its heavy guitar licks, courtesy of Joel Kosche (Collective Soul), inspire Walsh to "Rise" to the occasion, summoning every ounce of energy and soul that he has to start the album with some major fireworks. It does not end there, there are seven more tracks to sink your teeth into, and it is all vintage Walsh. "Keep on Knockin’" is an inspired classic rocker; it has some heavy duty chops applied to it with Walsh belting out the lyrics full steam ahead every step of the way while adding his powerful and textured keyboards. "Hell is Full of Heroes" keeps up the momentum and there is even a cool little rap thing going

..."Hell is Full of Heros" returns to the modern production and heavy sound, with lyrics that cover things like the debate over abortion and how good intentions can lead to bad consequences. The big questions continue in "After," which delves into the topics of what comes after life and after the end of the world. Finally, "The River" muses on dreams, death and the flowing, temporary nature of life. These last few songs sound like Walsh is trying to give his old songwriting partner Kerry Livgren a run for his money in the "lyrics that ponder the meaning of life"

...The Bloody Truth: Steve has a fine release here. Fans of Kansas, especially the less progressive material, and his other band, Streets, will be very pleased with his direction, the strong songwriting, and his quality delivery. Symphony X’s Michael Romeo adds symphonic moments on “Shadowman,” “Hell Is Full Of Heroes,” and “After,” and Kansas’ David Ragsdale adds violin on “After,” so smidges of progressive/symphonic/techno moments are there to add flavor. Produced by Walsh, the sound of the disc is excellent too, making this a winner from start to finish. Where Glossolalia went too far over the edge, Shadowman is much more balanced. It finds Walsh stretching out into different territory but it is melodic so Kansas/Streets fans will still be

...True, most of Kansas’s hits were written by Kerry Livgren, but Walsh has also had a very distinctive style, and despite the different sound and approach, this is very recognizable on his solo works. “Rise” is a booming, modern metal song, which brings back memories of some parts of “Glossolalia”. “Shadowman” is one of the better songs Walsh has recorded in the last decade or so. Another dark song, which has quite a quirky rhythm, but a fantastic melody and some great, emotional singing. The bombastic, symphonic arrangement (by Symphony X’s Michael Romeo) which kicks in the second part of the song, adds another dimension to it. “Davey, And The Stone That Rolled Away” and “Keep On Knockin’” are more in the classic rock vein, and are both excellent songs. The unusual ballad “Pages Of Old”, built around acoustic guitars, synthesized strings and Walsh’s poignant singing, is another highlight. “Hell Is Full Of Heroes” is more progressive techno metal stuff; not exactly my favourite on the album. “After”, on the other hand, is a fantastic epic, with lots of references to the Kansas sound (“Freaks Of Nature”-era). Probably not coincidentally, Walsh gets some help here from ex-Kansas violinist David Ragsdale. An excellent, adventurous song, which includes another orchestral arrangement by Romeo. More of the Kansas-feel you’ll hear in the album closer “The River”

...I've just given the album one more subsidiary listen, and I rejoice, having mentally raised my hands, while a smile is appearing upon my face on its own. Whether you're a fan of Kansas or not, you will be overwhelmed with this album, unless you friend exclusively with accessible melodic Prog or its pseudo forms: Ambient, New Age and electronic music.

...“After,” at nine minutes, sounds a little like a Kansas tune, maybe a bit long, but pretty much a solid romp of different styles and shading with long instrumental breaks and probably the best lyric Walsh delivers on the album. “The River” comes with a real strong Steve Walsh vocal, open light acoustics, and a pseudo gospel feel. My only complaint is that it’s a little too long, but it’s still a great tune. “Faule Dr. Roane” and “Dark Day,” the bonus tracks, are exceptionally strong, not the usual scraps and left-overs kept off the original release for a reason! David Ragsdale (violinist Robby Steinhardt’s replacement in Kansas) is smoking on both...

...The question is where to begin. This is a superb album chock full of pounding drums, slick and powerful guitar work. Steve Walsh is in excellent voice and his collaborators are quite capable of turning each and every song on this album into something more than simple progressive rock. It’s hard to choose between each of the 8 songs on the album for what is my own personal favorite, but I loved the stylistic changes from pure out rock, progressive melodies and orchestration, and epic length songs that are interesting the entire way through. The track “Keep On Knockin’” has a very down and dirty swagger to it. The guitar work on the song reminds me of the material off of the newest Glenn Hughes solo album Soul Mover. In case you are wondering, that’s a good thing since I loved the Hughes album. The lead track “Rise” has an interesting opening intro and then it breaks out into this amazing high-energy rock track. The title is a bit long but “Davey, and the Stone That Rolled Away” has some heavy guitar riffs on it. The title cut and “Hell Is Full Of Heroes” were enhanced by orchestration and it really lent itself to each track’s overall epic feel...

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