|Shadowman Different Angles||Escape Music|
I was initially in two minds about this release – influenced I think by the amount of metal in the market place currently. It seemed just a little too laid back. But then I realized that is the whole point. This is laid back...it's also soulful, bluesy and filled with some glorious old-school AOR melodies.|
In between all these European melodic metal releases it is so nice to hear some high quality traditional AOR once again, served up in a finely polished package.
Different Angles is a very apt title for the second Shadowman album. Band principles Steve Overland (FM) and Steve Morris (Heartland) have opted for a slight change of approach this time around.
The more straight forward AOR of that debut has been re-tuned to showcase a bluesier, more laid back direction. The bulk of the material retains the trademarks of the acclaimed debut, but skewers it into a more soulful package and one I must say suits the band very well.
Even the more uptempo numbers are delivered in a soulful spirit. Mood plays an important part in these songs, so the listener must be in a similar frame of mind to reap the rewards of some strong material.
An album that appears very laid back gathers a little extra pace once you get to know it, but overall the material does remain between slow and mid-tempo. Song wise, Learn To Live Without You and When It's Gone It's Gone are two of the tracks which most reflect the sound of the debut, while the soulful Take Me Home is a perfect example of the sultry vocal delivery of Overland and like many of the tracks, steps up a notch during the choruses.
Way Of The World is totally subliminal until the chorus brings a fresh burst of energy to the track, highlighting Overland's pitch perfect vocals.
The album dips a little for a couple of tracks in the middle, but the uptempo AOR of Chains offers perhaps the most urgent track of the album and a nice lift in pace and is followed nicely by the memorable Dreams Die Hard.
Runaway Girl is similarly laid back, but driven almost entirely by acoustic guitars and offers Overland fans something a little different. Some sweet harmony vocals make it an enjoyable track.
The album closes on a high note with another more urgent AOR track that might have been something from the debut.
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