|Shadowman Land Of The Living||Escape Music|
ESM - 098
FM vocalist Steve Overland has never been far from the news, keeping busy with a range of guest appearances and lead vocal spots on a whole host of tribute records and other projects.|
But he hasn't, until now, fronted an all new studio album for some time. This collaboration with Heartland writer/guitarist Steve Morris is therefore very welcomed.
Shadowman features the talents of Overland and Morris with Chris Childs (Thunder) – Bass; Harry James (Thunder) – Drums. Departure's Mike Walsh also guests.
There probably won't be a finer example of moody atmospheric AOR this year, with each track featuring a strong chorus and the performances of all involved particularly good.
It's normal to put one of the best tracks up front, but in the case of Shadowman, the very best track of the album kicks things off. However, there isn't anything that quite matches the excellence of the uptempo AOR anthem Those Days Are Gone. It really is a first rate AOR track with lots to like and an expected strong lead vocal and some great soloing from Morris on guitar.
There are still plenty of tracks to enjoy on Shadowman and lots to like from the performance of Overland.
For example, the guitar driven mood rocker Medicine To Me is a highlight, as is the ultra smooth ballad Touched By An Angel, which features another great lead vocal performance. Gypsy Heart and Land Of The Living both feature memorable choruses and some of the smoothest melodies this side of an Asia album.
But it's not until track 9 that another truly uptempo number comes along. The album overall is a little too laid back and in need of a couple of tempo changes to break the continues mid-tempo flow.
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