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Shadowland - Ring Of Roses CD (album) cover





3.57 | 68 ratings

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5 stars I literally stumbled over a pile of albums in a recordstore, and this one came out on top of the pile, funny, since I was looking for this album for a while already, and had almost given up my hopes on finding it. I liked the album from first listening, and have continued to love it ever since.

Shadowland is a project of Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Arena) and the talented guitarist Karl Groom (Threshold), together they produced and created other projects aswel (Casino, Strangers On A Train). They create a very heavy dark symphonic sound, with lush atmospheric keyboards and heavy rhythmic guitars. Great soloing throughout the album, held together by a phenomaly great bass-player (Ian Salmon, later to join Arena) and good drumming (Nick Harradence). Clive Nolan decided to sing the parts himself, within his limited vocal range he does a great job.

1. The Whistleblower (6:32) Heavy rhythmic opener, with some great guitar solo's and very good bass play. 2. Jigsaw (11;05) A great song, very dark atmospheric, with good keyboards, heavy drumming, just great. 3. Scared Of The Dark (6:09) Bass and drum combined with the atmospheric keyboard sounds create a very dark sinister venue for this song, with a vague resemblence with Arena's Don't forget to breathe (The Visitor album). 4. Painting By Numbers (6:34) Great song, fabulous guitar play, strong captivating melodies.

5. Hall Of Mirrors (14:23)Great epic-seized song, mellow opening, slowely building up to a heavy symphonic rock song, phenomenal solo's from both Clive Nolan (Keys) and Karl Groom (guitar). Just incredibly beautiful exciting thrilling fantastic wonderfully great. 6. The Kruhulick Syndrome (6:07) Instrumental, with Clive Nolan in optima forma on the opening minute, one of my fav. instrumentals. A spooky theme with light colourfull melodies. 7. Ring Of Roses (6:31) The last song on the album (apparently there is a version with two additional songs, but mine doesn't include them) A great song, with great melodies, and a sing-a-long chorus, nice rhythmic guitar, strong bass-lines and a good finish for this marvelous album.

One of my favourite neo-prog albums, with consistently great musicianship, good songwriting, just perfect to my ears. Shadowland is a preview of what Arena will become, and I can't give it any less than 5 stars.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially to all that enjoy Arena, IQ and assorted bands.

tuxon | 5/5 |


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