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P.J. Shadowhawk - Nevereverland CD (album) cover


P.J. Shadowhawk


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4 stars P.J. SHADOWHAWK is at first glance a drummer; however it has developed during the years of the talents with keyboards and guitar. It has been part of several formations including QUASAR, perhaps the most well known mainly because of the presence of some members of LANDMARQ (Tracy HITCHINS, Dave WAGSTAFFE and Uwe D.ROSE). He has also participated in several projects related to television and film. 2009 is a difficult year for P.J. disease the force to stop the music for a time. Here we move ahead fast and we find P.J. in 2010, year where he released his first solo album «Land of Dreams», it is relatively well received by critics. With 2014 already started its half, P.J. presents his new album "NeverEverLand".

Even if he can play all the instruments, the multi-instrumentalist is assisted by several other musicians including guitarist Evan RAYMOND who was present the first. «NeverEverland» is the second album in a trilogy started with "Land of Dreams". This Galactic tale tells us about the main character who must fight the forces of evil embodied by a Lord villain who has ideas of conqueror. As in all stories of the kind will culminate in the final battle that will decide the rest of the universe. As I wrote the earlier P.J. SHADOWHAWK was supported by several guest musicians: Trevor LLOYD - violins, Steve La PORTA - Percussion, Will MAHER - guitar, Alan MAHER - guitar, Evan RAYMOND - guitar, and also Gabriel SCOTT and Samantha LEE on vocals. P.J. has composed all the songs, he sang on most of them and he takes care of all the other instruments. The style is close of progressive neo with influences from bands like GENESIS, IQ, and GALAHAD. Singing is not the greatest strength but his voice remains still pleasant. The texts are not long, it is the music that dominates on "NeverEverLand".

The album contains six songs all relatively long, 9 to 12 minutes. The suite "The Only One" which is divided into two parts offer on the first "Darkness Before the Dawn" is a long quiet introduction where the vocals and keyboards accompanying prepares us to the catchy melody with drums and guitar and violin. The second part 'A New Day Begins' has more pace especially in intro, then change of pace for a relatively long musical section with the piano providing the melody supported by the battery. The violin as it gives one side more dramatic lament. The song was entered and with violin accompaniment. The title track offers a short musical introduction and a sung section as short. We discover more clearly the guitar and bass with the always emotional presence of the violin. No long solo guitar or keyboards, it's the violin that takes this place and it is an original way which I like much. I skips to the last track "Icarus", which is the longest "NeverEverLand". The atmosphere is melancholy and almost classical at times mainly due to very good piano passages, singing and the piano provides the bulk of the melody. Then we are witnessing a change in tempo with the guitar input, and a rhythm section that is accelerating. The final is excellent, the violin, the guitar and the piano which is interwoven wisely and with great sensitivity. I must add the presence of a narrator who gently closes this volume 2 on a musical background that brings back us on Earth.

The only words that come to mind are total surprise. This is an album that revolutionizes the genre, will make listeners happy. Finally I would like to note the excellent work at the Trevor LLOYD violin which is of great sensitivity and course writer P.J. SHADOWHAWK on most instruments and especially the piano. All I can add is that I am eager to listen to the third part.

3.5 stars

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Posted Wednesday, August 13, 2014 | Review Permalink

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