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Dead Heroes Club


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Dead Heroes Club A Time of Shadow album cover
3.81 | 56 ratings | 6 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Theatre of the Absurd (9:13)
2. Stranger in the Looking Glass (9:43)
3. The Centre Cannot Hold (4:10)
4. A Gathering of Crows (11:25)
5. The Sleepers Are Waking (4:15)
6. A Time of Shadow (15:07)

Total Time 53:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Liam Campbell / vocals, guitars
- Mickey Gallagher / drums, percussion
- Wilson Graham / bass, vocals
- Gerry Mc Gerigal / guitars, vocals
- Chris Norby / keyboards, piano

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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DEAD HEROES CLUB A Time of Shadow ratings distribution

(56 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DEAD HEROES CLUB A Time of Shadow reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A good quality sophomore effort from this Irish band, as long as vintage-sounding Neo Progressive rock is to your liking.

They aren't Marillion clones these guys though, despite the above descriptions. But they have most of the main characteristics of many early Neo bands: A tendency to explore rather mellow stylistic landscapes, giving ample room for piano, clean or acoustic guitars and floating, lush synth textures. And with a vocalist with a voice similar to Fish or Peter Gabriel in expression, many strong associations are easily made.

The lead vocals are a highly expressive and dominant part of this bands efforts though, emotional and often verging on melodramatic, and is probably the key element to whether or not this band's efforts will be appreciated. The more or less subtle additions of harder rocking riffs is a nice bonus feature, especially when concentrated in the energetic opening parts of The Centre Cannot Hold.

The opening numer Theatre of the Absurd stands out as the best number here though, and if you like that you'll like the rest of the album as well. And while none of the other compositions equals this fine effort the album as such is an accomplished piece of work, recommended to those who enjoy the somewhat mellower escapades of this stylistic direction.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the second album by Irish Neo-progressive band Dead Heroes Club. If you think the album cover has something of a Middle Earth feel to it that's because the artwork is by Ted Naismith, illustrator of Tolkein's works. However, the lyrics of this 6-song set aren't so much concerned with fantasy fiction as with hard-hitting invective. The first track ''Theatre of the Absurd'' is clearly informed by the political situation in the band's homeland, while ''A Gathering of Crows'' is a polemic on the twin targets of organised religion and war. From a musical viewpoint the songs are well crafted, generally melodic and tuneful but at times hard- edged and aggressive as on ''The Centre Cannot Hold''.

''A Time Of Shadow'' is a fine album that may appeal to fans of Pink Floyd, Genesis and, in particular, Marillion. It's not the most optimistic of works but is recommended nonetheless.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars You have to feel a little sorry for these guys ? I mean, not only do they play progressive rock (which has to be probably the most critically despised form of music in the world), but they also come from Ireland which is a country that doesn't exactly have a great history in these matters. But, one of the most important bands ever to come from Ireland could be called progressive ? namely the mighty incredible Horslips ? so maybe there is a chance for them after all. Of course, prog music and fantasy artwork has always gone hand in hand so by getting Ted Nasmith, the official illustrator for the Tolkein estate, to get involved was definitely a good move. So to be an Irish progressive rock band makes them a rarity, and originally this was an unsigned release that they put out on there own so these guys obviously have plenty of passion and belief, and the main reason for that is simple. This is bloody good.

This is music that obviously has its' roots in the Seventies, but really it has way more in common with the bands that were making their presence felt in the early Nineties. There are definitely links with Citizen Cain (and therefore Genesis) and with the much-missed (by me anyway) Belfast proggers Winter, and Hammond-style keyboards can never fail to be a hit either. There is plenty of melody and great lyrics, with vocals that have a real presence, and loads of time signature moves and changes in emphasis and musical dominance.

This is the sort of music that I used to be sent a great deal when I was first getting involved with the underground scene in the early Nineties, and I had forgotten just how much I had missed it. Once this has finished I think that I will have to play Galahad's 'Nothing Is Written' ? I'm just in the mood. This is an album that looks backwards as well as forwards, and is something that progheads will play time and again ? a sheer delight.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Dead Heroes Club is a neo prog band from Ireland lesser known in prog circles with 2 albums under their belt released so far. The second album offered in 2009 named A time of shadow and issued by Progrock records is a pleasent album overall, but is little to paced and mid tempo most of the time for my liking. Some long pieces are present here like the best track of the album , opening Theatre of the Absurd, nice instrumental parts, pleasent voice, the title track with almost 16 min in lenght show some good potential of this band but to much time they didn't burst in instrumental passages, they play thet mid tempo neo prog on every piece, with exception shorter The Centre Cannot Hold. I would like to here more complex passages, more instrumental parts, because are few of them on whole album, the band rely more on vocal department, btw Liam Campbell did a good job here, has a great voice for such music. Fans of Genesis at some point and neo bands from late '80's early '90's can have some spins, but I don't think is something spectacular, at least for me. The album is not advenurous and rich in arrangements, is only ok and nothing more. 3 stars, nice cover art.
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars And to those who loudly claim that neo-prog is the weakest link in prog, here is another example of scrumptious quality to go onto the podium along with scintillating albums by Abel Ganz (Shooting the Albatross), Credo's last 2 , Anubis (Tower of Silence), Airbag (All Rights Removed), ICU (Now and Here), Collage (Moonshine), Galahad (Empires), as well as the last few IQ and all the Satellite recordings, among many others. Sorry naysayers, there is without any doubt some fabulous quasi-symphonic material out there that will knock you down, stunned. Generally, the deal should really rely on a great vocalist to carry the relatively mundane symphonic backdrop and reach for higher musical glory. Well, Liam Campbell has a voice that simply transcends the monotone and vaults these Irish lads into a contending place among the above mentioned warriors. The vocals are intensely passionate, expressive yet husky, without any hysteria and overblow, recalling the prime quality of Marillion-era Fish and Manfred Mann's Earth Band vocalist Chris Hamlet Thompson.

Everything about this record shines, from the glorious cover art and the sleek production, to the impeccable musicianship and forceful delivery. Guitarist Gerry McGerigal has a unique timbre and provides glimmering riffs and massages them with slithering leads, the drumming is particularly solid without that mechanical binary weakness deployed by some of the weaker neo-groups, allied with a powerful bass and supple keys that finish off the instrumental side more than competently. The material is vivacious both in its succinct messaging and its audio intensity, but the vocals really take all this by the jugular and waltz the compositions into the prog twilight. The herculean "Theatre of the Absurd" is an astounding "entree en matiere", full of bluster and unmitigated confidence, bellicose riffs, reptilian bass and brawny drumming shoving the mood forward and providing the platform for some eyebrow-raising moments (such as the Manfred Mann ?like synthesizer solo), some gentle passages that float and flutter as well as some rockier sections that recall Brit legends Spooky Tooth. Campbell wastes little time in showing off his animated vocal prowess, contrasting sweet and sour better than a Cantonese chef. The track's second half burst into a sizzling detonation that sets the swarthy tone right there and then, recalling the finer moments from the Earth Band. An outstanding track that is available on PA for you to sample.

Being Irish, you have the requisite Christian relevance (the "House of reverence" lyric) on "Stranger in the Looking Glass", a mid-tempo, volume-pedal guitar caress that blooms nicely into a stately bluesy lament proclaimed brilliantly by the thrilling Liam Campbell vocal and a sulfuric lead guitar excursion into the loftiest heavens. Not very technical one may say but goose-bump material of the finest vintage nevertheless. The genuine ingenuity of the lyrical content and its essential delivery is simply remarkable to even the most jaded ear. Little dabs of acoustic guitar, svelte backing whispers and deft drumming combine with power chords to provide a constant sense of movement and entertainment. The raucous and concentrated "The Center Cannot Hold" introduces some snarl and nastiness, pummeling relentlessly a stark message of social despondence. McGerigal riffles his axe with merciless abandon so as to underline the rage, distinguishing slashes of doom to fade out from the storm.

"A Gathering of Crows" is a rather sarcastic stab at the hypocrisy of war and its socio- religious masters, accusing jihad and crusade alike, and asking "Where is the faith that brings us peace". With the new millennium, it's about time we see artists tackling subjects that crested rock in the first place: condemnation of a faulty human condition that claims illumination and yet showcases unending primitivism. A jaded, bored and unintelligent planet of web-surfers who are now anesthetized from the reality of their idiotic routine. Where "waking up" is replaced by "logging on" without the responsibility or the guilt. The lyrical content is astonishing, Liam is quite the spokesman and the lads infuse some lavish ditties like the fabulous piano insert but truth is we are reminded of Marillion's anti- war Script of a Jester's Tear message. The applause for the courage displayed is well- earned.

"The Sleepers Are Waking" is perhaps the most accessible track here, featuring another breathless vocal exhibition and a notably more acoustic presentation which recalls vintage the Strawbs, not exactly paltry company. A beautiful track that is a dedication to a deceased friend.

To finish "en beaute" as the French like to say, how about a 15 minute masterpiece title track, that encompasses everything previously stated, emotionally on par with IQ's devastating "Harvest of Souls"? Fueled by a deep sense of pace and atmosphere, this is cinematographic prog at its finest, Liam offering a multitude of voice resonances (plus some game-show host sample babblings), with bassist Wilson Graham booming along fiercely, brooding e-piano and jangling guitar arpeggios adding to the palette. The second half is even more desperate and anguished, the main theme achingly excruciating within dire lyrical content, this is no happy party music but rather intelligent and thought-provoking progressive rock music that has meaning and necessity.

This album pleased me immediately and to my astonishment, it gets even better with repeated auditions, sliding nicely into my recent favorite's list. Liam Campbell is a stellar voice and the bands kicks ass. I think the recording is spectacular as this material must be amazing live.

4.5 Irish Matrixes

Latest members reviews

4 stars Excellent, surprising stuff. It's a fantastic album like this that makes me realise I have a problem with the term "Neo-Prog". It's a classification which seems, by it's very nature, to define a lesser style of progressive music. This music generally has Genesis as it's primary influence, and ... (read more)

Report this review (#302711) | Posted by Eapo_q42 | Thursday, October 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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