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Steve Walsh

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Steve Walsh Shadowman album cover
3.23 | 40 ratings | 5 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rise (5:15)
2. Shadowman (6:45)
3. Davey and the Stone that Rolled Away (5:54)
4. Keep on Knockin (5:53)
5. Pages of Old (4:55)
6. Hell is Full of Heroes (6:04)
7. After (9:58)
8. The River (4:13)

Total Time: 48:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Walsh / lead vocals, keyboards
- Joel Kosche / guitar, bass
- David Ragsdale / violin (7)
- Joe Franco / drums
- Michael Romeo / giga symphony (2, 6, 7)
- Matt Still / percussion (5)

Releases information

CD Frontiers Records FR CD 249 (2005)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Buy STEVE WALSH Shadowman Music

STEVE WALSH Shadowman ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

STEVE WALSH Shadowman reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Muzikman
5 stars Steve Walsh spent the last year perfecting some unreleased songs he enjoyed on his Mac at home. The time he spent was well worth the effort as Shadowman is his finest solo effort to date.

I criticized Walsh for losing some of his vocal powers over the years on previous solo and Kansas albums. I do not know what he has done to correct it but they are back and he sounds great.

The first song puts the pedal to the medal right away. "Rise" is a prog-metal blast similar to what Dream Theater would do. Its heavy guitar licks, courtesy of Joel Kosche (Collective Soul), inspire Walsh to "Rise" to the occasion, summoning every ounce of energy and soul that he has to start the album with some major fireworks. It does not end there, there are seven more tracks to sink your teeth into, and it is all vintage Walsh. "Keep on Knockin'" is an inspired classic rocker; it has some heavy duty chops applied to it with Walsh belting out the lyrics full steam ahead every step of the way while adding his powerful and textured keyboards. "Hell is Full of Heroes" keeps up the momentum and there is even a cool little rap thing going on.

The Shadowman is whatever or whomever you make it. For the singer or the character in the song, I believe it is his deceased father. The premise is that the soul of this person is lurking just around the corner and he is trying to shake his memory and live a life of his own without the influence of another personality's memory haunting him.

With the exception of some of the technological advances and effects, this album is certainly reminiscent of Kansas at the height of their powers. This is a good thing in my estimation. Walsh has old band mate David Ragsdale on violin for "After" to give you that old-time Kansas feel. This is one of the better rock albums you will hear this year, you can count on it. Shadowman is bound to create a buzz and generate some interest in previous Walsh and Kansas projects, and it should, it is a great album. Walsh is energized, inspired and in top form on this album.

Rating: 10/10

August 19, 2005

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars The short (in terms of albums) solo career of Steve Walsh has been quite a deception for me.

His last album (five years prior to this release) showed already STRONG heavy metal influences which did not really correspond with my expectations.

This "Shadowman" only dig further into this style. Both the opening number "Rise" as well as the title track fully belong to this genre. Noisy songs, no melody at all. Boring. Press next.

I understand that an artist is willing to pursue other musical directions while being on a solo album. But this same artist has to understand that fans can be very disappointed with his new musical "directions" as well.

This album remains painful during "Davey And The Stone That Rolled Away". Not only is this heavy metal, but there will even be some orchestrations (which I almost never liked expecept with "ELO") totally out of purpose.

During fifteen seconds, "Keep On Knockin'" sounds as the intro of "Baba O'Riley" ("The Who"). But no. We won't get a cover song here. Just a dull and heavy rock song with little flavour. AOR-ish to the bones and painful.

I am completely stunned with the ratings of this album. Nothing else than five and four star ratings. I am afraid that I would not follow this trend.

To break these heavy metal sounds, Steve displays a poor and insipid rock ballad. "Pages Of Old" sounds better if you press next before listening to it. But this is a general tendency. I think that "Hell Is Full Of Heroes" is probably the worse you can get here. Some heavy "dance" music. Hard to believe!

"After" starts with a long orchestration part which is mixed with metal sounds. The worse being achieved as soon as the vocals get in. A real pain from this moment onwards. And this treatment lasts for about ten minutes! You can also forget the closing number "The River" (no, it's not a cover from "Springsteen", unfortunately).

I do not rate an album frequently with one star. Some seven per cent out of almost eleven hundred reviews but this album is truely poor. I have been reviewing twenty+ albums of Kansas and I can not be suspected of any kind of animosity with Steve. On the contrary. But this is a very weak effort. One star.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Glossolalia showed the heavier side of Walsh, but this album bares its teeth and spirals into full-fledged progressive metal at many turns. Still, there is so much variety here in terms of sound and instrumentation that I think claims that this is a "progressive metal" album are unfounded. This is an absolutely solid work, with tight musicianship and spirited compositions.

"Rise" Almost like an epic war movie soundtrack, the album opens with strings and the beating of drums, but that is no indication of the metal onslaught soon to occur. The impeccable drumming almost outshines everything else on this song, including the masterful guitar playing (the solo is performed over a quickly slowing tempo, which I think is cool). Walsh even engages in a big of growling during the chorus.

"Shadowman" A cleaner (but just as dark) song follows up the blast heard first. The lyrics are picturesque, vaguely describing change and the observation of change. Again, the drums carry the song through and keep it chugging along. The acoustic-laced section in the middle has some great vocalization over it, before the whole sound drops off the planet to make room for orchestral music and a heavy metal detour back to the refrain, one of the catchiest parts of the album.

"Davey and the Stone that Rolled Away" Guitar and drums take turns before coming together into something more cohesive. I would consider this a slightly complex modern rock song until the strings enter. The instrumental section takes on a sophisticated manner due to the strings, and after a while, the song returns to the more simplistic rock that came before.

"Keep On Knockin'" This one is an old-fashioned, gritty, straightforward rocker with a shuffling beat and a steady, one-note bass line. As such, it lends itself to some guitar soloing, and Joel Kosche provides just plenty.

"Pages of Old" A pleasing acoustic section introduces Walsh's forlorn vocals. Delicate, plucked strings and other instrumentation add gentle layers of sound. A classical guitar solo concludes the song. The words are sad, similar to "Nothing" and "Serious Wreckage" of the previous album.

"Hell is Full of Heroes" Such a provocative title beggars hearing. Unfortunately, it's a fast-paced rock song with a dance beat and vocals so muddy it's difficult to hear what's being sung. The orchestral sections are brilliant, but come in abruptly and seemingly without reason. Then, out of nowhere, comes an early 1990s dance beat and some rapping before going back into the chorus. Had the song been better arranged, it would have been a much stronger piece.

"After" The longest piece kicks off right away with thundering drums, fiery guitar, and keyboard flourishes for good measure. David Ragsdale brings his violin prowess onto this song, lending it even more majesty than the arrangement itself has mustered. The introduction to this track would have been right at home on the Kansas album Somewhere to Elsewhere. The vocal sections are over bass and drums until the thrusts of electric guitar pop in. One short instrumental segment sounds closer to traditional Persian music. When an underwater-sounding Walsh sings over some spacious music, I know I am hearing a highlight of the album. The segment that follows is equally pleasing, and again, would have fit in with the aforementioned Kansas record. The final moments build into an exciting, string-laden climax charging straight to the conclusion. Overall, this is simply extraordinary work.

"The River" The final song sounds like a pop-single, but it's an excellently crafted song. I question its place in the track order, but that's no reason to knock it.

Latest members reviews

1 stars Definitelly a dissapointing album under all aspects!When we think at the majesty of GLOSSOLALIA-a true masterpiece almost-this album is a major flop!Unbelieveble weak compositions,lack of inspiration and very,very poor musical ideas!It's almost unbelieveble to see how such an amazing musician ... (read more)

Report this review (#268009) | Posted by Ovidiu | Wednesday, February 24, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This was a tad disappointing for me. Glossolalia was one of the most progressive (read as "creative and original") albums Walsh had ever made, but I think he must have run out of steam, as most of this album is typical modern hard-rock. Rise and Shadowman are fairly good hard-rock songs, but noth ... (read more)

Report this review (#152983) | Posted by Failcore | Tuesday, November 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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