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SHADOWLAND

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Shadowland biography
SHADOWLAND is one of the many projects of Clive Nolan and Karl Groom. These prolific musicians offer one more production, with all these mastery and technical perfection. SHADOWLAND features strong compositions and performances in the neo prog style. This very good simple and floating music is essential for any prog lover and collector.

Note - The album "The beauty of escaping" (Geffen 24286-2) attributed to a band called Shadowland is NOT by this band.

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Buy SHADOWLAND Music


Cautionary Tales (Box)Cautionary Tales (Box)
Box set · Import
METAL MIN2 2009
Audio CD$47.08
$55.42 (used)
Ring of RosesRing of Roses
2004
Audio CD$69.96 (used)
ShadowlandShadowland
Wea Corp 1989
Audio CD$4.99
$0.01 (used)
Edge Of Night (Ltd. Edition)Edge Of Night (Ltd. Edition)
Import · Limited Edition
METAL MIN2 2009
Audio CD$12.97
$16.18 (used)
Beauty of EscapingBeauty of Escaping
Geffen Records 1990
Audio CD$9.95
$1.90 (used)
Through the Looking GlassThrough the Looking Glass
Import
Spv Germany 2000
Audio CD$64.99 (used)
Mad As a Hatter  (+1 Bonus Track)Mad As a Hatter (+1 Bonus Track)
Import
Pony 1997
Audio CD$93.78
$18.02 (used)
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SHADOWLAND shows & tickets


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SHADOWLAND discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SHADOWLAND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.58 | 56 ratings
Ring Of Roses
1992
3.13 | 38 ratings
Through The Looking Glass
1994
3.27 | 36 ratings
Mad as a Hatter
1996

SHADOWLAND Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.90 | 10 ratings
Edge Of Night
2009

SHADOWLAND Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.58 | 7 ratings
Edge Of Night (DVD)
2009

SHADOWLAND Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
A Matter of Perspective
2009
4.09 | 4 ratings
Cautionary Tales
2009

SHADOWLAND Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.02 | 5 ratings
Dreams of the Ferryman
1994

SHADOWLAND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Through The Looking Glass by SHADOWLAND album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.13 | 38 ratings

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Through The Looking Glass
Shadowland Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Following the warm praise of the press and Neo Prog fans worldwide, Shadowland entered the Thin Ice Studios to record their second album.Featuring Tina Riley on backing voices, the whole process would last only about a month, between October and November 93', and the new work would see the light in 1994 on SI Music under the title ''Through the looking glass''.

As Shadowland's style was always quite song-oriented and with generally simplistic structures, noone could expect a massive change in terms of style, however Shadowland seem to have added another dose of accesibility in their sound, which now has plenty of AOR vibrations in the more mellow moments and the catchy choruses.Of course this is nowhere near cheesiness, because Nolan often takes over with some trully bombastic keyboard waves, while his voice is always expressive without any hear-melt orientations.I could say this is closer than ever to (Nolan's future project) ARENA's more edgy and accesible tracks or LANDMARQ's pair of opening albums with lots of interesting guitar solos, powerful synthesizers and well-crafted melodies.Surprisingly the tracks are rather long, but do not expect any particular variations, the extended durations come as a result of a couple of long intros along with the dual keyboard and guitar flashes along the way.Despite its simplicity and lack of trully adventuruous spirit, ''Through the looking glass'' remains a fairly decent album due to its interim, highly atmospheric pomposity, the huge amount of energy and dynamics throughout and the decent sum of good, memorable melodious parts.

Recommended to all fans of well-composed Neo Prog.Passionate music with dramatic segments, carefully executed rhythmic and melodic parts and sufficient vocal performance.

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 Mad as a Hatter by SHADOWLAND album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.27 | 36 ratings

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Mad as a Hatter
Shadowland Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars As far as Clive Nolan's side projects outside of Pendragon go, I've always preferred Arena to Shadowland - and listening to Mad as a Hatter, it sounds like Clive was inclined to agree by this point! The album steers directly for the rather darker and more complex musical territory occupied by Arena and leans away from the sunnier and lighter material of the previous two Shadowland albums, but it doesn't quite succeed - the production values are not what they could be, the songwriting isn't particularly interesting, and on the whole I can't help but wonder whether Clive was holding his best song ideas back for the next Arena album.

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 Through The Looking Glass by SHADOWLAND album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.13 | 38 ratings

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Through The Looking Glass
Shadowland Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A similarly AOR-leaning followup to the preceding Ring of Roses, Through the Looking Glass shows very little in the way of musical development or transition from its predecessor. If you liked that album, you'll probably like this too, but for my part I find it just as lightweight and forgettable. Clive Nolan's vocals at points remind me of a more amateurish attempt at the sort of performances he'd later inspire from the various vocalists who've worked with Arena over the years, so I guess in that context he finally found singers who could do justice to his ideas; this time around, alas, his musical ideas fail him.

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 Ring Of Roses by SHADOWLAND album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.58 | 56 ratings

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Ring Of Roses
Shadowland Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars One of Clive Nolan's many projects, Shadowland were purveyors of a fairly light and mainstream-leaning brand of neo-prog; on Ring of Roses they sound to me a lot like a combination of the lyrical approach (but not the actual vocal style) of Fish, combined with a musical style mingling the approach of Fish's early solo albums, some of Pendragon's 80s efforts, a pinch of Jadis and the faintest little echo of U2. It's well-performed and well-produced, but it doesn't really grab me personally - the whole thing feels a little sterile and calculated, like they sat down and went through a checklist of neo-prog cliches. If you are a particularly keen Clive Nolan fan, you'll want it regardless of what I say, and it's not terrible - just not, in my view, especially special either.

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 Edge Of Night (DVD) by SHADOWLAND album cover DVD/Video, 2009
3.58 | 7 ratings

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Edge Of Night (DVD)
Shadowland Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. This was the first ever chance to see Shadowland live (as usual in so many neo prog acts, recorded in Poland). And I must say I had mixed feelings about it.

Itīs easy to understand why Shadowland was never as big as Arena, Clive Nolanīs (of Pendragon fame) other side project. While the quality of the music is clearly high, on Arena Nolan always lent vocal duties to strong singers. Here the man himself takes that place. And live, he literally leaves the keyboards in the hands of the capable guest musician Mike Varty. Surprisingly Nolan does have a good singing voice and a rather good stage presence. However, the very nature of his lyrics calls for a more dramatic, versatile and stronger vocalsit. In other words, his voice is too īsoftī and īcomfortable` for the kind of dark and broody tales he writes. Somehow they donīt really match, which is really a pity, since the songs themselves are great. Oh, well, I might be wrong, but thatīs the feeling I get hearing him live with this band.

The instrumental part of the group on the other hand is pretty good. Guitarrist karl Groom (better known for his work with prog metaller group Threshold) is an excellent musician, even though his style here is pretty different from the one he does with Threshold, which proves he great versatility. New bassist Mark Westwood and original drummer Nick Harradence are not far behind in terms of technique and passion. And when they all have the chance to explore the instrumental breaks on longer songs like Hall Of Mirrors, Dreams Of the Ferryman and Jigsaw, they really show their enormous potential in full glory. Not that the other songs are bad, no. They are all good and catchy, but somehow too short and too song oriented for them to display their skills in full. It wouldnīt work.

The show itself was very professionaly recorded, the sound production is top notch and the images are also excellent.

If you like Shadowland, then this is a must have. If you donīt but like good, melodic prog, this is a nice way to know the group since their perfomances are spotless and, in several cases, actually a little better than their studio versions. My rating may be a little harsh considering the overall quality of the songs and the players involved, but really, I must take in consideration that Nolan has done better jobs in both Arena and Pendragon in my opinion.Itīs a matter of taste, really.

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 Ring Of Roses by SHADOWLAND album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.58 | 56 ratings

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Ring Of Roses
Shadowland Neo-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Crossover and E&O Teams

4 stars I'm not sure how it's possible that Neo-Prog is always so melodic. Even more than Symphonic Prog (which has its moments, we all know Yes). So if this is one of the main weapons of Neon albums, then I for sure want to hear it in Neo-Prog music I'm listening. Let's hear ... Indeed, checked, it's here.

Optimistic songs in vein of brighter side of Pendragon, that's one of the projects of Clive Nolan. I'm quite glad that he has taken vocal duties, his voice isn't bad at all (as I feared). His position as vocalist is completely OK with me, because this kind of voice simply fits to this kind of music.

The most prominent instrument is obviously keyboard. Keyboards. The Whistleblower isn't bad at all, actually it's quite good song. Sets the mood for the rest of album, uplifting, saying faithful to the spirit of this genre. Representant of what this music is about. Of course, when I'm in mood to search complexity, I listen to Avant, not Neo-Prog. And I do, often, but when reviewing certain genre, I'm trying to find positives - to think in genre's way of thinking.

Two epics featured here are pleasant surprise. Not that I'm not used to listen Neo epics, but they simply are as expected, as I like it. For example Jigsaw is very, very thrilling track. Sheer energy pouring from this song is enough to get you into something like Prog Heaven. Other tracks are, well, weaker. This is why I'll give

4(-) instead of something better.

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 Edge Of Night (DVD) by SHADOWLAND album cover DVD/Video, 2009
3.58 | 7 ratings

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Edge Of Night (DVD)
Shadowland Neo-Prog

Review by robbob

3 stars No doubt that Clive Nolan is one of the most remarkable genius of nowadays prog rock.

Such a good musician and composer.

And because of that the best prog bands have the active hand of CN(Pendragon,Arena,Caamora...).

This personal project for him as vocalist (and he is a good one for this kind of music) must have had a DVD concert .The concert is good:with excellent images quality and sound,good selection of songs...but may be Shadowland doesn't sound so well in a concert.

Shadowland music is not so complex as Pendragon or Arena(sometimes) music.

It is more melodic a little more pop prog related(sometimes). Its music is a perfect mix between Arena(their most AOR Rock music) and Pendragon.

In a concert in my opinion Shadowland looses emotiviness.

3 stars will be enough , I think

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 Edge Of Night (DVD) by SHADOWLAND album cover DVD/Video, 2009
3.58 | 7 ratings

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Edge Of Night (DVD)
Shadowland Neo-Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Arena light

After having found far greater success with Arena and Threshold respectively, Clive Nolan and Karl Groom reformed Shadowland after many years to perform some concerts. Clive announces between two of the songs that this show in Poland was the first Shadowland concert in 13 years. Surely, the popularity of their more recent musical projects was a large part of what made a reunion like this possible? Fans should rejoice!

The set list consists of songs from the three albums that Shadowland released in the 90's plus one brand new song that gives the DVD its title. As also announced by Clive, the band never toured in support of their third album, Mad As A Hatter. This is therefore the first time that material from that album was performed live. Three songs from that album are played here; Mephisto Bridge, U.S.I (United States of Insanity) and The Seventh Year. The second album, Through The Looking Glass, is represented by four songs in total, two of which merge together and open the show (just like they open said studio album). Finally, with the exception of only one track, the debut album, Ring Of Roses, is represented in its entirety.

Songs like Ring Of Roses, Dreams Of The Ferryman, The Waking Hour and The Hunger all have very catchy choruses that I would say are perhaps a bit too catchy for my taste. But they work slightly better live than on the studio albums. The best moments of the show for me are the instrumental The Kruhulick Syndrome (the mysterious title of which Clive explains during the bonus interview), the longer Hall Of Mirrors and The Seventh Year, Mephisto Bridge, the new song Edge Of Night and, of course, the masterpiece that is Jigsaw. Oh what a great song the latter is, both musically and lyrically - an all time favourite for me!

For those who have never heard the music of Shadowland it might perhaps be described as Arena light. As I said in one of my reviews of their studio albums, fans of Arena and/or Threshold are bound to find Shadowland rather lightweight both in terms of sound and quality of the songs. But we have here a nice set of songs. Groom is a very good guitarist and his playing in Shadowland is very different from what can be heard on Threshold's albums. But the most surprising feature for newcomers will be to see Clive Nolan as a singer and front man. I must say that Nolan does a very fine job singing lead in Shadowland.

Since the three studio albums are hard to get your hands on individually (I own them as part of a box set called Cautionary Tales that also includes this DVD), this live DVD is a good way to discover Shadowland without spending a fortune. The sonic and visual quality of this DVD is flawless and the musicianship is also. Great cover art too!

Highly recommended in addition to the Ring Of Roses studio album

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 Mad as a Hatter by SHADOWLAND album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.27 | 36 ratings

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Mad as a Hatter
Shadowland Neo-Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Playing with shadows in a far darker land

It is very interesting to follow Clive Nolan's development as a songwriter over the three Shadowland albums and the early Arena albums. When Mad As A Hatter, which is the third and last Shadowland album, was released in 1996, Arena was already in full flight and by now releasing their second studio album, Pride, that came out the same year as Mad As A Hatter. Some of the material presented on Mad As A Hatter is distinctively more Arena-like than the previous two Shadowland albums. Mad As A Hatter is, at least partly, darker, harder edged and shows less Pop sensibilities. At this point, Clive Nolan was clearly growing as a songwriter but he seems to have reserved his best songs for Arena. The excellent Songs From The Lion's Cage had come out the previous year and it was clear that Nolan's focus was now on Arena. This gives you the impression that the Mad As A Hatter material are leftovers from the early Arena albums(?).

Karl Groom's focus also lied elsewhere at this point with Threshold also being in full flight since a few years and two albums to their credit already with a third one coming up. Drummer Nick Herradence had also contributed to Threshold's Psychedelicatessen album. But these people were very productive!

The album starts on a high note with U.S.I. (United States Of Insanity) and peaks, in my opinion, with the very good Mephisto Bridge, which is one of my favourite Shadowland songs. Flatline, the two part The Seventh Year and the acoustic Father are also very good songs. Unfortunately, after this the album starts getting weaker. The Burning is more in line with what you find on the band's previous album, Through The Looking Glass, which I think was a rather average album (but with some very good moments).

Zuleika is a disaster and kills any aspirations this album could have had to being an excellent one. It oozes with "romance" and Pop sensibility. It could easily have been a minor radio hit in the 80's! A good guitar solo (that is faded out at the end of the song!) cannot save this song from utter mediocrity. Am I listening to Shadowland or Shallowland?! The title track is inspired by the Alice In Wonderland story and is a bit better, but unfortunately the album never really picks up again and this makes for a severely frontloaded album, with all the best songs in the first half. During the second half of this album the feeling that we are listening to leftovers is even stronger.

Still, Mad As A Hatter is a good album in the end. While Ring Of Roses is a much more consistent album, Mad As A Hatter has some songs that are up to par with that great debut album. Had only the whole album been as good as its first half! I think that Nolan's heart at this time was in Arena and he couldn't give everything he got to two bands at the same time. This is probably why Shadowland faded into darkness while Arena rose to fame.

As with the other two Shadowland albums, Mad As A Hatter is only available as part of a box set encompassing the band's whole discography including the recently filmed live DVD. The Mad As A Hatter disc has two bonus tracks; Phantoms and Edge Of Night. The latter of these is a new song written by Nolan for his Caamora project, but saved for Shadowland because he felt that it "sounded more like a Shadowland song". And he was right, of course. This is a nice tune that fits the rest of the output of this band well.

Good, but not essential

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 Edge Of Night by SHADOWLAND album cover Live, 2009
3.90 | 10 ratings

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Edge Of Night
Shadowland Neo-Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Meticulous

This double CD release is simply an audio only recording of the main gig reproduced on the similarly titled DVD. While many thought Shadowland had run its course, the band reconvened in 2009 for a short European tour. The event which produced these recordings took place in Poland as part of a mini festival in Katowice. One new song was recorded by the band for a Greatest Hits collection ("A matter of perspective") also released in 2009. It is that song, "Edge of night" which lends its name to this album. Only bassist Ian Salmon is missing from the 1990's line up, his place being filled by Mark Westwood.

The set, which runs to around two hours in all, draws in tracks from the band's three studio albums, with the songs from "Mad as a hatter" being performed live for the first time (a planned tour to promote the album at the time of its release did not happen). Given the time between the recording of those albums in the 1990s and the 2009 year of this gig, the band are to be congratulated for the meticulous way the songs are faithfully recreated.

Clive Nolan's growing maturity as a vocalist comes across throughout the set, with many tracks such as "USI" and "Dreams of the ferryman" actually sounding more accomplished on that front. In terms of sound quality, Polish Label Metal Minds have perfected the capturing of live gigs so well that this could actually be a studio album.

If you have the choice between this CD collection and the DVD of the same name, I would of course recommend the DVD. This is though an excellent document of Shadowland performing live.

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