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Shadowland - Mad As A Hatter CD (album) cover





3.27 | 50 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Last of their albums to date ''Mad As A Hatter'' won't revolutionize the genre of course, but it offers some real fine musical moments. A combination of neo-prog and some ''light'' metal lines. After all, aren't Clive and Carl excelling in those two musical styles?

The song writing is again left to Clive (I would have hoped some more assistance from his fellow partners) and IMHHO, the best is achieved during the brilliant and impressive opening number ''USI''. A fine and heavy prog track with loads of fine synthesizers and enjoyable vocals (but the man has already showed his talents on previous recordings).

This album would please any ''Arena'' fan but some fine passages do borrow to the great ''Genesis''. But this is the essence of the genre so.While it is performed with skills like here, I have little problems to feel good (''Mephisto Bridge'').

There are of course the inevitable pop moment with ''Flatline''. This song s of course not the best you can expect but can't be considered as filler either. Bombastic guitar and metal lines: just to confirm that Carl is here!

The most dramatic and passionate song is by no doubt the beautiful ''Seventh Year''. It only confirms all the good one can feel about the vocal work from Clive. Do I need to add that the bombastic intro is followed by a superb and great upbeat instrumental (keys and guitar) parts? It is one of my fave song from this album (together with the long opening ''USI'').

It is also true to say that after the average ''Father'', the overall quality is dropping somewhat. The gorgeous feel of the first tracks are not so present any longer although the band is still trying (''The Burning''). But the world music oriented '' Zuleika'' is a painful moment for my ears. But I have never been into this musical genre, and I will never stand it.

One could hope that the long title track would bring us in some better territory but I can't really be thrilled by this song. Too cliché and little feeling all the way through (twelve minutes) unfortunately. The Christian oriented closing ''Salvation comes'' falls very shy to my ears.

This album is a true dual one: very good before ''Father'' and flat after it. Overall, it is still ranging in the good territory and won't prevent me to go and see them (if health allow) during their reunion tour which will pass along Belgium soon.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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