SHADOWKEEP - Shadowkeep
March 23, 2018, a year ago
UK outfit played the second BW&BK 6 Pack Weekend, in '04. Must have caught James Rivera's performance (then with Seven Witches) as the Brits recruited the well-traveled Mexican Dio for their first album in a decade. What's with the sudden interest in the Greek mythology in the Isles these days, as the latest albums by both Shadowkeep and Saxon utilize the centuries old tales, as impetus. In fact, this is a connected concept album, many of the nine proper tunes (as wave lapping "Atlantis" opener and speedy guitar workout "Sword of Damocles are instrumentals) revolve around well-known ancient stories, including Trojan war ("Horse Of War"), Poseidon ("Guardian Of The Sea"), progressive take on Moses delivering the Jews from Egyptian slavery ("Flight Across The Sand") and "Minotaur".
"Little Lion" is almost a child-like ditty, lone jangly guitar and soothing Rivera voice (no shrieked emphasis or black metal growls, which are virtually non-existent throughout). Similar sonic subtlety to "Never Forgotten", a moody ballad to those lost in WWII, which begins with a snippet of a Winston Churchill speech. Punishing drums and rabid picking are the rule on "Angels And Omens" and aforementioned "Guardian Of The Seas" (with roaring Rivera to start) which mark the rare differentiation amongst the similar sounding, fleet fingered, note-filled cuts. Wildest option is "Immortal Drifter' with hypersonic guitar runs, twin leads and Rivera straying into the stratosphere. Like Icarus, Shadowkeep like to show off, despite the consequences and while they've not met the same untimely fate, think I smell something burning...