Review: Shadowman – Secrets And Lies

Review: Shadowman – Secrets And Lies

Escape Music (May 2017)

Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

Secrets And Lies‘ is the 5th studio release UK Melodic Rock band Shadowman, following on from 2011’s excellent ‘Watching Over You‘.

There are a few things you can always rely on in life, and one of those things is the quality of Steve Overland’s vocals and the calibre of the musicians he works with on any project. With Shadowman he’s got Steve Morris (Heartland) on Guitar, and Thunder duo Chris Childs on Bass and Harry James on Drums, that should be enough by itself to interest most Melodic Rock fans, but if not then the Shadowman back catalogue is work taking a listen to.

The album starts off with ‘Gravity‘ which is one of those tracks that’s just a strong opener. The difficulty I think for a band like Shadowman is extricating itself from Steve’s other band FM, both being in a similar musical space and his voice being a quite unique one. Having said that they manage to pull it off pretty well. A couple of times there are tracks you think would sit perfectly on an FM album, great harmonies and everything else you would expect, with ‘Automatic‘ being a good example.

With a number of well written tracks again on display here the highlights are the aforementioned opener ‘Gravity‘, alongside ‘Broken Bones‘ which is a powerful number, you can imagine a bit more of a scowl on Mr. Overland’s face as he delivers this one, there’s a heavier riff and backbeat to it, and a bit more of an aggressive delivery. These guys are obviously very comfortable with each other and that shines through, very experienced talented musicians creating something they believe in and it’s all bound together by the keyboards this time around, this album is perhaps a little bit more sedate than their last release, but it’s still got tonnes of quality, ‘Best Things In Life‘ is another great track, from a simple enough base it just works.

Plenty to enjoy throughout this one, perhaps not as immediate for me as Watching Over You was, but another mature Melodic Rock album to add to the collection, never tire of the voice and the quality of the music here from the start is as high as you would expect from a band like this. Don’t know why but closer ‘Stand Up And Be Counted‘ just doesn’t work for me, nice pace to it, some nice guitar work, but it just doesn’t seem to fit but that’s a minor quibble. Let’s hope the guys respective schedules allow a follow up alum sooner with less than a six year gap next time. Another in the long list of top class albums with Steve Overland on vocals.