American metal band Zandelle has been going strong since the early Nineties, while flying under the radar of modern metal commercial viability. The greater portion of their output has come in the last ten years. With this year's, Shadows of the Past, they have released four albums of classic 'Made in the USA' melodic heavy and power metal.
Above, Zandelle: from the left, some hair, no hair, and lots of hair.
For clarity, Shadows of the Past, as the title suggests, is a compilation of early material, all re-recorded for this album. Four songs are from the 1986 first self-titled EP and six songs from the 1998 self- released debut-album Shadows Of Reality. The disc is completed with three bonus tracks: Unleashed (originally recorded for the in 2006 released Vengeance Rising album, but never made the final cut), the new song Scream My Name, and Bad Boys, a Whitesnake cover.
Ultimately, what you have with Shadows of the Past is telescope looking back through time. Although 1996/1998 is not that far behind us, Zandelle's metal is more a reflection of it's early Eighties roots. The earlier material is pure and unadulterated melodic heavy/power metal. A galloping rhythm section powers most songs, while vocalist (and founder) George Tsalikis sings in that soaring, sometimes screaming, clean metal style (not unlike Rob Halford without sounding like him), and the twin guitar assault rips fine, clean solos. Classic and memorable tracks include Ecstasy, Evil Entity, the epic metal ballad Angel, and the well-structured and versatile Soul of Darkness. Sometimes Zandelle tones down the speed and offers more heavy and steady, bit doomish, metal as on Queen Witch.
As for the 'bonus' tracks, Unleashed and Scream My Name display a current Zandelle that displays that they have not abandoned their mission, though I'm not sure they're as interesting as the earlier tracks. The Whitesnake cover, Bad Boys is not overly compelling; it lacks the brightness, tempo, and temperament of the original. However, I would not dismiss Zandelle if they included this in their live set; it's a good homage to Whitesnake.
The meat of Shadows of the Past is the re-recordings of their very earliest material, and so makes this the highlight of the album. Both fans of the band and classic American melodic heavy metal, should scoop this one up forthwith. Recommended.
The meat of Shadows of the Past is the re-recordings of their very earliest material, and so makes this the highlight of the album. Both fans of the band and classic American melodic heavy metal, should scoop this one up forthwith.
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