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Shadowman Secrets & Lies
Shadowman - Secrets & Lies CD Album Review

Shadowman: Secrets & Lies

AOR/Melodic Hard Rock

Where does the time go? It's been six years since we've heard from UK AOR super group Shadowman, but they're back with their fifth studio album, Secrets & Lies, once more on the Escape Music label. The band personnel remains stable with members from FM (Steve Overland, vocals), Heartland (Steve Harris, guitar), and Thunder (Chris Childs and Harry James, bass and drums respectively). Original FM keyboardist Didge Digital drops by to add his synth magic.

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We can keep it simple with this review. Basically and essentially, with Secrets & Lies, you have five very talented veterans of the genre laying down some genuine and creative AOR melodic rock. It's merely a fusion of their respective personal and professional experience from their respective bands. Although, I might say that there's less a Thunder influence in the Shadowman sound, but that's just to my ears.

Breaking this down a little more, Shadowman delivers the AOR melodic rock essentials. Overland sings melodic and smooth, with a soulful sometimes bluesy delivery. He' backed up by harmonious vocal arrangements. Melody and harmony, rhythm and groove, envelope every arrangement whether by those vocals, the guitar lines, or the touch of keyboard accent and atmosphere. The songs also turn on catchy hooks in composition, often the chorus, largely the melody. All these things are punctuated by Harris's solid and spicy straight up hard rock guitar solos. In other words, it's the perfect storm of AOR melodic hard rock for Shadowman and listeners.

As for the songs, you can expect the familiar range. There's rockers like Contagious, Secrets & Lies, the heavier No Smoke Without Fire, and the speedy Good Times Bad Times. A song like Be True To Yourself is an arena ready anthem, catchy in the guitar line and groove. Shadowman lightens up for some ballads, as expected with, Face The Night and Put It All On Love. The former has a smooth vocal arrangement, the latter a twist of synths from Didge Digital. All these things add up to one thing. Secrets & Lies is another fine album of AOR melodic hard rock from Shadowman. Easily recommended.

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The Bottom Line

Basically and essentially, with Secrets & Lies, you have five very talented veterans of the genre laying down some genuine and creative AOR melodic rock. Easily recommended.

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