Released: 2000, Noise
I was introduced to Ian Parry earlier this year via his Consortium Project, a great disc that greatly impressed me. Upon learning that he has been going strong for years I then went back and got some of his other releases both solo and with his various bands including Vengeance and Elegy. Instead of going through a history of Parry I will let you read my review of Consortium Project at http://www.metal-rules.com/reviews/June2000.htm
#Ian Which will fill you in on his past exploits. Shadowman is a Best Of release spanning Parry’s three solo CDs Symphony of Dreams (1993), Artistic Licence (1994) and Through The Looking Glass (1995). He is joined on this release on various songs by Arjen (Ayreon Lucassen) - Electric & acoustic Guitars Don van Splunteren - Guitar, Erwin Steylen - Guitar, Oscar Holleman - Guitar, Rene Merkelbach - Keyboards & Piano, Jan Bijslma - Bass, Marcel van der Zwam - Bass, Ernst van Ee - Drums and additional backing vocals are provided by Gwenn Wientjes and Esther Krijen.
Even though these songs are at least 5 years old they stand the test of time. It is easy to see Parry’s progression from a more hard rock based sound to a progressive metal sound. Unfortunately the songs are not in chronological order as it would be much easier to see the change which Parry went through over the years. Symphony of Dreams ‘93 was Parry’s first disc and is represented on Shadowman by 2 tracks. "Only Lies" is a straight forward melodic rocker that is much more like Parry’s work with Vengeance. This is a great track. The second track from Symphony is the haunting ballad "Watch The Wind Blow" This is an emotional acoustic track which is easily as good as any that Parry has ever done. His voice just exudes emotion and power. In 95 Parry released Artistic Licence and Shadowman includes 4 songs from that release. This time around Parry starts moving towards a more polished sound with a greater use of keyboards. Stand outs from that release include the up tempo "Dreamin It all" and "Bad Business". His songs start to become more refined and is only a short step from the progressive tinged sound he creates on Through The Looking Glass. This CD is represented by a whopping 9 tracks. This is the CD where Parry finds the sound that will continue to influence his work with Elegy and Consortium Project. Strong tracks such as "Through Those Eyes", "Shadowman" and "Tell Me Why" showcase the talented vocals and song writing abilities of Parry. Parry wrote 13 of the 15 songs on this disc and co wrote the other 2 so besides being an excellent vocalist he is also a talented songwriter.
First let me say that the cover art of this CD bears a remarkable likeness to the cover of Something Wild by Children Of Bodom. I have it on good authority that the cover was developed from a widely available piece of artwork and has no connection with Children of Bodom. The CD itself is a great collection of songs from Parry’s past. However I would like to have seen a few more tunes from the Symphony of Dreams CD. Ian Parry is not one to stay idle as he has just released a new Elegy CD and shows no signs of letting up with his own solo work. Check out Ian’s website at http://www.ianparry.com