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Shadow Host
Neverland
July 2014
Released: 2002, Valiant Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Regular readers will know that I am on a huge ShadowHost kick. This is a the fourth month in a row I have reviewed a ShadowHost album as I methodically work backwards through their catalogue of one of my newest favourites from Mother Russia. This month I am looking at NEVERLAND the bands second album from 2002.



NEVERLAND was released on a small label called Valiant and this back when the band was still a band and yet to go into an extended period of membership changes. What is interesting is that it had been five years since the bands independent debut called twilight legend and this is essentially a full re-recording of their debut. The track sequence has changed and they dropped a song, ‘Seven Songs’ and added a song called ‘Dragonfire’s Burning’ bring the total number of tracks to 10 and a hidden bonus track.



ShadowHost play excellent, speedy, EuroMetal inspired by the masters of the genre. You can certainly hear the bands Helloween influence and in fact it makes sense later we discover the hidden track is the classic Helloween cover tune, ‘Twilight Of The Gods’. The album opens with an acoustic intro called ‘Visions’ and then they surge ahead with a surge of pure blazing speed before dropping into a great mid-tempo cut with more acoustic flourishes. The track picks up again around the chorus time with the occasional piercing highs of vocalist, Sergey. The whole album has strong riffs, good choruses and lots of excellent soloing. There are enough tempo changes and good ideas to keep it exciting as well, while staying within the framework of traditional Power Metal.



I have yet to buy the rare, hard to find and independent debut, which is disappointing because I can’t really tell you how the re-recorded NEVERLAND stands in comparison to the debut. However, this is a very strong set of songs and individual performances.
Track Listing

1. Visions
2. The Last Hope
3. Beyond the Line
4. Call of the Unknown
5. Forgotten Words
6. Dragonfire's Burning
7. In the Mirrorland
8. Echo of Sunrise
9. Inviolable Balance
10. Nothing Left Behind
11. Twilight of the Gods

Lineup

Sergey Sergeev - Vocals
Alexey Arzamazov - guitar
Alexey Martynov - Guitar
Alexey Zavolokin - Bass
Sergey Kutaev - drums

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