Nathan Mahl - Shadows Unbound

Year of Release: 2003
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: NMA009
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:55:00

After the time consuming composing and recording of the Heretik trilogy, Camel keyboard player Guy LeBlanc has delved into his archives in order to find some older compositions which he has dusted off and released under the banner of Shadows Unbound. To make things even more interesting he has even gathered the original line-up of Nathan Mahl around him which obviously steers the music into more of a fusion direction. Mainly written as a follow up to the Parallel Eccentricities album, the eight tracks on display here are wittier than the Heretik stuff, more powerful, more daring at times. Both the Hohner Clavinet as well as the Hammond organ are given a prominent role during the opener "Without Words" whilst the bass playing is emphasized in the mix. When you listen closely to "Between Here And There" then two names get very close to what you hear: Brand X and National Health (the latter comes right after Nathan Mahl in my record collection!). The name National Health obviously is there because of the way LeBlanc approaches his keyboards, coming damned close to the feel of the late Alan Gowen.

With the title track the band rubs shoulders with Gryphon, not in the least because of the inclusion of medieval textures. A small minus for the vocal interpretation by one certain JP Ranger here who sounds uncertain at times. LeBlanc feels like a fish in fresh water when he is able to show off his many talents on his Hammond, which means guitarist Mark Sp?nard is given a secondary role. During "Beyond The Rims Of Despair" one of my favourite instruments, the Fender Rhodes, delivers kind of a Canterbury finish to the song. During the final song "A Call To Arms," bass player Don Prince really can turn this into his song, as the rest of the band enables him to demonstrate his technical skills whilst drummer Dan Lacasse also sees the possibility to experiment. As opposed to the Heretik trilogy, some vocals are introduced as well; however, most of this Shadows Unbound album remains of an intsrumental nature where obviously most of the attention is reserved for keyboard player Guy LeBlanc. Although emphasized in the fusion element, no doubt fans of good honest symphonic rock as well as well-crafted jazzy elements will certainly find this album to be of great value and a treat for the ears as well as the mind!

Without Words / Between Here And There / Shadows Unbound / Funkface / Beyond The Rims Of Despair / Scumsucking Parasites / Misleading Agenda / A Call To Arms

Guy LeBlanc - Hammond organ, acoustic and Rhodes pianos, Hofner clavinet, Korg, vocals
Marc Sp?nard - guitars, vocals
Daniel Lacasse - drums, percussion
Don Prince?- 4- and 6-string bass and fretless bass
Jean-Pierre Ranger - lead vocals, bass pedals

Parallel Eccentricities (1983/1997)
The Clever Use Of Shadow (1998)
Heretik Volume I: Body Of Accusations (2000)
Heretik Volume II: The Trial (2001)
Heretik Volume III: The Sentence (2002)
Shadows Unbound (2003)
Live At NEARFest '99 (2004)
Exodus (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CA

Added: May 4th 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 795
Language: english


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