Shadow Keep - Corruption Within

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Limb Music Products
Catalog Number: LMP 0009 021
Format: CD
Total Time: 63:24:00

If you want to hear how one man can destroy the talents of a whole band then check out the debut from Shadow Keep, a new British progmetal "sensation" produced by Threshold leader Karl Groom. Although singer Rogue M. is heralded as being the "star of the band" I hardly categorize this as "singing" but rather as "high-pitched shouting." All over the album you'll hear fabulous compositions performed with verve and indeed bringing a mix of Queensrÿche, Fates Warning and Crimson Glory.

When Rogue M. takes his singing to the lower part of his vocal range then it's acceptable, yet the moment he hits the high notes (or should we say "tries" to hit the high notes?) then things start getting on your nerves. Such is the case with "The Trial Of Your Betrayal," which holds Ronnie Montrose's "Jump On It" in the distance. In fact, that same kind of rhythm can be heard throughout "Cast Out" as well. It really is a shame that I keep on being negative about this release, because the rest of the band really are displaying a very professional form of prog metal. The double-bass drum of Dave Edwards, together with the various breaks certainly is the focal point within "Mark Of The Usurper." There's also some acoustic guitar to be heard here, in order to underline the somewhat "dark" nature of the song. In "Corruption Within," Chris Allen's guitar solo reminds me of Michael Schenker.

As opposed to other prog metal bands, Shadow Keep sticks to the sound of the guitar because next to main composer Chris Allen there's also the rhythm and harmony guitars of Nicki Robson, one of the few leading ladies in rock. So apart from a guest appearance from Clive Nolan (Arena, Shadowland, Pendragon) on "Death: A New Horizon" there are no keyboards to be found here. From a musical point of view, the introduction of "Inner Sanctum" clearly illustrates what this band is capable of. Sadly, as pointed out since the beginning of this review, the addition of Rogue M. disintegrates the final result. A version of "Queen Of The Reich," which has been recorded for a Queensrÿche tribute album, is added as a "hidden" track. Needless to say this is by far the best track on the album except for ? you guessed it!

Dark Tower (4:40) / The Trial Of Your Betrayal (4:58) / Mark Of The Usurper (6:19) / Altar Of Madness (4:42) / Corruption Within (4:34) / Cast Out (4:50) / Meta-Morale (5:02) / Silver Sword (6:41) / Death : A New Horizon (3:51) / Murder (7:01) / Inner Sanctum (5:47) / Bonus: The Queen Of The Reich (10:36)

Rogue M. - vocals
Chris Allen - guitars, backing vocals
Nicki Robson - rhythm & harmony guitars, backing vocals
James Daley - bass, backing vocals
Dave Edwards - drums

Guests :

Clive Nolan - keyboards
Karl Groom - additional keyboard arrangements and production
Russell King - additional drums

Shadow Keep (EP) (1999)
Corruption Within (2000)
A Chaos Theory (2001)
The Hourglass Effect (2008)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin UK

Added: September 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 853
Language: english


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