When Nevermore/Sanctuary vocalist Warrel Dane left us way too soon just about a year ago in December of 2017, he was in the middle of recording his second solo album with Brazilian musicians Thiago Oliveira (guitar), Johnny Moraes (guitar), Fabio Carito (bass), and Marcus Dotta (drums). His sudden death of a heart attack prevented the album from being completed in its entirety, which was planned as a 70+ minute opus and successor to 2008's Praises to the War Machine from 2008. After sifting through the existing vocal tracks that Dane had completed, the band, along with Century Media Records, decided to put together what was available and release a shortened version of what Shadow Work was originally intended, which ultimately is not just a kick ass release, but a fantastic tribute to the fallen vocalist. At roughly 40 minutes long, Shadow Work blasts in, kicks the listener in the teeth, and bows out gracefully, much of the material on display ferocious and containing some of Dane's heaviest material in years. "Madame Satan" approaches extreme metal, Dane's menacing roar twisting between some raging thrash riffs, instantly bringing to mind classic Nevermore, while the churning title track also ascends to those lofty levels, the guitar riffs and bombastic bottom end delivering Nevermore styled intensity that will delight longtime Dane fans. The band turn The Cure track "The Hanging Garden" in a moody thrash classic, while both "Rain" and "Mother is the Word for God" blend prog, thrash, and theatrical metal for a fantastic springboard for Dane's mix of high pitched and more guttural vocal styles.
The loss of Warrel Dane is something most heavy metal fans are going to feel for quite a while, but with a vast discography of excellent music to his credit with both Nevermore and Sanctuary, plus this final solo album, we won't be forgetting him anytime soon.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
01. Ethereal Blessing
02. Madame Satan
03. Disconnection System
04. As Fast as the Others
05. Shadow Work
06. The Hanging Garden (THE CURE cover)
08. Mother Is the Word for God