My father used to listen to a band from New York back in the day called Black Lace; Now, I’m aware I’m drawing on a long bow here, but, here we have Shadowland, also from New York an also boasting a female vocalist who give me a whole load of the same vibes – this is the good shit right here!
On their first full-length album, Necromancer’s Castle, Shadowland do nothing but shoot right back to those eighties days when melodic metal ruled the roost. They aren’t afraid to mix up the headbanging heaviness with the downright tuneful, and in Tanya Finder they have a vocalist who covers the total range of moods created by the rest of the band. At times she’s really putting the pedal to the metal with a raunchy, almost-outta-control mania that reminds me of Betsy from Bitch mixed up with Ann Boleyn from Hellion, but then on the radio rocky Remains she sounds what I imagine Stevie Nicks might have sounded like in the early eighties if she’s teamed up with Judas Priest instead of Tom Petty… that’s a lot of ground to cover vocally, but this lady is surely up to the task on the evidence presented here!
It’s not just a one-woman show; Jeff Filmer and Al Bulmer are a formidable duo in the best traditions of this kind of metal, and the rhythm section of bassist Cedric Obando and drummer Dave Hawk hold down the bottomend with thumping, barnstorming precision.
There’s a little punky edge to some of the riffs here, adding a bit of NWoBHM authenticity to the stew, but for the most part this classic American metal as made by names like Armored Saint and Riot. Have a listen to songs like Warhound and try not to get that air guitar plugged in!
The Necromancer’s Castle releases on October 22nd.