Written by Alex Stojanovic
As Fast As The Others
The Hanging Garden (The Cure cover)
Mother Is The Word For God
WARREL DANE BAND:
Warrel Dane - Vocals
Johnny Moraes - Guitars
Thiago Oliveira - Guitars
Fabio Carito - Bass
Marcus Dotta - Drums
During the last few years before his passing, you can see that he was looking pretty frail and it was a worrisome sight for many people. He had been working on Shadow Work for a couple of years in between his touring commitments with Sanctuary and his solo band, and his passing happened in the middle of the album's recording process. The album was intended to be longer than it actually is, with a time limit of 80 minutes initially planned, but given the devastating turn of events, Warrel never finished all of the vocals that were intended for the album, and as a result, only 40 minutes were able to be released. However, me and all the fans worldwide are really glad that his band and Century Media Records were able to gather all the finished pieces and put together 8 full songs for a posthumous release so that we could hear Warrel's final recordings. The result is one amazing album.
With the use of 7-string guitars, and the chunky, low-tuned riffs, you can clearly hear the Nevermore vibes, especially on "Disconnection System", "As Fast As The Others", "Madame Satan" and "Shadow Work". Another stand out moment on the album is that they took The Cure's "The Hanging Garden" and went completely off the original arrangement, and made it so much heavier. It sounds like a completely different song. Warrel's vocals in the chorus made the hairs on my neck stand up as they sound so dark and haunting, with the guitar harmonies underneath tugging at your heartstrings. The opener "Ethereal Blessing" is such a strong moment, even though it's just over a minute long. With his dark vocals over top a Middle Eastern flavoured melody, it feels like an intro to an epic movie. I get chills listening to this track.
The epic and dynamic closer "Mother Is The Word For God" is an emotional roller coaster, because it starts of slow and melancholic, then builds into a heavy assault of awesome riffs and rampaging drums. I dare everyone to try and keep a dry eye during the last minute and a half of the song when the intro returns, and especially in the last 30 seconds as the cello and violin close out this amazing piece of music. When you hear it, you'll see why that will be impossible. I know, because it was happening to me. It's the sense of knowing that Warrel has reached the end of his journey, and it creates a vision of him slowly waving farewell to everyone as he fades from existence. Powerful.
It's hard to find a flaw on this record, but I wouldn't quite say that this is Warrel's best work ever. It's close though. However, Shadow Work is an amazing and beautiful swan song of a fallen metal brother and a true original. Everyone who was touched by Warrel's music and spirit over the years will undoubtedly be headbanging and shedding tears while listening to Shadow Work. As cliche as the saying is, it's the truth. He may not be here with us anymore, but he will live forever in our hearts and his music. Warrel, thank you for all the amazing music you have blessed the world with. R.I.P. You will never be forgotten.
Highs: "Ethereal Blessing", "As Fast As The Others", "The Hanging Garden", "Mother Is The Word For God"
Lows: Hardly any flaws.
Final Rating: 9/10
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