Steve Walsh’s solo project Shadowman has been playing a lot on my CD player lately. Shadowman was released originally in 2005, and was reissued in 2008 by ProgRock Records/SPV. The latest version is bolstered with two bonus tracks: “Faule Dr Roane” and “Dark Day,” previously available as digital downloads only. Both songs are equal to the best of Walsh’s output and make a welcome – I say vital – addition to this excellent record.
The music on Shadowman is much heavier than anything Walsh did with Kansas, even approaching techno at times (on “Hell Is Full Of Heroes,” my least favorite track of the lot), but it’s also studded with great melodies and singing. Kansas bandmate David Ragsdale’s violin work also gives many of these tunes a Kansas vibe, so don’t be afraid! The title track and the epic “After” are stunning, and exhibit the full range of dynamics and moods of Walsh’s best work. As a whole, Shadowman is Walsh’s finest moment.