STEVE WALSH – Shadowman

STEVE WALSH - Shadowman


Frontiers Records
Release date: June 28, 2005

User Review
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Many people would regard Steve Walsh, best known as the frontman for the USA band Kansas, as a musical icon of sorts. Afterall, it’s no minor achievement that he helped make the Kansas Leftoverture and Point Of Know Return releases timeless, Progressive Rock classics. It was his signature vocals that helped propel Kansas tracks like “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Point Of Know Return” to iconic stardom. You’d also be remiss to not mention the song “Dust In The Wind,” which is arguably one of Rock’s best and most recognized ballads. “Dust In The Wind” alone has surfaced in TV, films, and just recently in a somewhat controversial, perceived “sell-out” move, a Subaru B9 Tribeca commercial.

Then there’s Steve’s work in a slightly more straight on, Melodic Rock group called Streets, which yielded some FM airplay in its heyday. Interestingly enough, Walsh’s newest solo CD, Shadowman, falls somewhere between the two aforementioned projects. Shadowman is best categorized as heavier then Streets, but not as progressive as Kansas. Unfortunately, while not being a horrible release, you’ll likely not find any track here that will surpass the lasting appeal of any of Walsh’s previously mentioned hits.

The release, as a whole, is possibly best cataloged as a cornucopia of varying tempos and moods. For example, the slightly off-beat opening track “Rise” is best described as an eclectic mix of keyboards (possibly some sequences), with a Classic Rock feel, broken up by a few moments of light Thrash. After being thrown a bit off kilter by this track, the listener is then hit with the title track “Shadowman,” which is basically a more straight-ahead Rock song with a tinge of a Kansas feel. The song is backed by a steady drum beat and comes with a strong chorus. Three quarters of the way through, a “giga symphony” is introduced, which adds a bit of an Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) feel. The track as a whole seems to be suited to do favorably well on Classic Rock radio stations around the World. “Davey and the Stone That Rolled Away” starts out as a bluesy Rock track, replete with an almost reminiscent Streets chorus. All is well and good with this song until the tempo changes temporarily with a set of ELO-like keyboard lines, and is then followed up with a short Progressive movement.

The brightest spot on the release is the 2 minute 12 second instrumental introduction to the nearly 10-minute “After” track. The introduction alone is a tasty Progressive instrumental piece, backed by another Classical helping of that aforementioned “giga symphony.” This segment alone could have stood on it’s own in a lengthier version. Alas, even this track ends up leading into a rather sullen vocal section that slows the tempo down, and then picks up its pace once again.

Overall there is not any one awful track on this CD. The release just suffers from not getting into a steady “groove,” which ends up causing the listener to lose attention. It’s filled with too many songs that seem to run through too many different tempo changes, almost as if Walsh was trying to write a moody Classical movement.

Bottom line, this release is a buy for the more avid Steve Walsh fan. Walsh’s vocals are very commendable throughout, without any signs of strain. Pure fans of Kansas and Streets will otherwise not find much here to keep them coming back spin after spin.


Steve Walsh – Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Joel Kosche – Guitar, Bass
David Ragsdale – Violin
Joe Franco – Drums
Michael Romeo – Giga Symphony
Matt Still – Percussions


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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