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Shadowman: Watching Over You

This disc is the proverbial game of two halves.

Though it would demean well-regarded guitarist Steve Morris (formerly of Export and Gillan, now with Heartland) and Thunder’s rhythm section of bassist Chris Childs and drummer Gary ‘Harry’ James, to describe Shadowman as ‘Steve Overland’s other band’, there’s no doubt that that the blues-drenched crooning of FM’s frontman is this album’s principle selling point.

The quartet’s fourth album borrows DNA from many of its protagonists’ daytime endeavours, Morris’ identifiable guitar sound rendered clear and bright by a mix from Tommy Hansen (Helloween), while Are You Ready appropriates the earthy simplicity often mined by both FM and Thunder.

The album’s first seven tracks are complete belters that set the scene for something spectacular – especially Across The Universe, Renegades and the strident yet deeply melodic Suzanne – though marks are deducted for the way the album tails off after Waiting For A Miracle, with only Whatever It Takes hitting the bullseye during its final five stuttering selections.