|Shadows Fade Shadows Fade||Frontiers Records|
Shadows Fade is another 'project' release from Frontiers Records. This time sees popular Storm/Two Fires vocalist Kevin Chalfant up front, singing a collection of tracks selected with Kevin's voice in mind.|
Rather than using Fabrizio Grossi, who's been responsible for the majority of these projects, the man behind all the music featured here is Alex De Rosso, one-time Dokken guitarist and general session man.
Shadows Fade will be of instant appeal to Chalfant fans and lovers of smooth, laid back AOR. Style wise it's very much in line with Kevin's recent Two Fires releases and will sit neatly alongside those two albums.
Kevin's vocals are clean and clear and work this material beautifully. In describing the vocals though, I would have to say that they are fairly laid back and within Kevin's vast abilities. This is like the vocal style used on Two Fires, but doesn't match the raw power of the two Storm records.
There are some powerful passages on Shadows Fade, such as the chorus lines of Sooner Or Later and Run To Me, with the remaining tracks being very smooth, flawless and pure AOR.
The album itself is mostly mid-tempo pop rock (Twisted Again, My Ocean, Without You, Now That You're Gone), with a selection of emotional ballads (Run To Me, I Won't Look Back, Speak) and moody mid-tempo rockers (Sooner Or Later, First Love Song, Give It In).
De Rosso occasionally sounds like a recent era Eddie Van Halen with his guitar riffs, and elsewhere has a touch of Def Leppard in his production techniques.
But generally speaking, he lets Kevin do the work and merely accompanies the song's path.
My main complaint is that I don't think the album is punchy enough. It's very smooth and Kevin's vocals are very enjoyable. However, the production is quite muddy in places and there sometimes isn't a clear guitar riff providing a driving force behind the music.
De Rosso provides all instruments with the exception of a couple of guests and all drums are programmed, not played. And the overall tempo really doesn't get out of third gear – it's quite laid back.
Kevin Chalfant has been responsible for some of AOR's best moments. While this doesn't match the power and emotion of The Storm, it does provide fans with another taste of his much loved vocals and is a very easy listening collection of AOR style tracks.
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