KEVIN LAWRY - The Shadows Stole The Dawn

Kevin Lawry - The Shadows Stole The Dawn

7 songs
37:53 minutes
***** **


In early 2015, I reviewed the last album by Crowned In Earth, a band founded and fronted by Kevin Lawry. With his roots in doom metal, he had veered towards Seventies Brit prog on Metempsychosis, and maybe it was only natural that his musical evolution would make give up on all things metal. What I didnít expect was for the artist to become a solo act performing under his own name. I donít know if Kevin Lawry played all the instruments on the album or if he had some help for instance with the drums, but I have to say kudos for his consistent following his very own ideas.

The Shadows Stole The Dawn is a short album at only seven songs, with the main influences being Genesis, Caravan and Camel, and while this would make you expect a total retro fest, the reality is a little different though. Letís start with the opener Broken Arrow whose guitar sound reminds me of Eighties rush, with the rhythm section also rooted firmly in the Eighties, although coming with a more new wave / post punk sound. Kevinís voice is an acquired taste. His vocal performance is a little shaky, sometimes nasal, but due to lack of all kinds of effects, it also feels honest and vulnerable. The chorus features a mellotron part, which is the biggest nod to Seventies prog. The following Faith starts in a jazzy manner, with finger clicks and a piano that frankly could have sounded more organic. The songís first part is a very personal ballad, the second part comes with mellotron flute emulations and a certain Enya flair before its final part goes into fully fledged vintage prog territory, complete with mellotron choirs full of pleasant pathos. Fracture starts like an Eighties new wave track, a little like ancient Cure, also due to the guitar sound, but donít worry, there is room for mellotrons on each and every song on Kevin Lawryís debut solo album.

Most songs are between four and six minutes long, except the concluding title track at a little over eight minutes, and itís here where the artist is sounding at his most progressive. The Shadows Stole The Dawn is an album full of good intentions, but at times the elaboration could use more refinement. The production is rather thin, which does give the album a very intimate atmosphere but unfortunately also highlights some weaknesses, like the occasionally synthetic sounding emulations of piano and mellotrons. The bass guitar is also maybe a little loud in the mix, and the vocalsÖ you either love them or hate them. I decided the former. The mellotronic drama owes to old Genesis, while a certain whimsical nature is not unlike the charming Canterbury sound of Caravan, Camel and the likes, so those comparisons actually make sense. I suggest you check out before you buy, but in the end I really came to like The Shadows Stole The Dawn much more than my first run-through made me expect.

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