Wim S. : There are a few singers around who you recognize instantly from the moment you hear their voice. After a few notes you know who you are dealing with. Vocalists who can turn a crap song into something that is still worth listening to. Steve Overland is an example of such a singer. He is the man we already know from bands like The Ladder, FM and Heartland. In Heartland he plays with guitarist Steve Morris. Those two are the key figures in Shadowman. Well, if you are one of the best singers in the melodic rock genre and you sing the songs written by a good songwriter (Morris) then you know you will get a fine album. 'Watching Over You' is the sequel to 'Ghost In The Mirror', an album that was released more than two years ago. Actually, in those two years nothing has changed: Shadowman is still a great AOR band.
The pair is assisted by two experienced musicians in the persons of Harry James and Chris Childs, we both know from Thunder. Shadowman sounds nothing less than The Ladder of FM. Not only is the voice of Overland extremely important for the overall sound of all those bands, but also the instrumentation of Shadowman is the same as that of the aforementioned bands. And that creates clarity for the listener as they get presented exactly that kind of music they might expect, nothing more, nothing less. You also know that you get quality, as I have never heard an album with Overland cooperating on vocals that is not worthwhile. This album sounds again as AOR should sound: driving, pumping tracks, interspersed with beautiful ballads and always with lots of melody and emotion. Highlights include the dazzling 'Suzanne', the sensitive 'Cry' and the very fine 'Stop Breaking This Heart Of Mine'. Wouldn't it be nice if the gentlemen in this band would take their own band more seriously! Thus, for example, the band does not have an own website and there are no live performances (that I know of). That is a shame, because this may (must!) heard by anyone who likes melodic hard rock.