Henk : On December 13th, 2017, Warrel Dane passed away in São Paulo while recording the follow-up to 2008’s ‘Praises To The War Machine’. ‘Shadow Work’ was supposed to be an 80 minutes long opus and while all instruments had been recorded, Warrel passed away before completing all vocal tracks. Therefore, recordings made by Warrel during the pre-production phase of the album were also used. Musically it is an album that strongly resembles Nevermore. 'Ethereal Blessing' is the intro that opens the album after which 'Madame Satan' blasts from the speakers. The present death grunts will surprise many, but they fit in perfectly with this furious track. His Brazilian band consisting of Fabio Carito on bass, Johnny Moraes and Thiago Oliveira on guitar and Marcus Dotta on drums gives an outstanding perfromance on the album.
'Disconnection System' is the next track that has come to an end and releases the same intensity as 'Madame Satan' on the listener. With this song it is so that the voice of Warrel is deep in the mix. Most probably a consequence of the unfortunately premature death of the singer, because of which his vocal parts from the pre-production phase had to be used. It's only guessing how well the album had become if only Darrel could have finished the job.
'As Fast As Others' sounds more melodic than the first two tracks on the album and brings some balance in the intensity of the album. The following title track is again as furious as the first two tracks but less memorable. The same goes for 'The Hanging Garden' which incidentally has a beautiful melody line in the chorus. 'Rain' is a beautiful heavy ballad in the typical style of the singer, after which the nine-minute-long 'Mother Is The Word For God' closes the album. Given the circumstances in which this album was created we should pay tribute to everyone who has taken care of this. Maybe it is not always vocally the quality that what we are used to from Darrel Wane, but that is not so strange. If this album makes one thing clear, the metal world has been deprived of a huge talent. Fortunately, we have the music of his bands Nevermore and Sanctuary plus his solo albums to go back to.