After the release of Shadow Eden's self-titled debut EP (2010, see review), the band's popularity only grew, especially when was announced that founding members, guitarist Dave Mercado and drummer Kenny Lane had recruited the famous Randy Coven as their bass player. Randy made fame, playing with Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and for the participation in the band Ark and of course his solo albums, like Funk Me Tender, Sammy Says Ouch and the CPR album, which still takes spins in my CD player. So things were looking pretty good and the band was frequently playing live and recordings for an album were planned. When the recordings were finished and the band was preparing to tour the summer, news hit them that Randy Coven had suddenly passed away, at only 54 years old. I am not really sure, but what we have here might be the last recording of a brilliant bass player, who died way too early.
I guess the influence of Randy Coven, who can be seen as one of the best neo-classical metal bass players, led to an album, which breathes neo-classical guitar music. Dave Mercado's style still has a sort of hidden layer that finds its grounds in fusion and jazz rock, but compared to the previous album these influences are less noticeable. What we do get is a perfectly balanced album where shred master Dave has to compete with veteran Randy Coven, resulting in challenging compositions, strong soloing from both sides and a lot of testosterone. In short; music with big balls. Five of the compositions are written by Dave Mercado and Young Frankenstein is an impressive adaption of Edgar Winter's Frankenstein. Resulting in a composition that stands closer to Michael Fath's version than to the original. A special remark, when it comes to the final song on the CD; some people say shredding is just pointless speeding over your fretboard. Algorhythm proves the difference, listen to this acoustic outburst of energy, well-structured and above all, very melodic.
Perpetual Motion is another step up the ladder for Shadow Eden and there is no doubt, Dave Merdado has made name alongside his friends Joe Stump and Rob Balducci. Shadow Eden has found a new bass player in Paul Ranieri and continues to perform and record. Perpetual Motion is a perfect tribute to honour Randy Coven.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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