Listening to the new Warrel Dane release, Shadow Work, is extremely bittersweet for me. Normally I look forward to a new Nevermore or Sanctuary record with baited breath, but listening to this is a bit different. This essentially is his last statement, as the amazing, classically-trained operatic voice was silenced at the end of last year, resulting in a huge loss for the metal community.

The introductory “Ethereal Blessing” gets us started straight away on a melancholic path as Dane’s vocals are layered over a Middle Eastern sounding guitar riff. This quickly gives way to “Madame Satan” and the record is off to the races. There are many memorable moments herein, including some killer guitar playing, but, as you might expect, the star of the show is Dane himself. His dramatic vocal delivery is unlike anyone else’s. Shadow Work is a solo record, but, to me, it is hard to separate Dane’s solo output from his work with Sanctuary and Nevermore, and, to be honest, any one of these eight songs could probably be right at home on either of those band’s albums.

Plug in to the audio track for “Disconnection System”.

I have read that the original plan for this release was over 80 minutes long, but, due to the tragic circumstances, only 40 minutes of material was released, and some not as complete as Warrel had originally intended. Whatever the case is though, this is a solid record and a beautiful swan song from our amazingly talented, fallen brother.

Shadow Work Track Listing:

01. Ethereal Blessing
02. Madame Satan
03. Disconnection System
04. As Fast as the Others
05. Shadow Work
06. The Hanging Garden
07. Rain
08. Mother Is the Word for God

Run Time: 41:48
Release Date: October 26, 2018
Record Label: Century Media