The self-financed EP was reviewed by Heavy Oder Was Magazine and ‘Dark Tower’ became the opening track on their ‘Metal Crusade’ CD for unsigned bands. Quickly after, the song came to the attention of Limb Music Productions (LMP), who offered ShadowKeep a record deal in June 2000. Two full-length studio albums (‘Corruption within’ and ‘A chaos theory’) followed to critical acclaim. From the onset, accolades abound for ShadowKeep’s timeless brand of highly melodic power metal, featuring Nikki and Chris’s intricate guitar wizardry and complemented by Groom’s ever dynamic production.
On stage, the band soon started playing support shows for Ronnie James Dio, Halford, Symphony X, Dream Evil and Flotsam and Jetsam. As energetic as their club shows were their appearances at festivals, including Bloodstock in the UK, Headbangers Open Air and Bang Your Head in Germany, Holland’s progpower fest Headway and Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles in the US. ShadowKeep were clearly on a winning streak, until line-up changes stopped the band in mid-flight. Vocalist Rogue went, American Ronnie Stixx (Divine Ruins/Vicious Rumors) came in.
Despite the line-up in flux, the band soldiered on. A 3-track promo was recorded with Ronnie on vocals. On the road in North-America, considerable success wasn’t the only thing that the Brits took with them: Texan bassist Stony Grantham became a permanent band member. After a short tour on the European continent, however, ShadowKeep again found themselves without a singer.
Intent on overcoming any setback that might hit them, ShadowKeep started pre-production on the third studio album, once again with Karl Groom at Thin Ice Studios. During this period, that produced some of Nikki and Chris’s most creative songwriting to date, the band recruited former Tygers of Pan Tang frontman (and ex-Angel Witch bassist) Richie Wicks on vocals. As the new opus ‘The hourglass effect’ was nearing completion, Chris had to undergo major surgery and, at the infamous eleventh hour, new drummer Omar Hayes came in.
With Chris recovering, a new recording deal with Dutch metal label Melissa Records materialized. So finally, after a prolonged hiatus that has not diminished any of ShadowKeep’s spirit, things are looking up. ‘The Hourglass Effect’ is set for a release in late 2008. The album’s dark science fiction concept and lyrics are courtesy of vocalist Richie Wicks, who proves himself a double asset for Britain’s finest force in power metal.
‘The hourglass effect’ epitomizes quality metal that transcends time and trends. With its concise songwriting, soaring vocals and grand production, this album indeed has all the trademarks of a classic. The band have outdone themselves in every department, which, considering the frustrating years that went before, marks an accomplishment in itself. ShadowKeep are back with a vengeance.