Shadygrove is a Celtic folk rock band from Italy. Their new release is entitled “In the Heart of Scarlet Wood” and has been released on Rockshots Records. The band features members from Elvenking, Evenoire, and Sound Storm and is made up of Simone Morettin (drums, ethnic percussions), Fabio “Lethien” Polo (violin), Lisy Stefanoni (vocals, flute), Matteo Comar (guitar), Davide Papa (bass), and Elena Crolle(keyboards). This is not Heavy Metal, but the album has a great sound and is full of passion. Every song in beautifully executed musically and vocally. There is so much to listen to in the background with all the different instruments the performers are playing. This album sounds like it is right out of Lord of the Rings or Medieval times. If you are looking for screaming guitars and double bass drums, this is not for you. If you are looking for a solid album that is something a little different but great to listen to then you have found what you are looking for.
The first song of the album is Scarlet Wood and is quite a treat. The musical opening gives you a good feel of what this album is going to give you. Stefanoni’s vocals start out so sweet and the warmth of her voice is immediately felt. We get to feel some of her range as she hits some higher notes as the song continues. The fact she has a nice range coupled with her ability to sing so well with her pure voice makes every song vocally special. During the chorus of this song her voice jumps all around, but it works perfectly. It is very impressive that such a mellow album has so much going on musically all through the album. At times the song is almost chaotic with all the instruments being played, but once again it sounds good and all fits together nicely.
My Silver Seal has a different feel to it. It has a bit of a deeper sound to it, until the vocals kick in sung much higher than the first song. Stefanoni’s vocals always keep you pulled into the song and music. She is a very talented singer and I find myself mesmerised listening to her voice. Two songs in, we have very different songs, but both equally good. It seems like this type of music could start sounding repetitive, but that does not happen on this album at all.
One of my favourite songs on the album is Eye of Love. It has an opening that makes you feel quite sad. Then the song picks up a bit, but you really feel the two different atmospheres of this song in the first minute. The vocals are soothing and comforting throughout the song. This song feels like a ballad to me, but the music still gives it some pep. The harmonies in this song are truly amazing as well. A nice musical solo in the middle is also very soothing.
The album ends with Queen of Amber. It starts right out with a great vocal opening. Some light violin in the background sounds phenomenal. This is another song that pulls you in and just won’t let go. The rhythm of all the songs is hard to describe, but it just makes you feel good. This album is very different then anything I own, but I have often wondered what an album like this done well would sound like. Now I know, and it is something I enjoy listening to. There are long stretches of this song that are just musically done, and they are an absolute joy to listen to.
This is one of the hardest reviews I have had to write. I was not sure what to expect when I asked to take this one on. I have listened to this album about ten times by now and I enjoy it more with each listen. There is so much to hear vocally and musically, but you really must pay attention to hear all the nuances. If you do take the time, you are rewarded with something that is very different, but very good indeed. If you are open to this type of music and do not require electric guitars shredding all over an album, this is worth a listen. I would recommend this album and think it would make a nice addition to anyone’s collection of music.
SCORE: 84 out of 100