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17.11.2018

BERNIE TORME

Shadowland

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Retrowrek Records, 2018)

Karakter: 5.5/6

Bernie Torme Shadowland album cover.jpgTo yours truly, the Irish-born guitarist Bernie Tormé (Gillan, Ozzy Osbourne, Desperado) is a living legend whose remarkable solo albums are criminally overlooked and underrated. That he is still going strong and sounds as inspired as ever is insanely admirable. To be perfectly honest with you, I did not think that it would be possible to top the near-flawless album that is "Dublin Cowboy" (2017), but lo and behold, Bernie and his talented cohorts have pulled off the impossible and made an album that not only stands out as the best of his career, but also a very strong candidate to album of the year. Yeah, you read that right!

The song material is incredibly diverse and dynamic, which is to say that it covers a lot of musical ground and encompasses everything that made the Gillan albums as well as Tormé's previous records so great. Simply put, "Shadowland" is one of those rare albums that reeks of passion and is so emotionally intense and engaging that it defies words and description. You get raw blues, edgy rock 'n' roll, and punk-like riff-o-rama, and one can easily tell that this is a Bernie Tormé record. I am not going to single out any favorite cuts or highlights as such due to the fact that…ah well, fuck it, I need to point out that the ballad-like “Sun in Splendour” and “Forever” are so goddamn moving and heartfelt that it hurts while the anthem-like “Come the Revolution” and the face-melting “Water Into Wine” will tear you a new asshole. The latter may in fact feature one of the most infectious riffs I have ever come across. The only track that does not do a whole lot for me is the closing track named "A Call to Arms...", but everything else on the disc totally slays and leaves nothing to be desired.

The raw and raunchy sound fits like a glove and the organic vibe of the gut-punching affair is to die for. "Shadowland" sounds like a band playing together in rehearsals and having a great time, and there is something inspiring about that. The drive, energy, and enthusiasm that course through the veins of this wicked opus are almost overwhelming and it never loses its momentum. And did I tell you that this is a double album containing fifteen cuts?

As it turns out, the shadowland conjured up by Bernie and his partners in musical crime is the perfect place to be. Bernie, if you are reading this, please know that we love you very much and that we desperately want you to continue making stellar albums such as this one.
 


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