I have to admit that when you see the term Rock Opera or Concept Album in the notes for a review submission, I tend to clench my teeth and expect the worst. Maybe I grew up in the wrong time when such terms were linked to the likes of Rick Wakeman dressed as a wizard and putting historical productions together…on ice! So I girded by loins, thought of queen and country and went in….
Thankfully these are different times and Shadows…, is far removed from those days. Thankfully we live in a more enlightened, less pretentious time and whereas concept albums used to sound like the drug addled musings and flights of science fiction fancy found in the works of Michael Moorcock, L.HUNT offers something much more worthy. Shadows…, and the album it is from LifeWork: Passage One – The Question (okay that does sound like it should be on a Yes album) explore the concept of the human condition and madness and in these tough times of isolation and worry, anything which raises such awareness, no matter how conceptually driven, is to be applauded.
Musically it is fascinating too, a great snapshot of what you can expect from the complete work, rising from neo-classical confusion where gypsy violins wind through piano meanderings and skittering percussion whilst an imploring and emotional charged vocal takes centre stage. Crescendos and breakdowns create dynamics and tension, wailing guitars add to the chaos and in just three minutes they leave you drained. But they also leave you hooked and wanting to know more. Singles, if indeed we still call them that, used to be an advert for the full album and that is exactly what Shadows…, is, the perfect hook, a fantastic promotional piece and a beguiling track in its own right.