Lipshok – Shadows Of A Dark Heart

Shadows Of A Dark Heart
Sliptrick Records
December 22, 2020

Lipshok come from the California Bay Area. And the band has been around for a few years. If I may believe the information on the Encyclopaedia Metallum, they have been active since at least 1995. At least this year the debut (?) Album “Electress” was released. After a long break, three more followed, each three years apart. Most recently “To Haunt A Quiet Realm” (2016). Now with “Shadows Of A Dark Heart” album number five is launched, provided that the list is complete. Let’s hear what this symphonic metal / rock made in California sounds like.

They tell stories. Some of the songs seem like a continuation of the fairy tale from “Alice in Wonderland”. It goes without saying that there are no metal sounds to go with it. For once, “Answer The Call” doesn’t tell a fable. The song, which starts with sacred organ sounds, is more politically located. This is about people who ask for help in these difficult times. A brand-new topic, which is implemented accordingly rock-like. But even with the somewhat quieter “Don’t Fear Defeat” the musicians dive deep into the fairy tale world. Scarlett has a pleasant sounding, soulful voice. And their subtle keyboard carpets go very well with the sound. The very melodic guitar solo is the icing on the cake. Also, with the mid-tempo song “Looking Glass” the musicians show a great sense for beautiful melodies. And the singer shines with a slightly lower timbre than before. “Without A Frame” is a heart-breaking power ballad. During the verses, the singer accompanies herself on the e-piano and synthesizer. The rhythm section then kicks in with the chorus. Again, you can hear a wonderful guitar solo. “And So He’ll Fly” tells the story of Icarus and his deadly mistake. In keeping with the theme, it sounds harder, sometimes hectic. Although mostly in the mid-tempo range, this is probably the heaviest song on the album. “Alive Once More” tells of the musings of a vampire. Dreamy ballad-like melodies alternate with rocking, sometimes combative-sounding guitar riffs. Also, on “Revenge” the riffs dominate, underlaid again and again by synth sounds. The album ends with another ballad (“Unknown”). Only the e-piano and synth strings accompany the singing of Scarlett Dark. Live, with the flickering glow of the lighters, this will certainly give you goose bumps.

Is that Gothic Rock or Symphonic Metal as it says in the press release? For me, this is clearly melodic rock in which some symphonic bonds were processed. The compositions show that the musicians have many years of experience. And as storytellers, they remind me a little of the British Magnum, but not quite as rocky. A successful album that you should listen unhurriedly. You can discover a lot of musical subtleties.

Lipshok – And So He’ll Fly:


Scarlett Dark aka Debbi Douglas – Keyboards, Lead Vocals
Massimiliano Maggiari – Guitar
Phil Jameson – Bass
Joe Londeree – Drums

Track list:

  • Answer The Call
  • Don’t Fear Defeat
  • Looking Glass
  • Without A Flame
  • And So He’ll Fly
  • Alive Once More
  • Revenge
  • Unknown
  • 8/10
    Album - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Cover Art - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Songwriting - 8/10