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CD Review - Mad Shadow
Mad Shadow
Independent

Mad Shadow’s self-titled, full-length debut is a ten track flashback into the kind of guitar driven, blues-influenced, hard-rock sounds that bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC helped to originate back in the 60’s and 70’s. For those who still listen to Hendrix, The Doors, Zeppelin, etc and wish that new music was being made with the same heart and passion like it was back in the day, check out this young, B.C based band. Every song on this album is original, full of heavy groove riffs, old-school style guitar solos, and raunchy blues style vocals that will have you feeling like you’re caught in some sort of time-travel inducing acid flashback.

Mad Shadow consists of Erik Olufson (vocals), Danny Sveinson (guitars), Josh Mcdonald (drums) and Tyler Lindgrin (bass). Originally formed around Danny Sveinson (acclaimed guitar prodigy who’s been playing guitar professionally since the age of 10), Mad Shadow moves beyond the hype surrounding Danny and truly encompasses the exceptional talent and skill of all four young, up and coming musicians. Tracks like “White Lies,” “Reflections” and “Mad Shadow” sound like the product of a seasoned band of old-school rock and roll veterans, not that of a group of young guys who have only been together just barely over a year.

While they definitely have established a classic, signature sound, there are some moments where things sound a little too familiar. For example, there’s a section in the song “Living in the Past” where you swear Jim Morrison just broke in and grabbed the mic. Not to harp on the guy too much, Erik Olufson is a phenomenal vocalist whose unwavering, powerful yet soulful voice is already at such a quality that would make many experienced rock vocalists more than just a little envious. There are times, however when it seems like he may be channeling his inner Robert Plant just a little too much. Anyways, all criticisms aside its great that these guys are staying true to the music that they love and are not trying to bastardize it for the sake of selling ‘records’. Keep it up boys!

MadShadowBand.com

By Alxs Ness
- Abort Magazine


Saturday, August 2, 2008
MAD SHADOW
Self-titled
Independent
8-out-of-10
Ah to be young and talented, with the world of rock 'n roll laid out ahead of you. That is right where the members of Mad Shadow find themselves.
The band, which hails from B.C. has a world of potential, with the oldest member not yet 20.
With such a young group of musicians you might expect the sound to be poppish, but instead Mad Shadow comes out of the gate with a debut album that has a mature sound with its roots born of music which was being played before these guys were even born.
The band's bio at www.madshadowband.com states their “sound is a throwback to the raunchy guitar rock of 70’s bands such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith or Deep Purple.”
That's a pretty heady comparison to make, more so for a group that are still teens, but they do an admirable job of delivering on their statement.
This is rock that is reasonably comparable to the great bands of an earlier era.
Danny Sveinson shows he grew up with the guitar in his hands, and his guitar solo work is a recording highlight, especially on the songs where they let themselves go, throwing away the yoke of making a song three minutes for radio. And instead just going with the song.
Erik Olufson has a voice mature beyond his years as well.
The band is completed by Josh McDonald on drums and Tyler Lindgrin on bass.
There are several excellent cuts here; White Lies as Mad Shadow does a little musical exploration ranging from clearly Led Zeppelin-ish odes, to blues laden cuts. It is what you might expect from young musicians exploring for their preferred sound. Overall it is held together by the fine musicianship.
This is a fine album for a band debut, made more exciting by just how good these guys could be as they grow and mature. They certainly are honouring the bands of the past, and are a new sound in rock that you should check out. It could be the start of a storied career for these four.
You can check them out live at Rayzr's pub in the Yorkton Hotel Aug. 7, and learn more about them in a feature article this issue.
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 30, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada - Yorkton This Week


By Calvin Daniels
Staff Writer
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mad Shadow is a rock band which is developing a modern sound by drawing heavily on the past for its influences.

Those influences include bands such as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Deep Purple and Aerosmith.

"It¹s what I¹ve really been into all my life, since I was five, or six," said band spokesperson and guitarist Danny Sveinson. "I got a really early start into the genre."

Sveinson said the early start was thanks to his father, over the protestations of his mother at the time. Sveinson was not yet in school when his father wanted to take him to an AC/DC concert.

"My mom didn¹t want me to go," said Sveinson, adding his father won out on the discussion, and the die was cast in terms of the music he would become the most familiar with.

"I was a six-year-old metal head," he said. "... It all started with AC/DC, but to pick a favourite band it would be Led Zeppelin. You look at Led Zeppelin, their whole catalogue has been so influential, so inspiring over the whole rock genre."

As a result, Mad Shadow, which performs at Rayzr¹s Pub in the Yorkton Hotel Aug. 7, has a sound which is rock Œn roll which Sveinson said "hearkens back to Œ70s guitar rock."

From the time of the pre-school concert, Sveinson has been devoted to rock music.

"It¹s something I love doing. I don¹t consider it a job as much as something I just want to do," he said, adding compared to working at a fast food restaurant or some other similar job as a teenager, playing in a band is a far better option.

"Wouldn¹t you rather be in a rock band?" he asked, adding in his own case "I¹ve been performing since I was 10."

As much as he loves performing, Sveinson admitted the music industry is a tough place to make a dollar, especially in a world where anyone can create an album cheap, travel costs are skyrocketing, and fewer and fewer venues want to pay for live music.

In the Œ90s you put an album out, you were something," he said, adding that the CD they have launched is now one of hundreds out there, and while they look at it as solid, it¹s hard to gain venues to showcase their work.

"Nobody wants to pay you," he said, adding people "used to like to come out to hear live music," but are now seemingly content watching Much Music videos.

As for the band¹s self-titled debut, Sveinson said the music is all original, most of it collaboratively created, by himself and band mate Erik Olufson. "He writes the lyrics and I¹ll write the music," he said.

The CD is one made to showcase the band¹s abilities to those who buy the CDs, with a focus on letting the music go where it needed to go.

"It¹s not written with a commercial radio aspect in mind," said Sveinson, noting most of the songs do not fit comfortably into the three-minute timespan radio tends to dictate. "There¹s a couple of six minute songs.

"We weren¹t writing these to get some songs up on some radio station ... We wrote these songs as they are. We didn¹t want to alter them to hear them on the radio."

The music on the CD also shows the diversity of influence the band has. While strongly tied to the Œ70s, Sveinson noted there are elements of blues rock, some material which is borderline metal, and even a ballad thrown into the mix (see the CD reviewed elsewhere this issue).

Sveinson said the CD is the fourth he has personally been involved with as a soloist and with a previous band, and that does give him some perspective of what Mad Shadow has created.

"I can appreciate it a lot more than anything else I have done," he said.

The stop in Yorkton is part of a short tour through the west which will culminate Aug. 9, in Brandon at X-Fest where Mad Shadow will be in a line up along with bands such as Theory of a Deadman, 3 Doors Down and Gob. Sveinson said the spot at X-Fest could be the break every band seeks. "It¹s a potentially big gig for us," he said.

The spot at X-Fest and the tour both come to Mad Shadow after being together "just more than as year," admitted Sveinson, who said the band formed officially in April last year.

"My old band (Sonic City) had broken up," said Sveinson, who explained there was a benefit at his high school and he wanted to get a band together to perform at the event.

"I had known the drummer (Josh McDonald)," he said, adding they then found bassist Tyler Lindgrin, and rounded out the band with vocalist Erik Olufson, and Mad Shadow was born.
- Yorkton This Week


Band You Should Know : Canada's Hard Rockin' Mad Shadow

Self described as "a throwback to the raunchy guitar rock of 70s bands such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith or Deep Purple", Vancouver, B.C.'s Mad Shadow combines the best of that era, namely rock god worthy vocals, memorable songwriting and well placed guitar riffs and solos which will bring one back to the time when hard rock was king.

When you consider the fact that none of the members of this extremely talented quartet are even yet old enough to legally drink here in the U.S., let alone born when their obvious heroes were in their heyday, it makes the sounds laid down on their self titled debut even more amazing.

Featuring at the time the recordings were made 14 year old guitar phenom Danny Sveinson, the subject of the feature length documentary 'Rock & Roll Kid,' which recently was aired numerous times on the A&E TV network, the music made would be the envy of much more seasoned bands, let alone one whom had only been together approximately a year when the album was recorded.

All members shine throughout, whether it be the Robert Plant/Chris Cornell worthy wail of vocalist Erik Olufson, the guitar god in the making riffs and solos from Sveinson, the steady pounding thump of bassist Tyler Lindgrin or the John Bonham influenced drumming courtesy of Josh McDonald, all show considerable grace and immense talent in their contributions.

If you crave the sounds of a bygone era fueled with the drive and enthusiasm of youth, this is a band which will satisfy those cravings and then some. Come take a trip with one of the brightest hopes of the new rock revolution and experience Mad Shadow.
- Nightwatcher's House Of Rock


Mad Shadow Music
Good music is hard to come across and these four young men from Canada totally hit the nail on the head. Mad Shadow simply get down to business, blues laced rock that apologies for nothing and gives everything.

After just one listen to their self-titled debut release, I can honestly say that this is one of best new bands to come onto the rock music scene in years. They bring a freshness to the genre. Mad Shadow is powered and fueled by the bluesy depth of Erik Olufson's vocals that are outstanding and overflowing with emotion. Then you have the amazing guitar work of Danny Sveinson combined with the rock solid rhythm section of bassist, Tyler Lindgrin and drummer, Josh McDonald.

While the band members are young, they sound like seasoned rock veterans. Drawing heavily on early blues influences and amalgamating them with a classic rock sound that echo the vibe of rock icons such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith or Deep Purple and creating a sound all their own. The proof is in the music belting out such rockers like, "I Own The Road", "Turn Me On" and "White Lies". While movers like "Living In The Past" and "Long Road Blues" that give off that Allman Brothers meets Humble Pie vibe. Even when the band slows it down with the bluesy "Reflections", they sound great.

When listening to the CD the energy pours out of the speakers. It's genuine. Mad Shadow have released a first class debut with all the qualities that have made classic rock music one of the most popular genres of all time. This is an CD that should be in every proud rocker's music collection. With incredible musicianship Mad Shadow have it all. A fantastic guitar player who is way ahead of most of the guitar players to come along in the last ten years. A front man who has pipes that go on for days. There is no doubting that this band is destined for big things.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
- The Atomic Chaser - The DRP - Los Angeles


This is a little late in comparison to other sites, who already had their picks for the best albums of 2008 up by the end of the year in most cases, but better late than never. So, over the course of the next 10 days, I will present my picks for the Top 10 albums of the year.

It was a particularly good year musically speaking, if you get away from the mainstream, and there are many bands who had releases which probably could be on this list, but aren't. Narrowing it down wasn't easy, and perhaps I omitted some which should be. But without further ado, let's begin this by presenting #10 :

Mad Shadow - Mad Shadow - From the Pacific Canadian coastal city of Vancouver came this one out of the blue to leap frog into the top. None of the members of this band are even legal to have a drink here in the States, but it didn't stop them from soaking up the influences of 60's and 70's legends ala Led Zeppelin, Cream and The Doors and bringing them forward with a liberal dash of Soundgarden added to the mix.

Classic blues rock at times not too dissimilar to what rising Irish band The Answer are doing, and featuring all original songs written by at the time 15 year old guitar god in training Danny Sveinson, if it weren't for the semi rough production on the title track, this one would have certainly ranked in the Top 5 at least. As it is, it still stands head and shoulders with the best of the year, and with a band this young, if they don't implode, stand a very strong chance of hitting it big within the next several years. Grab this one and be way ahead of the curve. - Nightwatcher's House of Rock


MAD SHADOW

Mad Shadow (Indie)

Four young rock lovers lay down the gospel according to Led Zeppelin and the obvious grunge checkpoints of Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. Guitarist Danny Sveinson can certainly shred and Robert Plant-looking singer Erik Olufson has a very workable howl on such boogie numbers as "Turn Me On," which sounds like a Physical Graffitti outtake. Elsewhere, the songwriting can tend to the familiar, but this is a young band. It needs to develop its sense of dynamics and stronger harmonies, but a major label producer can doubtless create that.
grade: B

- Stuart Derdeyn
- Vancouver Province


Discography

debut self-titled cd released May, 2008

Photos

Bio

Mad Shadow’s sound is a throwback to the raunchy guitar rock of 70’s bands such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith or Deep Purple. You can also hear that contemporary bands like Soundgarden, Tool and Audioslave have influenced them as well. The combination of Danny's classic 70’s style lead guitar sound, Erik's charismatic, powerful stage presence and the fist-pounding, "can't sit still" rhythm provided by Josh and Tyler never fail to leave the crowd breathless and wanting more. Mad Shadow's live show is like no other. As has been proven time and time again you will never see the same show twice. The depth of these young rockers' ability to break out, sending Danny into blistering solos and impromptu jam-renditions of their best known songs is sure to drop you right in the middle of the rock and roll inferno that is Mad Shadow.

Danny Sveinson - lead guitar and keyboards:

Following in the footsteps of the modern guitar legends, Danny Sveinson has displayed the traits of a legendary guitarist in the making from day one. His soulful yet edgy style epitomizes pure, untainted rock and roll. His influences include Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Joe Perry. Danny is also just as comfortable letting loose on his vintage Rhodes keyboard or Hammond A100/Leslie 147 organ.

There has been non-stop attention from the press and Danny has a bevy of television appearances and magazine & newspaper features under his belt. Film production company Mars Entertainment filmed an award winning documentary on Danny that has already been broadcast numerous time on by the CBC and Knowledge Network in Canada and The Sundance Channel in the USA. Danny was the subject for the front cover and feature story in the Georgia Straight (Vancouver's premier weekly entertainment paper). Phrases such as "old soul", "natural" and "it's just in him" are often heard and expressed by people who have seen him perform. Danny has been invited to sit in with artists as diverse as Les Paul to Marcus Miller to April Wine and the Trews. With a style like a young Jimmy Page or Joe Perry he stalks the stage as fans wait for his next mind blowing solo to explode.

Danny Sveinson is destined for Rock and Roll greatness.

Erik Olufson - vocals:

Erik is a born lead singer. Erik's performances before he teamed up with Danny had already brought him attention locally and internationally. Erik was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Berkley College of Music in Boston thanks to his amazing singing ability. Having taken vocal training for years, Erik has styled his voice in the classic rock vein of his role models Roger Daltry, Robert Plant and Paul Rodgers.

Erik's performance can only be described as mesmerizing; harnessing some of the best moves on the stage today. Erik is always working with the band to build an arsenal of songs exploding with energy. The driven rock and roll he performs resonates with fans and his enthusiasm and adrenaline on the stage only serve to further the experience. In short, Erik Olufson was born to rock the stage.

Tyler Lindgrin - bass:

Tyler's self taught bass playing ability stems from a shallow history playing the saxophone in the high school jazz band. Never truly satisfied with the sax, his desire to rock inevitably grew. Which in turn led to learning to play guitar, bass, drums, and anything that would make noise. Within a few months of plucking away on bass Tyler joined the blues/jazz/classic rock combo, Frontburner, which honed his skills as a bassist as opposed to a lead sax player. Frontburner faded due to directional differences, and Lindgrin's bass got put in the closet for over a year as he focused on guitar and drums, and started dabbling in writing and recording. Before long he met Danny who was looking for a bassist for Mad Shadow and after a few minor equipment upgrades, Mad Shadow had the kick-ass bassist they were looking for.

Josh McDonald - drums:

When you attend a Mad Shadow performance you can't help but notice the way the rhythm picks you up and slams you back in your seat with every kick of the bass.

The man responsible for that very sonic assault is Josh McDonald. To see Josh play, you can't help but know that you're watching someone born to play drums. He has a style and enthusiasm that can barely keep him in his seat when he rocks the kit. Josh has been drumming for years and before joining Mad Shadow was drumming in a Rush tribute band and is often compared to Neil Peart and John Bonham for his style and ability. Josh is a born drummer and his passion for his craft shows in every performance.