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Rising From The Shadows - Smash Alley Underground 1995 / HTF


01. Back Alley Shadows

02. Execution Time

03. Long Shot Gamble

04. Ride the Clouds

05. Never Suicide

06. Morning Starlight

07. Picture in My Head

08. Running In Circles

09. Make Your Move

10. Hot Rod Cruiser

11. Chased by the Enemy

David A. Walker - Guitar,

Vocals, Flute, Keyboards, Harmonica

Vernon - Guitar

Niel - Vocals

? - Drums

Way back in the mid 1990s, when I still had the mail subscription to Heaven's Metal magazine (can't recall if they made the change to HM by then, but that's beside the point), I do recall seeing an advert for this little-known band from North Carolina called Smash Alley Underground. My first thought, as I recall, was, "Wow, that's some impressive hair on those dudes." So, obviously I desired to get a copy of the album they were advertising, Rising From The Shadows.

Unfortunately, since this was 1995, it appeared that the only way I would have been able to obtain said album was by way of mail order, which was not exactly a route I went about obtaining my Christian metal fix. Remember kids, there was actually a time when the internet wasn't as readily available to individuals, not to mention computers.

After a while, Smash Alley Underground and their CD faded from the forefront in my brain, coming back once in a great while when I ran into either a review of the album, or saw it in a "Personal Music Stash" list on someone's website (No Life Til Metal, for example). Could never find it in those specialty catalogs, and when I did it was out of print enough to command a pretty high price tag. Even when buying MP3 downloads came viable, that was never on the lists.

What I'm trying to say is, it's been almost 20 years since hearing about this band and their lone album, and being unable to obtain a copy for my own personal listening enjoyment. Until now, that is, when I actually found it for cheep at one of those out-of-the-way used CD shops. / Pointless story aside, here's the scoop: Rising From The Shadows was the only album released by Smash Alley Underground. I don't really count 2003's The Bush Tribute Campfire, as there is no official album, per se, just a bunch of recorded tracks that were posted onto their website for free download back in the day. / The general consensus from what other people have written about Rising From The Shadows is that it's a great Judas Priest-like metal album. I disagree. The music is much more doom-oriented, much closer to that of Black Sabbath or David Benson.

I would call this more "stoner metal" than actual heavy metal, with the slower-paced chord progression and such. There are moments where the band lays in some good jams and such, but for the most part it's a nice layed back heavy feel. I do agree with the other assessment that the vocalist has a Vince Neil style going on, a nice gritty hard-rock style which goes nicely with the music being played. / Overall, though it wasn't at all what I was expecting, I found Rising From The Shadows a good enjoyable listen. Sounds great in my car stereo, when I want something a bit less speed-oriented and such. Worth a look-see...

so this Sound , as Traditional, Christian Heavy Metal with lots of Judas Priest influences and a vocalist who studied at the Vince Neil School of Heavy Metal. What really makes this disc enjoyable is the guitar work and the crunchy guitar tone of David Walker. I asked him several years ago how he obtained the guitar sound and his reply was "lots of Laney stacks." So there you have it. Favorite tracks are the thrashy, double bass instrumental "Chased by the Enemy" and album opener "Back Alley Shadows."

do you have it? for trading & selling

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