SiX By SiX – Beyond Shadowland

SiX By SiX – Beyond Shadowland
Inside Out Music
Release Date: 26/04/24
Running Time: 54:59
Review by Simon Black

First off, an apology. As editor of this mag, I’m always berating my colleagues for late delivery of copy, as we really like to time new release reviews on or before release date to help with impact, and this one is very late. In my defence, while travelling to Barcelona for work a few weeks ago, some toe rag stole my laptop bag off the Metro, taking my PC, tablet, practically every other gadget I owned and more importantly the keys for the car parked sixty miles from my home, and yes, the original version of this review, and it’s taken me a while to catch up.

SiX By SiX first landed on my platter in the summer of 2022, and rather blew me away. Being a cynical old fart, I am usually quite disparaging of ‘supergroup’ collaborations, on the grounds that the whole is rarely the sum of its parts yet seems to be able to leapfrog the normal hoops and checks that new bands just getting started have to with labels, but this one really does deserve the label.

The ongoing collaboration between drummer Nigel Glockler, guitarist Ian Crichton and Robert Berry on everything else has set itself a fairly high watermark from the self-titled (if not grammar checked) debut ‘SiX By SiX’. I was impressed at how fluid that debut was, given that the industry was emerging from Covid. It didn’t sound like it had been copy and pasted from remote working sessions in people’s linen cupboards and went on to become one of my favourite records of that year. No pressure then, chaps.

I needn’t have worried. 

With moving parts from Saga, Saxon and 3 in the mix, musicianship was never going to be in question, but to continue to write songs of the calibre presented on that debut album was going to be a challenge, and second albums are where things can go wrong for Supergroup acts like this. Normally bands really hit their writing groove after touring the material a bit and finding out what works with an audience, but since they don’t actually start playing live until September 2024 (and sadly not yet in the UK) this follow-up is still driven from the energy and abilities of the principles. Again, I needn’t have worried…

The style of Progressive Hard Rock is still the order of the day, but this album takes a little more time than its predecessor, despite having the same number of tracks. This was a concern going in, as one of the things I enjoyed about the debut was the punchy focus of the songs, despite their progressive edge, and adding another fifteen minutes of run time inevitably means a bit more noodling. 

Once again, I needn’t have worried… (I seem to be saying that a lot today). The playing is of the calibre you would expect from seasoned pros like Berry, Chrichton and Glockler, but once again it’s the song-writing that stands out, giving us as it does an album that effortlessly fills the near hour of run time, and asks, nay begs for you to repeat play once spun through. 

The run time gives more chance for the songs to expand, but there is zero fat and padding here, with instrumental breaks seamlessly allowing all three of them room to show their considerable chops and without outstaying their welcome. Perhaps one piece of serendipity regarding the lateness of my review, is that I’ve had an extra two weeks to listen again to this record, and it’s clear right here, right now, that this one is going to continue to get played by me. 

I needn’t have worried, and neither have you: this is a belter and the back of the net has been well and truly hit once more chaps. Now, about some UK tour dates…?

‘The Arms of A Word’ Official Video 

01. Wren 
02. The Arms of a Word  
03. Can’t Live Like This  
04. Obiliex
05. Only You Can Decide  
06. Titans 
07. Outside Looking In  
08. Spectre
09. Sympathise  
10. One Step
11. The Mission

Ian Crichton – Guitar
Nigel Glockler – Drums
Robert Berry – Bass, Keyboards and Vocals.


 Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.