A HORROR ROCK TALK WITH DEAN MADONIA Horror music isn't just what you hear on Halloween: country is filled with ghosts (usually of Hank Williams) and devils (that prefer Georgia), and even progressive rock can enter the occult. Pop music can get downright grizzly - especially that song where the kid gets eaten. Dean Madonia studies this stuff. A Nashville songwriter by trade, he teaches workshops on the craft and lectures about the history of horror in music. His magnum opus is Shadow to Shadow, Dean Madonia's Frankenstein, a two-disc progressive rock album based on Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. It's a compelling and often heartbreaking journey that has caught on with those who like a cerebral musical scare. In this conversation, Dean breaks down the songs from the album and shares his thoughts on horror in music. Laura Antonelli (Songfacts): You're a big horror fan. You give lectures about horror in music. What can someone expect when attending them and what songs do you cover? Dean Madonia: I always talk about horror in general. I love horror fiction. Harlan Ellison wrote an amazing story back in the '60s called I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream about a sadistic, God-like robot that's basically torturing these people on this planet. Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow, Thomas Ligotti's Songs of a Dead Dreamer. I read all the old stuff, of course, like Dracula, Frankenstein, and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I would talk about the books that inspired or furthered the horror genre. I would then probably talk about art. One of my favourite paintings is The Raft of the Medusa by Th” - Laura Antonelli


Dean Madonia Shadow to Shadow Dean Madonia's Frankenstein Review by G. W. Hill A concept album, this is mostly progressive rock, but there are some other things here, as well. Everything here works exceptionally well. The vocal hooks and vocal performances are, in many ways, the best thing going on here. That” - G. W. Gill

Music Street Journal

REVIEW OF "SHADOW TO SHADOW, DEAN MADONIA'S FRANKENSTEIN" (In Spanish) Dean Madonia publica un nuevo trabajo, quiz” - Jose Luis Martinez

La Caja de Pandora (Brazil)

by Freddie Watson You get the feeling that Dean Madonia is going to achieve his goal of creating a rock opera for Halloween that will rival Christmas” - Freddy Watson

Music News Nashville

I'm a sucker for a great concept album, especially one with a horror theme. The moment "Shadow to Shadow: Dean Madonia's Frankenstein" crossed my desk, I couldn't wait to hear it. I'll admit I knew absolutely nothing about Dean Madonia prior to listening to this CD and I didn't know what to expect. Would "Shadow to Shadow" be a classic rock showcase like The Who's "Tommy?" Would it be more of a sinister rock chapter book like Alice Cooper's "Welcome to My Nightmare?" An avant garde rock opera along the lines of Pink Floyd's "The Wall?" Or maybe more in the vein of a Broadway musical, like Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera?" I had no idea. Interestingly enough, "Shadow to Shadow" is probably more akin to The Alan Parsons Project's "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" than any of the other recordings listed above. It's heavy on keyboard and piano and is buoyed by impressive production and songwriting. It focuses strongly on the story here, keeping faithful to the classic Mary Shelley novel (at least as far as I can remember; it's been at least ten years since I last read it) and adding a modern angle as well. As you listen to this terrific two CD set, the story unfolds in your mind, much like a classic radio mystery set to music, and it's easy to visualize the individual characters and settings. The music, for the most part, is slow- to medium-paced and vocal driven. Although there are some hard rock moments, most of "Shadow to Shadow" is softer, striving to tell a story rather than to put a boot to your rock'n'roll ass. It works just fine as is but I would have preferred perhaps just a little more variety in style. Madonia and crew are experienced musicians and their expertise shines through every track here. I would recommend listening to the two CDs here in one sitting, using a nice pair of headphones and with a lyric sheet in front of you. I can't imagine a better way to experience this particular re-telling of a legendary horror classic. For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/shadowtoshadow.” - R. Scott Bolton

Rough Edge

REVIEW OF "SHADOW TO SHADOW, DEAN MADONIA'S FRANKENSTEIN" (In Italian) A prescindere da ci” - Nicola Sulas

Arlequins Magazine (Italy)

Dean Madonia has achieved recent success in the country market with the Tim Dugger single, "(I Called Her) Tennessee" (Curb Records) as well as two film placements: "Honor Is Ours" in the 2013 Threshold Entertainment film Foodfight! and the song, "Just Like Love," from his band Pretty Little Horses, in the movie, The Stream, in theaters in October 2013. What He is most excited about right now is his newly finished project, Shadow To Shadow, Dean Madonia's Frankenstein, is a 29 track concept CD (or rock opera), based on Mary Shelley's famous novel, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. The storyline has been straightened out chronologically with new ideas added as bookends. In this version, the monster is still alive after over 200 years, telling his cautionary tale, to a genetic researcher who is about to make the first human clone. These are crazy times, and right now, a 200 year old, ugly, rejected monster who knows a thing or two about being an outcast, could probably give some good advice to a modern day Victor Frankenstein! The writing began in airports, planes, hotel rooms and bandhouses from coast to coast, was recorded in Dean's home studio in Nashville, TN. It was inspired by concept CDs of the past: Pink Floyd's "Dark Side" or "The Wall," The Who's "Quadrophenia" or "Tommy," The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's," Queensryche's "Operation Mindcrime," Any Alan Parsons Project CD, Kevin Gilbert's amazing work, "The Shaming Of the True," Frank Zappa - "Joe's Garage," and Genesis' "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway." If this project is indeed folly, Dean is in good company! The "official" release date is set for Janurary 13, 2014, however the CD is available now on Amazon and iTunes. TRACK LISTING DISK ONE Pale Student(spoken) The Living Proof Chimera What I Believe The Spark Of Life Alive Anew Frightful Fiend (spoken) Running From the Moon Trusted Friend He Calls Me When He Plays His Guitar Let Me In Wrong Alone DISK TWO Did I Request Thee? (spoken) You Made Me Letters From Home Fools Gold Back To Meet My Maker Shadow To Shadow Wedding Night The Promise The Sweetest Part Of Me Murdering Elizabeth Into the White Spark Redux Into the Cold Falling Into the Sky The Living Proof Members: Dean Madonia - vocals, keys, guitar Val Lupescu - guitars Travis Vance - bass Michael Walter - drums”

Drummer Cafe

Dean Madonia - Frankenstein - Shadow to Shadow ? Country of Origin: USA Format: CD Record Label: CD Baby (Soft Monkey Music) Catalogue #: EANTCD 10005 Year of Release: 2014 Time: CD 1: 50:40 CD 2: 56:54 Info: Dean Madonia Track List: CD 1: Pale Student (spoken) 0:53 The Living Proof (3:16), Chimera (2:07), What I Believe (5:01), The Spark of Life (4:50), Alive Anew (4:15), Frightful Fiend (spoken) (0:29), Running From the Moon (5:07), Trusted Friend (2:09), He Calls Me (3:53), When He Plays His Guitar (3:38), Let Me In (6:01), Wrong (3:09), Alone (5:52) CD 2: Did I Request Thee (spoken) (0:15), You Made Me (5:59), Letter From Home (1:02), Fool's Gold (7:32), Back to Meet My Maker (4:18), Shadow to Shadow (2:48), Wedding Night (4:18), The Promise (4:42), The Sweetest Part of Me (2:05), Murdering Elizabeth (4:20), Into the White (5:53), Spark Redux (2:18), Into the Cold (3:49), Falling into the Sky (4:28), The Living Proof (Part 2) (3:24) Feed my Frankenstein sang Alice Cooper some twenty odd years ago. Well, I've struggled with this one, truly I have, Firstly the cover is just bad, it looks like an early 80's heavy metal album from some anonymous sub-metal B grade band on Metal Blade or something equally hideous, it does the music and the concept very few favours, yes I know budget for artwork is an issue but this really lets things down before you even play the disc. Dean have strived to offer a release of class and quality and this sleeve thwarts that majorly. When you get past the cover you find an album of variety and herein lies my dilemma, it's long (just under two hours) and requires careful and repeated listens, it's also very wordy, too wordy and it lacks sufficient instrumental parts to break up all those words and to enhance the concept. Oh yes, it's a concept album based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein but this time around it poses questions about scientific advancements and the potential inherent dangers thereof. It is an interesting twist on a familiar tale where the "creature" warns of the perils and repercussions of tampering with nature the opening and closing piece The Living Proof deal with this dilemma. There are some good points though too, there is some fabulous music on here and Dean Madonia has a fabulous voice, sort of a cross between Steve Walsh of Kansas and Neal Morse but with a touch of Nashville. As I mentioned previously it's an album that only releases its magic very slowly so you will have to bear with it and take a fair few listens to get the potency of what is on offer here. It's not immediate and I guess a lot of people won't want to stay the course, which is a pity as it is ultimately a fine effort, Yes its overlong and sprawling but it improves with repeated listens. That said, it's not an album that I would have on heavy rotation either, it's also fairly gentle in parts and even paced throughout and hardly ever rocks out but it has been lovingly crafted by a musician of skill and calibre. What Dean needs to do is to capitalize on this release with his next project being more concise and balanced but with the same high degree of careful crafting, skilful playing and attention to detail. One of the standout moments for me comes during Letters from Home in which a mournful accordion plays gently and evocatively ” - John Wenlock-Smith

Dutch Progressive Rock Page ISSUE 2014-35

DEAN MADONIA” - Dmitry M. Epstein

Let It Rock

MUSIC/WAVES MEDIA (FRANCE) Shadow to Shadow is a re-reading of the famous bestseller "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley from a different perspective. Dean Madonia, its author, chose the point of view of the monster to immerse the listener into the meanderings of that famous scientific experiment. Will this new illumination be accompanied by previously unheard of sound experiments? Separated into two CDs, the first part of the work helps us understand the framing of the project. The tracks alternate between short tracks in which a female voice reads passages from the book ('The pale student', 'Frightful Fiend'), melancholy ballads ('The living proof', 'Trusted friends' with its piano that recalls some slow pieces by Van der Graaf Generator), slightly removed rock pieces ('What I believe') and pieces developing the unsettling atmosphere of the chosen theme ('Chimera and its crescendo of percussion, 'Alive anew' which is close to being industrial rock with a profound vocal interpretation). Progressive rock lovers will appreciate 'The Spark of life' and its double pop-reggae movement or 'Running from the moon' that alternates guitar and synthesizer solos. The album undertakes to create often oppressive atmospheres but seems to let them go along the way, giving the impression of an absence of mastery of the genre. The hard riffs follow one another but go nowhere ('He calls me'), and the ballads pile up, serving the rhythmic progression ('When he plays his guitar, which should have opened the album). The sometimes bland singing is quite demonstrative like in musical comedies when the singer comments on his own action ('Let me in'). And unfortunately we find in the second CD just about all the faults cited above. Not everything is a throwaway... a riff sometimes makes you turn your ear ('Murdering Elizabeth and its guitar reminischent of Carlos Santana), an accordion offers a little freshness ('Letters from home' and 'Fool's gold') and one atmospheric piece corresponds well to the intentions of the author ('Into the white' and it's oppressive immaculate atmosphere), but the whole is too soft and not original enough to hold the attention of the listener all the way through. A half-defeat despite laudable intentions, "Shadow to shadow" would have deserved a shorter treatment, on one single CD, possibly supplementing with a bonus CD. Listening to this album is hard to digest in one sitting, which is too bad, because certain songs could rival those having earned their way onto the airwaves. More information about https://www.facebook.com/shadowtoshadow” - Ecrit par Adrianstork


Classic Horror Book Turned Into Rock Opera BY ANGEL ROMERO ” - Angel Romero

Progressive Rock Central