Chris Allen Nikki Robson Stony Grantham James Rivera
Jim Daley Russell King Dave Edwards Scott Higham Steve Scott Matt Oakman Richie Wicks Ronnie Stixx Rogue Marechal Fredrik Englund Mauricio Chamucero Mike Pittman Lawrence Paterson Scot Collins Mark Fielden Omar Hayes
Shadowkeep are a British heavy metal band, formed in Guildford, England, in 1999 by guitarists Chris Allen (ex-Intense and Sire) and Nikki Robson (also formerly of Sire).
In October 1999, Shadowkeep recorded their debut six-track EP at Thin Ice Studios in Surrey, England, with Belgian vocalist Rogue Marechal (ex-Halcyon) fronting the band. The EP was produced by Threshold guitarist Karl Groom. A record deal with Limb Music followed in June 2000, and the band went on to release two albums on this label: Corruption Within (in September 2000) and A Chaos Theory (in 2002).
At the band's inception, Allen and Robson's former Sire colleague Russell King was drafted in on drums, but he was later replaced by Dave Edwards (ex-Pete Wadeson Band), then by Scott Higham (ex-Angel Witch) and subsequently by Mauricio Chamucero. Divine Ruins' drummer, the late Mike Pittman, deputised for some US tour dates in 2003.Higham then briefly rejoined the band in early 2004, with New Zealander Lawrence Paterson replacing him for a short while later that same year. When Paterson also moved on (joining first Chokehold, then Blaze Bayley's band, Rogue Male, Iron Knights, Raven Lord, Asomvel, I.C.O.N. and Cris Martin's Rock Dawn), Mike Pittman again helped out temporarily, until Scott Higham took his place for a third stint in the band. However, Higham departed once more, during the early recording sessions for the third Shadowkeep album, and joined Pendragon, with whom he was a bandmember until April 2014. Omar Hayes (ex-Orphic Soop, The Delta Sun and Epuldugger) became Shadowkeep's drummer in 2008; he joined the Guildford-based band Mikobi in late 2011, but also remained part of the Shadowkeep line-up until 2013. In February 2013, former bandmember Scott Higham rejoined on a temporary basis. He was succeeded by Tim Churchman (who had previously played alongside Steve Kightley in Spirit of Rush and The Forge, as well as with Dec Burke in Darwin's Radio, and with John Jowitt in Ark). On 4 December 2013, Churchman was announced to have joined the NWOBHM band Soldier. Omar Hayes then rejoined Shadowkeep for the recording of their fourth album.
Founding vocalist Rogue Marechal departed Shadowkeep in late 2002. He resurfaced for a one-off performance with the band Balance of Power at the 'Rock The Nations' festival in Istanbul on 6 August 2005. Together with ex-Shadowkeep bassist Steve Kightley and guitarist Chris Van Hayden (ex-Biomechanical), he then went on to form a new band called Chaosgenesis, adopting the name from a song on Shadowkeep's second album. His involvement in projects including Virtuocity, Prophecy and Poison Seed was to follow, before his second stint in Shadowkeep, which lasted between 2012 and 2015.
Towards the end of 2002, former Sire and Angel Witch bandmember Richie Wicks took up the vocalist's position, but within a few months he had left to concentrate fully on vocal duties with the Tygers of Pan Tang. His replacement was US vocalist Ronnie Stixx (ex-Terra Vast and Divine Ruins), with whom work began on a proposed third album, which would have different working titles at various stages in the process, including The Awakening, Ancient Prophecies and Beyond The Stratosphere. A two-track promotional CD featuring Stixx's vocals saw the light of day in 2005, but further recordings were abandoned when Stixx left Shadowkeep later that same year. He went on to front Wycked Synn,Vicious Rumors, Blood Red Skies and Project Terror. His vocals can be heard on the Divine Ruins album, Sign Of The Times (released by Lone Wolf Records in 2004), and on the Project Terror albums, Absolute Power (released by Pure Steel Records in 2012) and Apocalypse Rising (scheduled for release in 2016).
In late 2005, Richie Wicks returned and officially became Shadowkeep's frontman, and work recommenced on the third album, which would now be entitled The Hourglass Effect. The album is a conceptual piece, based around a time in the not-too-distant future when the sun is prematurely dying, and positing the subsequent effects that this phenomenon might have on the Earth's population.The Hourglass Effect was eventually released on Dutch label Melissa Records in November 2008. At this point a reviewer from the UK's The Sun newspaper described the band as, "The new New Wave of British Heavy Metal."
Band history, 2008-2011
Richie Wicks departed the band in 2009. He went on to form a Dio-era Black Sabbathtribute band called Heavenly Hell, before joining covers band No Way Out on bass, in March 2011. His replacement was Matt Oakman (formerly of Structured Chaos and Born Of War), who made his live debut with Shadowkeep at The Pipeline venue in London on 6 February 2010.
As of 2008 - 2011, keyboard player Scot Collins (ex-Tainted Grace) completed Shadowkeep's line-up; in 2011, he joined the band Duplex Gage.
Journalist Mark Fielden deputised for Stony Grantham on bass guitar during live shows on Shadowkeep's 'With Force We Come' UK tour in 2010. Grantham was obliged to remain in Austin, Texas at this time, due to ongoing commitments with other bands: Drifter (an Iron Maiden tribute band, with Erika Tandy on vocals) and Sad Wings (a Judas Priest tribute band, featuring vocalist Jason McMaster).
Shadowkeep were chosen to headline the third day of the Fyreball Festival at the Westcoast Bar in Margate on 4 September 2011, but this event was cancelled ahead of time when its promoter, Fyrelyte Events, ceased operations. No further live appearances were forthcoming from Shadowkeep during 2011.
In April 2012, Chris Allen and Nikki Robson travelled to San Antonio, Texas to meet up with Stony Grantham and to take part in a tribute concert for guitarist Rene Solis of the band Texas Trash, who died in January 2012. The gig took place on 7 April 2012, with the band Methuselah also on the bill.
In June 2012, Shadowkeep announced on their official Facebook page that original singer Rogue Marechal was to rejoin the band, and that work was to begin on the fourth Shadowkeep album. On 16 July 2012, vocalist Matt Oakman officially departed Shadowkeep; he went on to join the bands Dangerous Breed, Gridlock and Stormborn.
In February 2013, it was announced that Omar Hayes was no longer in the band's line-up, due to his unavailability for upcoming festival dates. Taking his place for consecutive gigs at the Chameleon Music Bar in Grantham on 16 March 2013 (with The More I See and NWOBHM band Overdrive) and at the Wizzfest 2013 festival in Aalter, Belgium on 23 March 2013 was former bandmember Scott Higham, although this proved to be a temporary arrangement. Bassist Jack Kirby and keyboard player Tim Hall (from Overdrive) also guested with the band at their Grantham gig.
Shadowkeep performed at the Q's Entertainment venue in Redhill, Surrey on 7 September 2013, at the Little Devil venue in Tilburg on 13 September 2013 with Blitzkrieg, and at the Swordbrothers XII festival in Andernach on 14 September 2013 with Morgana Lefay and Rebellion. Tim Churchman joined them on drums for this series of gigs. During 2014, Omar Hayes rejoined the band for recording sessions.
As of early 2014, the band were reportedly composing their fourth studio album, which was initially set to be recorded at Karl Groom's Thin Ice Studios during 2014 and 2015, with its release provisionally scheduled for 2016 or 2017. A live show (recorded in Belgium on 23 March 2013) was also being prepared simultaneously for release on DVD.
In late 2015, Rogue Marechal left the band before the completion of the fourth album, prompting a search for a new lead singer.
Bass guitarist Steve 'SK' Kightley rejoined Shadowkeep during 2016, with Stony Grantham continuing to be involved in writing and recording with the band.
In January 2017, it was announced that Helstar vocalist James Rivera was to join Shadowkeep and would record vocals for the band's fourth album.