Until it was unearthed for the honor of becoming the inaugural release from Shadow Kingdom Records in 2007, Stygian Shore's The Shore Will Arise album had withstood nearly 20 years of forgetful obscurity; a long-lost final testament of a doomed band whose once promising career had been derailed by the tragic misfortune of one of its musicians. That bandmember was bassist Greg "Hook" Marshall who may have seemed, to all outward appearances, like a perfectly proficient player throughout the resulting album, but who had in fact lost his right, plucking hand in an unspecified train accident some years prior! For his faithful bandmates, vocalist/guitarist Mike Palmer and drummer Peter Dawson, the only tragedy (if one could call it that) lay in allowing what they'd had in terms of early career momentum to slip away while waiting for their friend to recuperate. But here were Stygian Shore, at last, some five years after the release of their eponymous 1984 EP, reconvening with original benefactor Mark Shelton (of Manilla Road fame), once again acting as producer to cut The Shore Will Arise. This extended preface is detailed here only to justify the LP's late-'80s sonic aesthetic permeating the group's peculiar mixture of dyed-in-the-wool heavy metal and thundering hard rock. On one level, the semi-doom plod of deliberate earth quakers like "Immortal Soul," "Metal Preacher," and the title cut follow in the leaden boo-prints of Black Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell"; on another, staccato-picked denim-and-leather anthems like "Tidal Wave" and "The Living Dead" recall both Judas Priest and the aforementioned Manilla Road, in equal measures; and on another still, uncommonly heavy rockers like "Heavy Metal Queen," "Let it Go," and "Chainsaw Dean" even pay a little lip service to the era's hard rock lingua franca without ever quite going all glam (think W.A.S.P. or Fifth Angel, instead). Also indicative of the album's '80s dateline is the two-minute "Axe Grindo," where Palmer gets his shred on in the best Edward Van Halen tradition, not to mention the nifty synthesizer effects intro to the otherwise tepid "Visions of Doom" -- one of several, workmanlike late album tracks also including the tongue-in-cheek "Crygian Stew," and the solitary power ballad, "World Wilted Wings," which does gain serious momentum as it progresses. A forgetful instrumental named, appropriately enough, "The End," brings the album to a close in undistinguished fashion, but it can't obscure the fact that the bulk of what preceded it offers a virtual retro-metal smorgasbord for followers of the style. And, as is often the case with recordings from this period, even the silly Spinal Tap-like lyrics sound charmingly naïve instead of blockheaded all these years on, making Stygian Shore ripe for consumption by avid heavy metal collectors.