Shadow Warriors (band)
|Origin||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Power metal, punk rock|
|Years active||2000-2003, 2005-2007, 2008-2012, 2014|
Shadow Warriors was a British comedy power metal band, formed by guitarist Sam Totman in late 2000 as a "secret" side project of DragonForce. The band also featured ZP Theart as lead vocalist and two other Fictional members, drummer Jyuohki and bassist Kazuma, the two "members" are actually drum machine and bass parts played by Sam Totman. The band performed Power Metal music with Japanese Warrior-based lyrics, such as Ninjas and Samurai.
Shadow Warriors recorded demo songs in late 2000 around the same time DragonHeart, later renamed DragonForce, recorded and uploaded their Valley of the Damned demo songs to MP3.com. In late 2001, Shadow Warriors made their demo CD Power of the Ninja Sword available for purchase through MP3.com, but via an artist page error, the demo CD was not able to be purchased. By the time the error was fixed, it was decided to leave the demo up for download only and not make it available to purchase through MP3.com. A few demo CDs were burned to CD-R with the full album cover and tray inserts in early 2002, and were handed out to a few people as collector's items by Sam Totman, whose performing name is Akimo. The songs on the album were entirely written in Engrish, an agrammatical dialect reminiscent of how the Japanese speak English as a second language, with lyrics such as "Fight for be free" and "The sky he turn black, the nightfall appear" for the sake of humor.
In early 2002, Master Samurai created a website for Shadow Warriors on Angelfire, and like the demos, this website was created in one day. Later[when?], the Shadow Warriors' presence and interest waned, but picked up once again. As the popularity of the Shadow Warriors grew, so did the demand for more Shadow Warriors material. It was at this time that there was talk about reviving Shadow Warriors amongst Totman and two colleagues, Knightrider of Doom and Samurai Sweetie. In early 2003, the website was redone, alongside the artist page on MP3.com. The website offered more information and material related to the band. Among the additional material made available on the website was guitar tablature, MIDI songs, Winamp skins, wallpapers, lyrics for the demo songs, and a Yahoo group. At this time, the original demo songs were remastered and made available for download from the website, along with the original low quality demos from mp3.com.
The band had one real member in the line-up at this time, that being Sam Totman. Naoki, aka ZP Theart, was a guest vocalist for the project as he was for Power Quest on their demo CD, but he was never a permanent member of the band. Later on[when?], Knightrider of Doom and Samurai Sweetie were recruited by Totman for the band. A demo song was written but never recorded, which was based on lyrics from an earlier demo that was never finished. Due to the three Shadow Warriors living far apart from each other, also having to deal with personal problems and the growing popularity of Sam's main band DragonForce, Shadow Warriors reduced activity.
In early 2005, the Shadow Warriors re-emerged with a MySpace account. Through MySpace, Shadow Warriors gained more exposure, getting the band offers for record deals, gigs, and endorsements. The offers had to be declined for the time being due to conflicting schedules. In late 2006, activity from the Shadow Warriors once again became dormant and in the summer of 2007, the Power of the Ninja Sword and Feel the Fire demos could not be downloaded from the Shadow Warriors MySpace due to a computer error. The original 128kbit/s demos were later unavailable to be downloaded from the website due to hot-linking restrictions from the original AngelFire webhost where the MP3s were hosted.
In February 2008, Shadow Warriors posted a blog on their Myspace announcing that someone had hacked their Myspace account and that they were dormant for longer than they should have been.
In August 2008, the DragonForce album Ultra Beatdown was released, containing, as a bonus track, a re-recording of "Feel the Fire" under the changed title of "Strike of the Ninja".
In September 2008, due to pressure from DragonForce's management and record labels, the Shadow Warriors' MySpace was forcefully deleted and the website was shut down. In 2012, the band, minus Naoki released an instrumental demo. The Japanese edition of the DragonForce album The Power Within also contains a re-recording of "Power of the Ninja Sword" as a bonus track.
In January 2014 shadow warriors posted on their official website audition tracks. These tracks are the same from the Ninja Eclipse album, but slightly edited for vocals. No activity has been seen from the Shadow Warriors since.
In August 2014, the DragonForce album Maximum Overload was released, containing yet again another bonus track which was a re-recording of "Fight To Be Free" with a slightly changed title.