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3.85 | 32 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1998


1. Act I: Stiletto In The Sand (1:56)
2. Act I: War For Sale (5:34)
3. Act I: Out Of Nowhere (4:20)
4. Act I: Mystery (5:41)
5. Act I: Hope For Us? (6:00)
6. Act I: Victims (5:12)
7. Act I: Broken (1:55)
8. Act II: I Believe (8:40)
9. Act II: Roads Of Thunder (6:05)
10. Act II: Spoken Words (4:37)
11. Act II: New World Order (8:10)
12. Act II: Chased (4:35)
13. Act II: Ghost Of A Chance (5:19)
14. Act II: Christmas Day (5:41)

Total Time 73:53


- Carl Cadden-James / bass, vocals, flute
- Brent Allman / guitars, vocals
- Chris Ingles / piano, synthesizer
- Gary Wehrkam / guitar, piano, synthesizer, vocals
- Joe Nevolo / drums
- Mike Baker / vocals

Guest musicians

- Gary Sloyer / spoken word (track 9)
- Larry Burke / spoken word (track 9)
- Paul Chou / violin (tracks 10, 11)
- D.C. Cooper / vocals (track 11)
- Laura Jaeger / vocals (track 10)
- James LaBrie / vocals (track 8)

About this release

Release date: September 22nd, 1998
Label: Roadrunner, Magna Carta

Thanks to colt, Lynx33, diamondblack for the updates


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Concept albums.

The very words can send shivers down your spine. The most hardened of prog fanatics will shudder at the thought of another rock opera and the potential pretentious self-indulgence that awaits them.

Fear not, however, for this is Shadow Gallery, one of the finest progressive metal bands out there, and you can rest assured that this will be an engaging, story-driven affair full of excellent performances by all involved. It might seem a bit cheesy at times, but then, what concept album doesn't?

At 73 minutes in length, 'Tyranny' can feel a little long-winded at times, but the music is so damn good that sometimes it's worth the sacrifice. Telling the story of a man who discovers a plot involving his government selling weapons to the middle east, it's an interesting narrative that doesn't get too boring despite the albums duration. The playing is superb and incredibly tight, and Mike Baker's vocals are full of emotion and sincerity, easily one of the most versatile and talented singers I've ever heard.

There's one or two brief instances where the album does tend to lull momentarily, but otherwise this is a solid release with some exceptional tracks. 'War for Sale', 'Roads of Thunder', 'Hope for Us?' and 'Spoken Words' are all amazingly well-written pieces, and then there's 'Mystery', which, in my opinion, isn't just one of Shadow Gallery's best songs, but one of the genres, too.

Well-received by fans and critics alike, Shadow Gallery's 'Tyranny' is a true gem that belongs in the collection of every prog metal fan.
Shadow Gallery's first concept album presents a near future techno-thriller plot and a musical style that is best described as a mingling of the complexity and virtuosity of Dream Theater with the ballsy grit of classic Queensryche. It's an entertaining listen which will please most fans of those giants of prog metal but doesn't really expand the bounds of the genre much; on top of that, it begins to lose steam towards the end, with songs such as Spoken Words and New World Order getting downright repetitive and in dire need of a bit of editing. Still, if you want a cheesy conspiracy thriller concept album I'm sure there are worse choices.
Shadow Gallery's third album, 'Tyranny', marks their first conceptual story which later continued on their fifth release, 'Room V'. Often cited as the second-tier on the progressive metal movement, this album was released a year earlier before the giant of the genre, Dream Theater, released its own concept album, 'Scenes From A Memory', which I claimed as their masterpiece.

Many rewarded this album with a very-high rating, some even confident that this is their best, but what I heard through my ears, this is actually good-but-not-great result, far too long in the duration, couple of boring moments, but still I can't deny, Shadow Gallery had done some brilliant composition here as well. Musically, no doubt the influences are ranging from the likes of Queensryche, Savatage, and Fates Warning, some have that European power metal feels, but with many slowtempo ballads slipped between tracks, this is perhaps less-metal than many expected before.

'Stiletto In The Sand' opens with an excellent technical display as prologue to a sensational piece of metal track, 'War For Sale'. The great hooks on chorus, the obvious prog twist in the middle, and the killer guitar solo, are completely enthralling. 'Mystery' is a straight-forward melodic metal tune and love this song from the beginning to the end. 'I Believe' is symphonic with subtle melodic waves, relatively slow in tempo and spanned into 8 minutes, they have enough space for experimentation. 'Roads of Thunder' is dynamic with stampeding riffs and commercial element; 'Ghost of A Chance' is a great tender ballad moment; and 'Christmas Day' with its grandeur piano and flute kinda reminds me of Savatage-meets-X Japan kinda track, also another great one.

Now with the rest tracks are simply passable, even though nothing is overly bad, Shadow Gallery suffers with at least half average tracks, making it harder to achieve a better score than 75% from my side. It's always another problem with a conceptual album, they need to manage to write a great story while maintaining the songs quality, it's like a double job with double effort and if you fail slightly on one factor, the whole thing can crumble down easily. 'Tyranny' seems to fit in the above-average status but not far from the middle-line level.
Of SHADOW GALLERY's first four albums this is by far my favourite.Interesting that the story-line of this one would be continued 7 years later on my favourite disc by them called "Room V".I gave this one a spin tonight because it's been a while and i'm still very impressed with not only it's power but those mid-tempo tracks as well.I was kept interested through it all and considering it's 74 minutes long that has to be applauded.The late Mike Baker is fantastic on vocals and we do get a couple of guest vocalists helping out in James LaBrie and D.C. Cooper. If you want to hear some seriously good American Prog-Metal then look no further than "Tyranny".A solid 4 stars.

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