SHADOW GALLERY

Progressive Metal • United States
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Shadow Gallery is a six-piece American band from Pennsylvania. Their name is taken from the graphic novel V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and their musical style can be described as progressive metal. They have a reputation among fans for complex song structures and virtuoso musicianship and have been compared to contemporaries Dream Theater and Queensrÿche.

Vocalist Mike Baker, only 45 years old, passed away on October 29, 2008 of a heart attack.

Several members of Shadow Gallery have made their contribution to other projects like MullMuzzler, Ayreon, Explorers Club and Star One.

All members of Shadow Gallery have fairly successful, busy lives outside the band (several are audio engineers). They've never played a live show.

This will now change with the band now being confirmed as headliners for PROG POWER EUROPE 2010

After the successful release of “Digital Ghosts” in November 2009 via InsideOut Records, the band is set to
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SHADOW GALLERY Discography

SHADOW GALLERY albums / top albums

SHADOW GALLERY Shadow Gallery album cover 3.26 | 17 ratings
Shadow Gallery
Progressive Metal 1992
SHADOW GALLERY Carved In Stone album cover 3.82 | 19 ratings
Carved In Stone
Progressive Metal 1995
SHADOW GALLERY Tyranny album cover 3.85 | 32 ratings
Tyranny
Progressive Metal 1998
SHADOW GALLERY Legacy album cover 3.80 | 16 ratings
Legacy
Progressive Metal 2001
SHADOW GALLERY Room V album cover 4.02 | 30 ratings
Room V
Progressive Metal 2005
SHADOW GALLERY Digital Ghosts album cover 4.18 | 28 ratings
Digital Ghosts
Progressive Metal 2009

SHADOW GALLERY EPs & splits

SHADOW GALLERY live albums

SHADOW GALLERY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SHADOW GALLERY re-issues & compilations

SHADOW GALLERY Prime Cuts album cover 1.31 | 4 ratings
Prime Cuts
Progressive Metal 2007

SHADOW GALLERY singles (0)

SHADOW GALLERY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SHADOW GALLERY Reviews

SHADOW GALLERY Legacy

Album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
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lukretion
Crushed between two giants like Tyranny and Room V, Legacy is the oft-overlooked fourth album by US prog metallers Shadow Gallery. It is a shame, because it is a very solid release, containing a couple of killer tracks (“Cliffhanger 2”, “Colors”) and tons of very good progressive rock/metal music.

On Legacy, Shadow Gallery come across as a band in full control of their sound and who, having earned their stripes in the prog metal arena, are willing to stretch towards more audience-friendly and accessible solutions than what one can usually find on a progressive metal album. The six songs of Legacy may therefore not be the most structurally or technically complex prog metal tracks out there, but they should nevertheless be greatly enjoyable for anyone with an interest in progressive rock or metal. A remarkable aspect of the band’s sound is in fact that it sits almost perfectly in the middle between the prog rock of the 1970s and the metal of the 1980s, with strong hints of bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, US prog rockers Kansas, and Queensrÿche. This mixture reminds me of a considerably heavier and, at places, darker a version of another iconic US prog rock/metal band, Spock’s Beard.

Whether you are on the heavier or softer side of prog, you will surely find a lot to like in this album. The playing is simply sublime, but not in a show-offy way, which is probably one of the most remarkable characteristics of the band. Shadow Gallery can play as no other (listen to the astonishing instrumental interlude in the middle of “Cliffhanger 2”, which just leaves me amazed every time I play the album), but they keep their instrumental prowess strictly to the service of the songs – a rare quality in progressive circles. The arrangements are layered and rich, but not overly complex, giving the music a classy, sophisticated feel as in the best prog rock tradition. There is a lot of colour in the music as well, with electric and acoustic guitars, flutes, violins, violas and a great deal of piano and keyboard interjections sprinkled all over the album. Structurally, with the exception of the mammothian “First Light” – a multi-part beast that clocks at 34+ minutes, the songs are not too intricate and are instead tightly focused around catchy, melodic choruses that are perfectly designed to grab the listener’s attention from the very first listen. However, despite the strong focus on melody and accessibility, Legacy can also rock and features some great, powerful riffs that one can easily headbang to (“Cliffhanger 2”, “Legacy”, “First Light”).

The whole album is very pleasant to listen to and never slips into boredom, also thanks to a wise alternation between softer, mellower songs (the ballad “Colors”, the 70s-infused “Society of the Mind”) and more robust and uptempo numbers like “Cliffhanger 2” and “Legacy”. The quality of the tracks is generally high, but “Cliffhanger 2” and “Colors” are perhaps the most inspired episodes of the album, containing respectively some of the best playing and best vocal melodies of the record. On the other hand, the 34-minute long “First Light” is probably the weakest track. This is the obligatory “prog epic”, which any ambitious progressive rock/metal band attempts to write (typically once per album) in their career. However, relative to the best “prog epics” out there, “First Light” lacks flow and consistency. Some parts are great, some are average and some are even mediocre. Most importantly, the various sections do not really work well together and the overall effect is that of a fragmented, slightly unwieldy long track that just does not compare with the quality of the rest of the material on the album. To make things worse, there are several nonsensical minutes of silence and background noise thrown in towards the end of the song before the track picks up again and concludes. It is really difficult to understand how anyone could have thought that splitting the song this way could possibly be a good idea.

Featuring a generally strong production and mix by Neil Kernon, “Legacy” is a very good album by a band that if often overlooked in the progressive metal arena. It may not be Shadow Gallery’s best release, as one gets the sense that the band could do so much more with their technical and arrangement skills (for instance: write a truly memorable prog epic), but it is certainly a very accessible and enjoyable record. This was the first album I ever heard by Shadow Gallery and it really got me excited about this band, so if you are new to Shadow Gallery this may actually be a suitable point of entry.

SHADOW GALLERY Room V

Album · 2005 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
We all love concept albums, right? If there was one cliché that firmly embodies the essence of progressive music it's concept albums. Records which use narratives to link all the songs together, they often encapsulate the peak of an artist's creativity and on most occasions, the peak of their commercial and critical success. However, if rock operas can be seen as "prog 101", then we all know what to expect somewhere down the line... the sequel!

And that brings us to 'Room V' (that's "Room Five"), Shadow Gallery's sequel to the excellent 'Tyranny' album. I'm not going to deny, the story is a bit challenging to follow, and certainly not something I can summarize in a way that makes sense. It involves government conspiracies, biological weapons, and umm... lots of amazing music!

Anyone familiar with Shadow Gallery will know what to expect from this band, and for those of you who aren't... well, they're a progressive metal band... come on! Full of incredibly mind-blowing musicianship, heartfelt and sincere vocals, and plenty of catchy chorus's that'll have you humming along to every word, there's plenty of twists and turns in the plot that keep the music engaging throughout. There's also an abundance of interludes and rather unnecessary musical passages that make the album feel slightly cluttered at times, and extends the duration to a staggering 75 minutes.

However, the band compensate for the duration of the album with arguably some of their strongest work, with highlights including 'The Archer of Ben Salem', 'Vow', 'The Andromeda Strain', 'Comfort Me' and the title track, 'Room V'. Each one makes all the segues and interludes tolerable.

Proving why Shadow Gallery are one of the most underrated bands the genre has to offer, 'Room V' is an incredible album, and a worthy sequel to 'Tyranny'.

SHADOW GALLERY Legacy

Album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
Having really hit their stride with the 'Tyranny' album, Shadow Gallery are back with 'Legacy', an album that is similar stylistically, though does away with the concept album format and features only six songs, and some rather ambitious ones at that.

Shadow Gallery's brand of progressive metal has always taken a more melodic approach than other bands of the genre, and while their guitar riffs can elicit plenty of headbanging, it's in the vocals and melodies that the groups strengths lie, with 'Legacy' being chock-full of catchy chorus's and interesting harmonies. Expertly produced to give the music the punch it needs, yet straying away from being too heavy or brutal. The Pennsylvania-based band have the right blend to appeal to fans of metal and softer rock alike.

The true centerpiece of the album is 'First Light', a 34-minute epic that serves as a smorgasbord of every possible element that gives Shadow Gallery their defining sound. The track can lull from time to time, but the highlights more than compensate for that. The middle section of the song features some of the bands finest musical virtuosity and vocal harmonies, making it a challenging yet rewarding listen.

Songs like 'Colors', 'Society of the Mind' and the title track 'Legacy' are all shorter songs that can be considered some of the bands best work. As per usual, the musicianship is incredible, finding a perfect balance between heavy and melodic, and Mike Baker's beautiful vocals are an absolute joy to listen to.

The duration of the songs can make for some demanding listens, which will ensure that while 'Legacy' contains some of Shadow Gallery's best compositions, it's probably not their best album overall. But hey, it's still a damn good one, and that's what matters!

SHADOW GALLERY Tyranny

Album · 1998 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
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 Carved In Stone

Album · 1995 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
'Carved in Stone' is Shadow Gallery's second album, in which the performances as a whole seem a lot tighter and polished, but the quality of the compositions don't quite surpass that of their debut. However, fans will instantly notice the improvement in production, which sounds a lot richer and "cleaner", giving the music the punch it needs, and which would go on to become the bands somewhat "signature" sound.

However, despite the improvements in production, the album is still fairly average at best. While it may contain one of Shadow Gallery's best songs ('Crystalline Dreams' is just so damn catchy!), the rest of the music can seem fairly lackluster at times. The biggest letdown has to be 'Ghost Ship', which, similar to the group's debut, is the "epic" of the album (clocking in at a total of just over 20 minutes). Broken into seven smaller parts, most of the highlights last no longer than a minute or two before going into the next section, making the whole piece feel mostly disjointed.

As for the other tracks, we have 'Cliffhanger', 'Don't Ever Cry, Just Remember', 'Warcry' and the previously mentioned 'Crystalline Dream', as well as a couple of highlights from the 'Ghost Ship' piece. These are all good songs that definitely make this album worth getting, but honestly, most of them just pale in comparison to some of the bands later material.

As per usual with Shadow Gallery, the musicianship is spectacular and Mike Baker's vocals are truly a thing of beauty. Overall though, it's just a "good" album. Nothing to write home about, but a worthy addition to the collection if it can purchased cheap enough.

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