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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TYRANNYTYRANNY
Import
MAGNA CARTA RECORDS 2014
Audio CD$9.66
$5.99 (used)
Shadow Gallery: Double FeatureShadow Gallery: Double Feature
MAGNA CARTA RECORDS 2015
Audio CD$9.63
$12.11 (used)
LegacyLegacy
MAGNA CARTA RECORDS 2014
Audio CD$9.24
$3.66 (used)
Room VRoom V
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$9.75
$12.87 (used)
Digital GhostsDigital Ghosts
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2009
Audio CD$10.01
$9.85 (used)
CARVED IN STONECARVED IN STONE
MAGNA CARTA RECORDS 2014
Audio CD$11.57
$1.60 (used)
Prime CutsPrime Cuts
Import · Limited Edition
MAGNA CARTA RECORDS 2014
Audio CD$3.94
$11.54 (used)
Shadow GalleryShadow Gallery
Import · Remastered
King Japan 2011
Audio CD$51.39
Shadow GalleryShadow Gallery
Import
2003
Audio CD$11.52 (used)
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SHADOW GALLERY Discography

SHADOW GALLERY albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.38 | 16 ratings
Shadow Gallery
Progressive Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 3.92 | 16 ratings
Carved In Stone
Progressive Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.67 | 28 ratings
Tyranny
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.45 | 13 ratings
Legacy
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.77 | 28 ratings
Room V
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.95 | 26 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

.. Album Cover 1.51 | 4 ratings
Prime Cuts
Progressive Metal 2007

SHADOW GALLERY singles (0)

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SHADOW GALLERY Reviews

SHADOW GALLERY Carved In Stone

Album · 1995 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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.

SHADOW GALLERY Shadow Gallery

Album · 1992 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
It's the early years of progressive metal, Fates Warning and Queensryche have been going from strength to strength over the years and Dream Theater have released their debut album, but are yet to unleash its follow-up 'Images and Words' upon the world, which would pretty much lay out the blueprint for every prog metal album to follow. So with that, Shadow Gallery's self-titled debut release came at a time when the genre was still establishing itself.

All the enduring qualities of the genre are here in their infancy, and they work well. Lengthy songs with complex structures and vast musical passages, Mike Baker's incredible vocals, which add so much depth and credibility to the band, their trademark vocal harmonies (which would be expanded upon and perfected on later releases) and some of the finest musicianship around. It's no wonder they would go on to become one of prog metals most beloved cult bands.

In fact, the biggest detriment is the "epic" of the album, 'The Queen of the City of Ice'. Perhaps the metal world just wasn't quite ready for these 20-minute odyssey's just yet, or perhaps it was a trait best left to the old-school Yes's and Genesis's of the music world, but either way, this song is BORING!!! It's slow, uninteresting, and features a spoken dialogue section which goes on for way too long. It's a massive blow to what would be an otherwise stellar debut, as 'Darktown', 'Mystified', 'Say Goodbye to the Morning', 'Questions at Hand' and 'The Dance of Fools', in fact, all the songs on this album are early classics that really makes this a solid release, but it's all hindered by that 17-minute track that completely brings everything to a standstill.

Still, don't be deterred by that, as otherwise this is a great album that helped lay the foundations for progressive metal by firmly distinguishing all the early traits the genre would adhere to.

SHADOW GALLERY Shadow Gallery

Album · 1992 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Although they merely started out as a cover band called Sorcerer in the 80s covering Yngwie Malmsteen and Rush songs, this Allentown, PA band found a little lovin’ for their favorite graphic novel “V For Vendetta” and changed their name to SHADOW GALLERY. While the early days of progressive rock was a European phenomenon, progressive metal was wholeheartedly an American sensation and SHADOW GALLERY was one of the earliest bands to open those doors in the early 90s along with contemporaries like Dream Theater and Symphony X following in the footsteps of the proto-progressive metal bands of the 80s such as Queensryche and Crimson Glory. It didn’t take long after writing their own tracks that they would be one of the earliest acts to sign on to the Magna Carta Records which displayed virtuoso and neoclassical oriented metal bands although SHADOW GALLERY never achieved the success that many of their contemporaries would.

At this stage on their eponymous debut SHADOW GALLERY was more of a mix of symphonic progressive rock that happened to include some 80s power metal that sometimes fused together but most often did not. Although the metal would become the dominating force on subsequent albums, on this debut there are large tracts of playing time that sound much more like symphonic prog than metal. In fact the leading track “The Dance Of Fools” sounds more like a neo-prog track that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Arena or IQ album. There also segments of interactive flute action which like Psychotic Waltz of the same era was quite rare in the metal universe. Add to that the often sugary sweet melodic developments and the Queen inspired harmonic singalong vocal style and it’s easy to forget that this is indeed a metal band however when the metal aspects are taken off their leashes then there is no mistaken that this indeed is an 80s neoclassicallly inspired speed metal band that has more than mastered all the chops to earn that title. Even within the very first neo-proggy track Brendt Allman stuns us with his lightning blitzkrieg of neoclassical guitar runs as the track fades out.

“Darktown” takes over and introduces the more familiar sound of the majority of the album. That being melodic catchy tunes that alternate between sweet ballad parts then followed by more rarer hard rockin’ segments that display quickened keyboard runs, high register vocals and lead guitar workouts. The tracks are also of considerable length where after the verses and choruses play out there are lengthy instrumental wankery sessions that are of the same type of extended play as heard on Dream Theater and Symphony X albums of the same era. The band play together quite well and the trading off of the different ideas flow together very well as the band never once misses a beat in keeping the tracks interesting. While the album is a great mix of prog rock and 80s metal, the true progressive behemoth comes toward the end as “The Queen Of The City Of Ice” starts off with light fluffy guitar arpeggios accompanied by sweet synths and a lulling flute with narrative harmonic vocals telling the tale of a fantasy land that soars on for 17 minutes and 11 seconds. Surprisingly the clean guitar arpeggios and symphonic accoutrements carry on close to the nine minute mark before they erupt into the more energetic side of the track and even thereafter never really erupts into really heavy territory save the guitar shredding under the symphonic scaffolding. There is also a lengthy spoken narration in the middle.

While SHADOW GALLERY certainly had their musician hats on and had more than developed their techniques to stun the listener, at this point there are a few things i find a little unsettling about this debut album. First of all, the opening track “The Dance Of Fools” sounds totally out of sync with the rest of the album. Although it’s a decent track, its style makes a very bad first impression and as mentioned already, sounds more like it would be fitting on a neo-prog album with Allman doing a guest shredover. Secondly, “Mystified” sounds too much like “The Mission” on Queensryche’s “Operation: Mindcrime.” While a decent track it fails to sound original in any way and Mike Baker even sounds like a convincing Geoff Tate clone. The production is also lackluster as Magna Carta was founded by Mike Varney who was notorious on his Shrapnel Records label for hosting some of the best guitarists of the days but equally making them suffer some of the worst production heard in the music industry and SHADOW GALLERY likewise is diminished by the same tinny and muffled dynamics that could have added a lot to the final product. Given all these quirks that this debut dishes out, i’m still quite fond of it although they would improve greatly in every way on their second release “Carved In Stone.” With better album arrangement, a nip and tuck in the editing department and a stellar production job, this could have been an outstanding album back in the day but for what it is, i still find the music satisfactory enough to bring me back for repeated listening pleasure.

SHADOW GALLERY Tyranny

Album · 1998 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
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 Tyranny

Album · 1998 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Stephen
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.

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