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The Shadow Theory could be classed as one of the few Progressive Metal supergroups.

The band members are Vocalist and Flute - Devon Graves (Deadsoul Tribe, Psychotic Waltz - using his real name Buddy Lackey) Guitar - Arne Schuppner (Complex 7) Bass - Kristoffer Gildenlow (Dial, Pain Of Salvation) Drums - Johanne James (Threshold, Kyrbgrinder) and Keyboards - Demi Scott

After leaving Psychotic Waltz in 1997 Devon often wondered "What would it be like to play in a band made of the very finest players I have met along the way?"

Devon was impressed with the exceptional performance by Arne at a gig where Complex 7 were supporting Deadsoul Tribe, later that year Devon produced Kristoffer's band Dial and was equally impressed by his bass playing and ability to play piano and acoustic guitar. The next time he felt like this was supporting Threshold where he was taken aback by Johanne's powerful yet
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.. Album Cover 3.61 | 13 ratings
Behind The Black Veil
Progressive Metal 2010



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THE SHADOW THEORY Behind The Black Veil

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
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Time Signature
I open up my eyes...

Genre: progressive metal

With Psychotic Waltz vocalist Devon Graves (aka Buddy Lackey) on vocals, The Shadow Theory delivers progressive metal of the darker sort, which definitely is complex but not overly technical.

The album has been injected with a healthy dose of dark psychedelia and a good dose of King Diamond-inspiration. And then there's also a bit of flute every now and then, and some vocal melodies sound a little along the lines of Jethro Tull.

The album is characterized by alternation between heavy passages and more melodic and melancholic sections, and there are several symphonic moments as well. "Selebrate" is worth mentioning because it is the most different song on the album and sounds like something might have appeared on a Jethro Tull album. "A Candle in the Gallery" is also different because this is more of and ambient and easily accessible track. Apart from these two tracks, the style of the album is focused and consistent, which I really like.

I think "Behind the Black Veil" is a very well made record, which I think will appeal to fans of Psychotic Waltz, King Diamond and progressive metal in general.

THE SHADOW THEORY Behind The Black Veil

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Block
A Symphony of Shadows

After a successful start with Psychotic Waltz, and more recently the band Deadsoul Tribe, Devon Graves has come back for thirds in one heck of a way. The Shadow Theory consists of not only Graves but also Arne Schuppner (Complex 7), Johanne James (Threshold, Kyrbgrinder), Demi Scott, and most notably, ex-Pain of Salvation bassist Kristoffer Gildenlöw. This cast can definitely be deemed an all-star cast, mostly made up of progressive metal artists, and it shows in every way.

Not only is Devon Graves a great singer, but he plays flute exceptionally well. Flute playing in metal was definitely one thing that intrigued me while listening to the album. Beforehand I assumed that it would sound too different, almost not right, but there is nothing wrong with it on “Behind the Black Veil”. Right from the beginning the flute stands out on the opening track, ‘I Open My Eyes’, where the great guitar counter melodies bring it out perfectly. The songs are mostly simple progressive-power metal compositions, except for a few like ‘A Symphony of Shadows’ and the opener. The feel of the album varies from heavier, creepier music to softer more soothing melodies. Also there are a lot of distinct differences in the songs, unlike most of Graves’s Psychotic Waltz stuff. ‘Sleepwalking’ is a great example of this because it sounds very much like a Pain of Salvation song, probably because of Kristoffer Gildenlöw. With softer vocal sections mixed with some heavy bass influence, it almost feels like it came of an early Pain of Salvation album.

The vocals by Devon Graves, or Buddy Lackey, whichever you prefer, are exceptionally good. He has mastered many different styles and all that adds a lot to the album. Ranging from the Jethro Tull sounding ‘Selebrate’ to 'A Candle in the Gallery' which sounds very much like King Diamond, this becomes quite self evident. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the drumming of Johanne James, which is very good and heavy, yet very articulate.

The production is very good, packing a heavy sound that enhances every bit of the album. Everything sounds perfect, and I especially like the way the bass and keyboards are put into the mix.

If you don’t already have this masterpiece from 2010, then you should definitely pick it up. Any fan of Pain of Salvation, King Diamond, and of course Psychotic Waltz will really enjoy this great piece of music. The heavy atmosphere conveyed throughout the album leads to a great feel that keeps me interested every time I listen. For a great release the Shadow Theory gets 4 stars.

THE SHADOW THEORY Behind The Black Veil

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
After putting Deadsoul Tribe to rest, Devon Graves announced Shadow Theory as his next project. The band, involving acclaimed musicians from Pain of Salvation, Complex7 and Threshold, leaves a much more professional and solid impression then the musically somewhat disappointing Deadsoul Tribe. So this is an album I really wanted to love a lot. Alas there are some problematic points for me.

The most problematic of all is that whatever Devon comes up with, it will always be inferior to the great Psychotic Waltz. That is no different here, and no matter how proficient the musicians are, the creative genius and uniqueness of Psychotic Waltz is entirely absent. The metal part of the songwriting is often based on old-school thrash-y riffing, and it sounds very uninspired and stale to me.

On top, Devon Graves has never been able to match the brilliant melodious vocal lines he used to come up with in the old days. Maybe it's because of the bland riffing, but whatever the cause, his melodies during the heavy parts sound very formulaic, and they are barely distinguishable from those of the other songs. It's only during a few quieter and more acoustic parts that he seems to find his melodic qualities. I would very much recommend him to record an acoustic album in the vein of Lunatic Soul.

"Behind The Black Veil" is an unremarkable album that will be quickly forgotten. It's not a disaster but it's still a disappointment. There are a couple of enjoyable moments but I've heard this type of music from Devon way too much by now. Don't get this until you got the complete Psychotic Waltz and Deadsoul Tribe's "Murder of Crows" and "Lullaby for the Devil".

THE SHADOW THEORY Behind The Black Veil

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Horror Show Prog Metal

I'd been waiting for the Shadow Theory album for quite awhile since the group was announced. Devon Graves has been a guy who has teased me on so many albums. Great moments, but never a fully realized masterpiece (I actually don't have INTO THE EVERFLOW yet, which may qualify). I had hoped that new blood and the shakeups of disbanding Deadsoul Tribe would leave us with something fresh and exciting. Alas, instead we get another very solid piece of dark prog metal with some great flashes. So I'm left to wait for the Psychotic Waltz reunion to see if my hopes are finally realized.

To be sure, BEHIND THE BLACK VEIL is a good album. The opening song, "I Open Up My Eyes" features Graves' flute almost immediately. (This is something I've been begging for for some time, that Graves would integrate the flute into his music to the same degree as his hero Ian Anderson). The song has some highly syncopated sections, and is certainly a notch up in compositional complexity from most DST. Arne Shuppner provides a more powerful bag of tricks on guitar that we've heard support Graves since the Waltz days. At the same time, don't expect big twin lead extravaganzas or anything resembling technical metal. There are a couple of fair guitar solos, some nice keyboard flourishes from co-band founder Demi Moore, and the rhythm section is quite sharp. The whole album is basically Deadsoul Tribe with nitrous packs. Even Devon's vocals are as varied and emotional as I've heard in awhile.

The problem is that the songwriting is good but not great. I prefer several songs from LULLABY FOR THE DEVIL to the ones here. The Jethro Tull cover really stands out melodically and compositionally as a superior song to the rest of the album. Devon has never had a great melodic sense, and on this album, his vocals sound great but don't lend much identity to each song. The band sound is great, and each song has its own riffs, but they really blend into each other.

Bottom line: Probably a transition album between DST and new Psychotic Waltz.

THE SHADOW THEORY Behind The Black Veil

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Behind the Black Veil is the debut full-length studio album by multi-national progressive metal act The Shadow Theory. The album was released in November 2010 by InsideOut Music.

The Shadow Theory was started by Greek keyboard player Demi Scott and lead vocalist Devon Graves ( Psychotic Waltz, Deadsoul Tribe). Demi Scott send some of his music to Devon Graves to ask for his advice ( he had been a fan of Devon´s work for years), but Devon was so intriguied by the material that he wrote back to Demi and suggested that they should form a band. The musicians who make up the lineup in addition to Devon Graves and Demi Scott are Arne Schuppner ( Demimonde, Complex 7) on guitars, Kristoffer Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation, Dark Suns, The 11th Hour) on bass and Johanne James ( Kyrbgrinder, Threshold) on drums. A kind of progressive metal all-star cast if you will.

The music on the album is progressive metal with nods toward traditional heavy metal. It´s obvious from the high quality playing on the album that all involved are experienced and skilled musicians so just to get it out of the way, that part of the album is very enjoyable. The songs aren´t focused on showing off technical playing skills though but more on creating dark and at times downright eerie atmosphere. That atmosphere is accompanied by an equally eerie concept horror story. I´m reminded of King Diamond´s concept horror stories. Actually there are also instrumental/ vocal sections in the songs that remind me of King Diamond. Not that Devon Graves imitates King Diamond´s distinct high pitched vocal style, but Devon delivers a really varied vocal performance on the album with both singing, whispering and shouting vocals, that greatly enhances the dark atmosphere on the album. It´s definitely one of his better vocal performances IMO. The songs are dynamic and most feature both acoustic sections, powerful heavy riffing and atmospheric and hook laden choruses. The song structures are generally simple ( for progressive metal) and catchy ( except for the closing track A Symphony of Shadows, which is quite a complex composition) but still there are challenging instrumental sections here and there to satisfy the demanding progressive metal fan. Just don´t expect Dream Theater type technical playing.

...I guess my only complaint about the album is the production, which to my ears could have been more interesting. The distorted guitars and especially the drums sound a bit flat to my ears. It´s nothing that disturbs my listening pleasure too much though and I might be a bit pedantic even mentioning it.

Behind the Black Veil is nearly an hour long album, but there´s not a second of the playing time where my attention wanders, and that spells quality in my book. I really enjoy how consistent yet adventurous the album is. It´s by no means a groundbreaking album, but it´s a very enjoyable listen. I´d say a 4 star rating is fully deserved. So to quote Devon Graves: "Turn down the lights. Light a candle and some incense. Sit in a comfortable chair. Turn it up loud, and prepare for our first rock cinema, “Behind the Black Veil”.


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