SHADOW GALLERY — Carved In Stone (review)

SHADOW GALLERY — Carved In Stone album cover Album · 1995 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
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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