Shadow Gallery - Carved in stone 5/5

Reviewed: 8-5-05





Tracklist:

1. Cliffhanger
2. Crystalline dream
3. Don't ever cry, just remember
4. Warcry
5. Celtic princess
6. Deeper than life
7. Alaska
8. Ghostship


After showing tremendous potential on their 's/t' debut CD, Shadow Gallery has fulfilled that potential with this amazing follow-up. Most of the same pieces are evident on this CD, but everything is better. The melodies are sharper, the production is crisper and the songwriting is more complete and well thought out. It is almost silly to call this a step forward. This CD is like Columbus setting foot on American soil or Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. It is that large of a step into what will become a truly brilliant band.

The opener, "Cliffhanger", shows what a step up this band has taken with its slow, trance like melody. But it’s with track 2 that this CD takes a step beyond imagination. “Crystalline dream” is absolutely one of the most beautifully melodic pieces of music you will ever hear, especially the chorus. That leads right into the equally amazing ballad, “Don’t ever cry, just remember”. After these tracks the CD takes a very small dip. But it’s only a dip due to the brilliance so far. The rest of the CD is still very, very good. “Warcry” and “Deeper than life” are straight ahead rockers sounding a little more like hard rock than progressive rock. “Celtic princess” is a nice piano instrumental and “Alaska” is another really nice ballad. This all leads into the grand finale, the 20+ minute “Ghostship”. This is a progressive masterpiece, featuring long instrumental pieces, aggressive singing and some sing-a-long sections too. It all ties together nicely, although some of the pieces feel a little disjointed as they are fitted together.

Shadow Gallery really finds their sound on this CD and it’s an amazing sound that they have pieced together. They are undoubtedly progressive; yet they are also very accessible and should be well liked by those who are usually bored by progressive music. The band’s production has gone from below average to some of the best production in any genre, and the band is not scared to show off their playing ability throughout the CD either. Anyone who likes rock/metal really needs to try a Shadow Gallery CD. They have so many positive attributes and have such warm, accessible melodies that it is very difficult to imagine someone not appreciating this band.



DAVID




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