Shadow Gallery - Room V 4/5

Reviewed: 7-29-05


ACT lll
1. Manhunt
2. Comfort me
3. The andromeda strain
4. Vow
5. Birth of a daughter
6. Death of a mother
7. Lamentia
8. Seven years
9. Dark
10. Torn
11. The archer of Ben Salem
12. Encrypted
13. Room V
14. Rain

For a reason unknown to me, many fans considered 'Legacy' to be a disappointment. 'Tyranny's' reputation took on such a life of its own that the small changes in style for 'Legacy' were considered a disappointment to many. 'Room V' has appeased that fan base by going back to the 'Tyranny' sound and, in fact, continuing the lyrical story which clearly makes this 'Tyranny Part ll'. It is a very good CD; I don’t think Shadow Gallery is capable of anything else at this point. However for the first time Shadow Gallery appears to be sounding a little too much like themselves and is showing the first signs of losing a little creativity.

The CD starts off nicely with “Comfort me”, beginning with a nice 2 minute instrumental intro with some melodies from the end of 'Tyranny'. The track is nice and puts the listener on notice that this is the next 'Tyranny'. “The andromeda strain” gets the pace going a little more and is a good but not great track. Things slow down again with “Vow” which is a great, slow track with wonderful lyrics. Its melody isn’t sensational, but they overall feel of the track is difficult to beat. After “Vow”, 9 of the next 10 minutes are instrumental. While each of the instrumental pieces are good, much of the momentum of the CD is lost. The rest of the CD is good, but the songwriting is not sharp enough and is mostly too slow to regain the momentum. “The archer of Ben Salem” and “Rain” are the best of the post instrumental tracks but, again, aren’t spectacular enough to rescue the CD to normal Shadow Gallery levels.

Make no mistake, this is a very good CD and at times is excellent. By any normal band’s standards, it is brilliant. A great production, very good songwriting, great performance and lots of interesting ideas going on throughout the individual tracks. However, the CD doesn’t quite match up to some of the CDs the band has made in the past. This does not make it a poor or average CD, but it is still just a slight disappointment. The CD drags a little with too many slow tracks and the momentum of the CD is killed by the instrumentals in the middle. It takes a great band like Shadow Gallery to make a CD which is both excellent and a disappointment at the same time. And that’s what this CD is, a slight disappointment with respect to their previous work, but still an excellent CD when compared to other CDs in the genre.




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