Shadow Gallery - Carved In Stone

Year of Release: 1995
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MA-9001-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:56:00

Shadow Gallery is one of the many great bands featured on the Magna Carta label and the works produced on their second album entitled, Carved In Stone, has some absolutely impressive material. One thing that I found most impressive about this band is their brilliance with expressing the vocals. With the chord structures built through the wonderful power of the voice, they carry an angelic, entrancing tune like the Sirens were well known for in Greek Mythology. Another thing on vocals: I think Mike Baker has one of the most gifted voices that I have ever heard throughout my years of being around music. His certain tone makes him very distinct from most other voices, as do other vocalists, but his style and tone is something that I envy.

The first song, "Cliffhanger," is an 8 minute masterpiece that is just perfect in its entirety. The introduction has a bit of a sinister sound to it, with the ambient background effects and the gloomy-sounding acoustic opening riff and guitar harmonies. The vocals are very pleasing in this song.

In the next titled track, "Crystalline Dream" has a bit of a different twist than the other songs do. This one is a bit more pop-like than the rest of them. This sounds like something that 80s Hair Metal bands like Winger or Poison could get away with minus Mike Baker's wonderful vocals. Although the intent isn't supposed to be a negative remark to the song, or band for that matter, I just think the sound, for them, isn't "Shadow Gallery" material. In fact, along with Part 1 of the track, "Ghostship," this is one of my two favorite songs by these marvelous men of Prog.

Lastly on my song reviews for the album, I bring to you the great epic of, "Ghostship." This spectacular portrayal about the great Vikings shows the true power that Shadow Gallery emits to long-form songwriting. Along with "First Light," this song was Shadow Gallery's "long-form masterpiece" as like Dream Theater's "A Change Of Seasons" and "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence," Rick Wakeman's "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth," and (out of genre) X Japan's "Art Of Life." The story of, "Ghostship," gives a general picture about the "Era of the Vikings," taking you through several journeys and battles fought during their reign.

I don't want to give all of these songs away but I would definitely recommend this to anybody who appreciates conceptual music. Shadow Gallery is a great modern Progressive Rock band that tends to surprise me more and more as they progress, through time, as musicians.

Cliffhanger (8:41) / Untitled #1 (0:40) / Crystalline Dream (5:44) / Untitled #2 (0:43) / Don't Ever Cry Just Remember (6:29) / Untitled #3 (1:03) / Warcry (5:59) / Celtic Princess (2:05) / Deeper Than Life (4:32) / Untitled #4 (0:18) / Alaska (5:18) / Untitled #5 (0:18) / Ghostship a) The Gathering The Night Before b) Voyage c) Dead Calm d) Approaching Storm e) Storm f) Enchantment g) Legend (21:44) / Untitled #6 (7:24)

Mike Baker - lead vocals
Brendt Allman - guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
Gary Wehrkamp - guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals
Carl Cadden-James - bass, fretless bass, flute, vocals
Chris Ingles - keyboards, piano
Kevin Soffera - drums

Shadow Gallery (1992)
Carved In Stone (1995)
Tyranny (1998)
Room V (2005)
Prime Cuts (2007)
Digital Ghosts (2009)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: January 12th 2003
Reviewer: Jeff Harper

Artist website:
Hits: 715
Language: english


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