Shadow Gallery - Legacy

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MA9047-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:53:00

Shadow GalleryShadow Gallery pummels in the tradition of the best prog-metal, and rightly so; the visceral thrill of "total heavy-osity," as Woody Allen put it in Manhattan, is a hallmark of the trade. Rather than club the listener with all burners aflame, though, they allow the considerable range of their ideas and abilities to unfold as each piece progresses. On this thought-provoking fourth album, the astute listener might hear influences as far afield as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Kansas, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, all subsumed into a whole that packs a collective wallop.

Take "Cliffhanger 2," for example, whose 13 minutes are scored with impressive attention to detail. The guitars of Brendt Allman and Gary Wehrkamp collide and arc together with fusion-like speed, Chris Ingles displaying Wakeman-worthy chops on keyboards. Together, they generate a move toward a dizzying climax, Joe Novelo's drumming nailing everything into place. Count in some superb group vocal harmonies, and you've got one hell of an exciting opener. While "Society of the Mind" unfolds its pessimistic view of the Internet's supposed unification of the world over proggy keyboard sections, the title track finds life's true inter-connectedness in one-on-one interaction. "Colors" is a moving evocation of growth and change, with more fine vocal work, and instrumental textures that draw on mellotron and slide guitar.

Closing the disc is the ambitious, 34-minute "First Light." Acoustic guitars reverberate in space, as a tale of spiritual awakening begins. Following a crunching, vocal-laden section, the lyrics take us back out for a soaring, acoustic-based journey, leaving the song's narrator uncomfortably numb. Ultimately, the recognition of a higher power brings comfort in the dark, blue earth of the initial verse. Shadow Gallery easily sustains interest throughout, using an abundance of sheer riffage developmentally, even orchestrally. The final 13 minutes of the piece seem to be an audacious joke, until the band resolves the goings-on with perfect, conceptual sense. These guys are ferocious.

Cliffhanger a) Hang On b) The Crusher (13:05) / Destination Unknown (7:01) / Colors (7:02) / Society Of The Mind (5:23) / Legacy (5:04) / First Light (34:18)

Brent Allman - guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals; keyboards (4)
Mike Baker - lead and backing vocals
Carl Cadden-James - bass, vocals, flute
Chris Ingles - keyboards
Joe Nevolo - drums
Gary Wehrkamp - guitars, keyboards, vocals, bass, sound effects

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: April 19th 2001
Reviewer: Larry Nai

Artist website:
Hits: 757
Language: english


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