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Shadow Gallery - Room V CD (album) cover

ROOM V

Shadow Gallery

 

Progressive Metal

4.13 | 347 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

semismart
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Long time fans of Progressive Rock/Metal are most likely familiar with Shadow Gallery, a musical ensemble, known as a purveyor of high quality Progressive Rock music, though not in high quantities. Shadow Gallery was formed thirteen years ago, yet their latest album, Room V is only their fifth studio album. It is a concept album which picks up from a previous concept album, Tyranny, a story about a man and woman fighting against the diabolical government, who practices hegemony on third world countries. (Hmmp sounds like us.)

What's Hot Kudos for the instrumentals. That's where you can really hear what fantastic musicians these guys are. "Manhunt," "Birth of a Daughter" and "Death of a Mother" are all excellent fast paced numbers with great guitars, keyboards (fantastic on death of a Mother) and percussion.

Didn't like the ethereal sounding beginning but some super guitar work turned Seven Years into a winner. Another instrumental!

Despite Mike Baker's melancholy, sugar-coated vocal, "Torn" is a pretty good song. Still at eight minutes, it's a little overdone.

Hey, I like Baker's singing on "The Archer of Ben Salem." Like the song too, especially the organ/guitar playing!

The last three quarters of "Room V" is excellent. Fantastic musicianship!

What's Not The only thing that keeps "Comfort" from being two and a half stars is the excellent keyboards and the lady singer. Sugar coated vocals by Mike Baker. 3 1/2 stars.

The eight minute plus ballad, "Vow" is so boring it makes me want to throw something against the wall. Yes, it has a pleasant melody, but Mike Baker's vocal are sweet enough to make you nauseous . 2 stars. Give me the Mike Baker of Human Equation's "Loser?"

Another unnecessarily long song, "Encrypted" is average at best.

Nine minute "Rain," is a pretty good song but it could be better. A little less band harmonizing, a little less redundancy, a little shorter and you've got a five star song instead of four.

Conclusion

I like to think of Shadow Gallery's music as mellow progressive rock. There is nothing radical about their music but it's always very melodious and pleasant, with musicianship second to none. One of the problems I find with their music is, because I gravitate to a little heavier strain of music, I tend to tire of their music, quickly. Room V is like that. It has an impressive sound but with limited staying power. If you haven't heard it for awhile it sounds great. If I play it three or four times, I put it away for another two or three months because I'm ready for something a little more upbeat. Yes, there are some riotously upbeat songs or sections of songs on Room V and they are excellent but three overlong tedious songs trump the shorter faster songs. Still I won't deny Room V is a good album. I'll just skip the boring parts. Final rating 4.15 stars.

semismart | 4/5 |

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