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The Shadow Theory - Behind The Black Veil CD (album) cover


The Shadow Theory


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 53 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Horror Show Prog Metal

I'd been waiting for the Shadow Theory album for quite awhile since the group was announced. Devon Graves has been a guy who has teased me on so many albums. Great moments, but never a fully realized masterpiece (I actually don't have INTO THE EVERFLOW yet, which may qualify). I had hoped that new blood and the shakeups of disbanding Deadsoul Tribe would leave us with something fresh and exciting. Alas, instead we get another very solid piece of dark prog metal with some great flashes. So I'm left to wait for the Psychotic Waltz reunion to see if my hopes are finally realized.

To be sure, BEHIND THE BLACK VEIL is a good album. The opening song, "I Open Up My Eyes" features Graves' flute almost immediately. (This is something I've been begging for for some time, that Graves would integrate the flute into his music to the same degree as his hero Ian Anderson). The song has some highly syncopated sections, and is certainly a notch up in compositional complexity from most DST. Arne Shuppner provides a more powerful bag of tricks on guitar that we've heard support Graves since the Waltz days. At the same time, don't expect big twin lead extravaganzas or anything resembling technical metal. There are a couple of fair guitar solos, some nice keyboard flourishes from co-band founder Demi Moore, and the rhythm section is quite sharp. The whole album is basically Deadsoul Tribe with nitrous packs. Even Devon's vocals are as varied and emotional as I've heard in awhile.

The problem is that the songwriting is good but not great. I prefer several songs from LULLABY FOR THE DEVIL to the ones here. The Jethro Tull cover really stands out melodically and compositionally as a superior song to the rest of the album. Devon has never had a great melodic sense, and on this album, his vocals sound great but don't lend much identity to each song. The band sound is great, and each song has its own riffs, but they really blend into each other.

Bottom line: Probably a transition album between DST and new Psychotic Waltz.

Negoba | 3/5 |


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