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Shadow Gallery - Carved In Stone CD (album) cover


Shadow Gallery


Progressive Metal

3.79 | 211 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Crystalline Dream

This album was my introduction to Shadow Gallery. I have since listened to their other studio albums, but nothing has impressed me the way Carved In Stone did and continues to do. I should admit that I wasn't immediately overcome, but after many, many listens over a long period of time, I have become convinced that this album is indeed a masterpiece of progressive music. I wholly enjoy every second of the hour long running time.

Compared to later albums by the band (as well as to other bands in the Prog Metal category), Carved In Stone is less Metal and more Symphonic Prog. As such, I'm certain that this album would appeal to a broader audience than many other albums in the subgenre. The well-known American Symphonic Prog act Kansas (one of my favourite bands of all time) seems to have been a major source of inspiration for Shadow Gallery at this point as it was for Dream Theater. But Carved In Stone is even more Symphonic Prog than the latter's classic Images And Words album.

The lead vocals readily bring Queensryche's Geoff Tate to mind and they are strong throughout, but there are also some wonderful almost Beatles-esque harmony vocals. The many piano parts are in the style of Rick Wakeman, but the other keyboards as well as the lead guitar sound is more Neo-Prog-like. Early Arena comes to mind, especially since the longer pieces are connected by shorter bridges just as they were on Arena's two first albums (of which the debut Songs From The Lion's Cage is a masterpiece). There are even some lovely flute parts and some passages are almost New-Age-like which creates a powerful counterpoint to the more intense passages.

The material is very strong and all of the full songs are melodic and memorable. Symphonic ballads like Don't Ever Cry, Just Remember and Alaska might perhaps remind some people of (the better such songs by) bands like Asia or Journey, but these are great and bring a welcome variety to the album as a whole. This is an album that is stronger than the mere sum of its parts.

Very highly recommended, not just for Prog Metal fans but for all Prog fans

SouthSideoftheSky | 5/5 |


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