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Shadow Gallery - Tyranny CD (album) cover


Shadow Gallery


Progressive Metal

4.03 | 312 ratings

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4 stars This CD has been in my collection for years. But, right after my review with Fates Warning "FWX" couple days ago, I was tempted to have this CD for some spins. At the same time, actually I was also putting Frameshift in my CD player. So these two albums were on competition for my CD player. I have to be honest that Shadow Gallery "Tyranny" won the competition as I put more spins and more like it compared to Frameshift. It's probably that "Tyranny" has much more power and it's more technical too. This album was released six years after their weak (especially on drumming and composition) debut album. But with this third album Shadow Gallery has proven their capability in creating excellent progressive metal composition with flawless delivery.

The album contains two parts (Act I and II) with each part comprising 7 tracks - so in total there are 14 tracks. Act I opens with an energy driving music performed in fast tempo with no vocal line: "Stiletto In The Sand". This track projects a war nuance with all instruments played in high technical skills. Fast speed neo-classical guitar combined with keyboard and upbeat drumming. It flows seamlessly with a keyboard sound at the end of the track to next track " War For Sale". This second track seems like a power metal outfit in the vein of Germany's Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, etc. The voice of the band lead singer, Mike Baker, is a blend of Geoff Tate (Queensryche) and Michael Kiske (Helloween). The keyboard at background provides symphonic nuances for this track. So, where is the prog element? Well, I think during transitions and interlude there are complex music with some tempo changes. Not a lot but it's nice. This is an excellent track with good melody.

"Out Of Nowhere" continues in moderate tempo, slower than previous one. The opening part has some simple guitar riffs. Harmony vocals are excellent. Interlude part with lead guitar is excellent. This track is accessible to vast majority of rock music buffs. On vocal line, if you are familiar with Helloween, there are parts that show similar voice. The inclusion of flute in this track has created a unique musical taste.

It flows almost seamlessly with fourth track "Mystery" with a faster tempo than previous. Again, the harmony vocals and melody line of this track are excellent. The prog elements are demonstrated through interlude part before the music returns to original tagline melody. Having been in relatively fast tempo music with first four tracks, track 5 "Hope For Us ?" brings us to a ballad slow rock style of music. Piano touch and acoustic guitar work show the influence of classical music. "Victims" opens with a classical piano backed with keyboard sound. The music turns into higher register with excellent harmony vocals. "Broken" concludes Act I with piano and operatic vocal in mellow style - backed with keyboard.

Act II kicks off with "I Believe" with choir intro in excellent symphonic music background, influenced with classical music. Harmony vocals and melody are great in this track. James LaBrie of Dream Theater appears in this vocal line. "Roads Of Thunder" brings the music back to a high energy and power with excellent marriage of keyboard and guitar sounds. The music turns into slower tempo marked with stunning guitar solo. I think, the band is master in creating melodic song like this one. "Spoken Words" is almost a classical music with its piano touch and violin work. This is a very catchy track with vocals line performed in duet with Laura Jaeger. No drumming.

"New World Order" opens with powerful voice of DC Cooper of Royal Hunt performed with an ambient style. He sings like an opera act backed with keyboard and excellent choir. This track is really powerful performed in moderate / slow tempo. It has a strong melody and tight structure with smooth musical passages between transitions. The ending part with violin, keyboard and guitar works in neo- classical is really superb! Drum work is getting more dynamic throughout the ending part. Overall, the ending has created a climax that creates ultimate satisfaction. It's an enjoyable track and accessible to many listeners.

"Chased" blasts off with speed and power music. Keyboard and guitar dominate this instrumental track. Some keyboard work reminds me to Keith Emerson. (It also happens in some other tracks). It flows to ""Ghost Of A Chance" with acoustic guitar and piano to accompany vocal line. Performed in moderate / slow tempo. The album concludes with a mellow and melodic track "Christmas Day" performed beautifully with excellent piano and flute works that create classical nuance. Halfway through the full music (with drumming and bass line) enter the music featuring excellent guitar solo. It then returns bak to original tagline melofy. Beautifully composed!

Overall, it's an excellent progressive metal album with appropriate balance between fast and medium tempo tracks; well positioned to form an excellent musical flow, album- wise. My overall rating is 4.25 out of 5. Keep on progging! - GW, Indonesia.

Gatot | 4/5 |


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