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Shadow Gallery - Tyranny CD (album) cover


Shadow Gallery


Progressive Metal

4.03 | 315 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Shadow Gallery's Tyranny is the first album of a two album concept. Tyranny's concept surrounds the popular concept of government control. This album deals with how countries act both internationally and domestically. Tyranny's lyrical concept is one that listeners consistently understand better with each listen. The music is more than enough to match the power of this concept.

Tyranny is one of the albums that best represents the general style of progressive metal. Shades of genre pioneers Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Fates Warning all pass. Shadow Gallery makes excellent use of two guitarist (a rarity for this genre style), poignant analog synth sounds, and rock solid drumming. The atmosphere of the album is somewhat bright considering the concept, but it gets slightly darker when necessary.

Gary Wehrkamp is the prime composer, but also makes performances on guitars and keyboards. Wehrkamp is able to compose songs with excellent depth, all the instrumentalists play togethor as a band and rarely as individuals. The orchestration is placed perfectly when it appears.

Brendt Allman is the shredder. Allman's technical licks and soaring melodies can be seen as the musical focal point of the album. Right from the beginning of the instrumental opener "Stilleto in the Sand" Allman's shred skills make a potent statement.

Mike Baker's vocals are an important part of chemistry for the band. He is able to twist and shape the sound of his voice to fit the mold of characters and settings throughout the album. Baker's natrual vocal abilities is excellent. Baker has great range and a rock solid metal tone.

Carl Cadden-James is a point of interest. Although his role as a bass player doesn't seem particularly technically demanding the groove that he supplys is crucial. The little things that a bass player like Cadden-James does like octave punches and solo comps are that little extra musical does of musical creativity that makes an album better than it should be.

Chris Ingles is the perfect keyboard counterpart for Brendt Allman. Both of these guys can shred. Ingles' synth tones are poignant analog tones that give the listener a certain nostalgia while still keeping a modern vibe. The "New World Order" composition is one of the best keyboard tracks. The pianos, orchestration, and synth parts add so much character to the song.

Joe Nevolo may be somewhat of an unsung hero in the band. Amongst shreding guitars and blazing synths with pianos and orchestration with melodic vocals the drums aren't given the attention they deserve. Nevolo is rock solid all throughout the album, but can take the spot light when he gets a chance. Nevolo's playing is much more focused on holding down the beat, but fills can easily catch a listener's attention.

The production is excellent. It's clear and creative. The guitar tones are some of the most original sounding in the genre, and the keyboards are flawless. The bass is a real charm. The high end is nostalgic tone of the seventies, but it perfectly mixed. The vocals are definately the mixing highlight. Mike Baker's vocals are dynamic, clear, and enunciated.

It's an excellent listen for any prog metal fan.

AtLossForWords | 4/5 |


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