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Shadow Gallery

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3 stars The weird thing to me about Shadow Gallery is.........................Why do I keep on buying their CDs!!??!? And it's this.................There's always at least 1 good song on each of their CDs and this/these song are SO good that I seem to be able to forgive all the cheese that consumes about 50 to 70% of their entire work of music. On Legacy its "Cliffhanger part 2". This song is about as good as it gets in prog. rock/metal. At 13 minutes long, it has a soft intro. When the vocals kick in so does the precise and tight drums and bass, Even though its a fairly slow tempo the rhythm section is as tight as a gnats butt... but this is only a foreshadowing of things to come. At around 5 or 6 minutes there is an instrumental section that rivals anything .D.T. has done (I don't say that lightly either) in intensity and 1-up musicianship. This section does not end till the very end of the song. So that's a good 8 minutes of mind blasting, over-the-top serious prog/METAL. For that song alone my 15 bucks were well spent. And although there is some other good stuff on Legacy nothing (at least to me) touches Cliffhanger 2. Now, here's my gripe.......The song "First Light" says it's over 34 minutes but in reality is only 22 min. There is a silent section that start's around 22 min. (And I do mean silent) but that does not seem to stop the clock from ticking away. And what do you get after 12 min. of silence? Ya get reverbed footsteps that ends in a door slamming shut. CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE!!! Still in all, when Shadow Gallery put out their next CD I'm sure that I will be on the pre- order list for that one at
Report this review (#6549)
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is not the best Shadow Gallery album ... but it get's a high score from me because of the brilliant epic and the first track. Colors might be the weakest track, but given some time it begins to grow on you as well.
Report this review (#6550)
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Only one word for this album: BOOOOOOORIIIIIIIIIING. Why? The progression in this album flows so slow and (damn!) monoton. I don't understand why people adore this album so much. "Tiranny" is much better than this. IMO, Shadow Gallery has the same level with Rhapsody in producing dull, monoton music. Don't waste your money and time for buying this album. Better you get Nightwish's or Kamelot's.
Report this review (#6551)
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Mike Baker (lead & backing vocals), Carl Cadden-James (bass, vocals, flute) Brendt Allman (guitars, vocals), Chris Ingles (keyboards), Joe Novelo (drums), and Gary Wehrkamp (guitars, keyboards, vocals & bass) are Shadow Gallery. There are two words that define the imagery created by progressive rock ... savage beauty. With Legacy, the group's fourth release, you will visit places of magnificence and then quickly find a change of scenery that can be harsh and unrelenting. That is what progressive rock music is. The premise of songs that build upon each other is the facility of each composition to open the door to a layered song structure, with the ever- changing human emotions the mirror for the music. This would apply with any style of music; you will find that this is just slightly more intense with prog rock.

You can tell right from the outset of the first song "Cliffhanger" that this band has reached a level of maturity that gives them extremely good focus. "Colors" will catch you off guard, as they sound like a totally different group. The song sounds ready made to enter the charts with a bullet to the top. It's not pop, mind you, it's rock, but with a more consistent definition and purpose. There is a clear message being conveyed, and the music supports that with a mainstream (forgive me) flow not found on any of the other tracks. I really enjoyed it, but I also welcomed the return of the ever-changing ups and downs and complexities that are the mark of the genre. They decide to use a popular trick on the curtain closer "First Light", there is a long pause at around the twenty-four minute mark, giving the impression that the CD is complete, then a few minutes later the music starts again, and the song is over. Before it finally ends, over thirty-two minutes have passed. My word, that's an album's worth of material for some bands.

Awe-inspiring groups like Shadow Gallery make it easy for a listener to foresee new and exciting sounds on a regular basis. I have said this before ... some of the best music and talent can be found at the Magna Carta label.

They are an indie label with major acts. It's a deadly combination that cannot be matched. All of the major labels that can't hold a candle to this kind of talent would be well advised to take a look at labels like Magna Carta. They hold the trump card. The future of music belongs to the independent bands, and the labels that promote them. This is one of many CDs that will give valid evidence of that fact.

Report this review (#6552)
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars BLOODY HELL! Cliffhanger II is possible the coolest progressive song I have ever heard. The rest of the album is legendary too. I hear all these complaints about an apparent lack of flow of their work, which is a load of barnacles to be honest. Basically Shadow Gallery require A LOT of concentration, they are the pinnacle of progressive ideas and techniques and incredibly stimulating. They make Dream Theater appear like a radio-friendly punk band in comparison, and THAT is what people are complaining about. But in truth, prog metal is all about breaking boundaries and Shadow Gallery are without a doubt a simply better intellectual outfit than Dream Theater. But Dream Theater are a great stepping stone for getting into bands like Shadow Gallery. The culmination of every progressive twist and turn is in this album and I simply adore it, it's incredibly stimulating and admittedly took me many listens to fully appreciate. Give them a chance and this band will woo you like no girl can. You can get the mp3 for Cliffhanger II from - I need say no more!

Joel T, Buckinghamshire, England.

Report this review (#6553)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As usual, Shadow Gallery has always produced good progressive metal album, so is the case with "Legacy" which was released 2001. From musicality point of view, the band's music is mature already with this album. From personal preference point of view, I'd rather listen to "Tyranny" than this album even though "Legacy" is not a bad album at all. I don't know I feel that something is missing with this album. It's probably due to the existence of ballad pop song that does not attract me at all. No doubt, "Cliffhanger" (13:05) is an excellent epic as it casts the soul of Shadow Gallery's music. The song contains melodic segments with technically skilled guitar work through excellent riffs and stunning solo, solid bass lines, machine-gun drum work, nice music harmony and great vocals. Structurally, this is the track that any progressive metal fan would like to enjoy as it combines various styles with high and low points. The keyboard work is really excellent with some segments remind me to Keith Emerson's work. Hah? Yeah man . you may be surprised that Keith Emerson is now playing progressive metal music. The combination of keyboard punches ang guitar solo is truly powerful.

"Destination Unknown" (7:01) starts mellow with piano and vocal; it's accessible to many ears because it's melodic and slow in tempo. Vocals are excellent. The song moves into higher points with excellent and speedy guitar solo. "Colors" (7:02) is a ballad pop song that I can't believe Shadow Gallery composed this poppy song. I don't like it at all. One star for this song; poorly composed and very loose - many bands can make this kind of stuff. "Society Of The Mind" (5:23) is a rocker with heavy riffs and high register notes voice line. Good track. "Legacy" (5:04) starts off with heavy riffs like typical power metal band augmented with keyboard work. Unique singing style. It's an interesting track to enjoy.The album concludes with an excellent epic "First Light" which consumes 23 minutes of music plus UNNECESSARY silent for approx 10 minutes concludes the album. The epic itself is excellent as it combines various styles and instruments including acoustic guitar. The unnecessary silent portion at the end of the track is annoying, meaningless and useless.

It's a good album that deserves three stars maximum. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#44055)
Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2005 | Review Permalink

Shadow Gallery is a band that was formed in Pennsylvania by four great musicans, they recorded an eponymous demo which would be the debut of the band. The second album was recorded with the addition of two musicians one of them was Kevin Soffera, an excellent drumer from hard rock style that fits in no better manner with Shadow Gallery. The band recorded "Carved in Stone", a very epic and symphonic unforgettable masterpiece. Soffera left the band and Joe Nevolo came, so Shadow Gallery recorded "Tyranny"; an epic composition on topics about the new millennium, terrorism, new technology, and ambition, excellent in music and lyrics.

By the beginning of 2000's decade prog metal was starting to face a new change, the new tendencies of the mother bands on United States and the force and power from Europe hit Shadow Gallery. Innovative ideas and the will to make a huge change took Shadow Gallery to find a new way on music and so this release was born: "Legacy". LEGENDARY PIECE OF ART!

These are the best words to describe this release. Perfect in production, innovative and breaking the boundaries of progressive metal heading to a new direction of music. That is what Shadow Gallery accomplish in this album, a very different style in comparison to the previous and later albums. This is a very intellectual CD with an even heavier style in some tracks and softer in other ones respect to their previous releases but preserving the same complexity and art.

This album is a kind of bridge or transition between the two different styles of Shadow Gallery. Before "Legacy" the style was more epical and ambient and after "Legacy" it became heavier and more unpredictable. Both of their styles are definitely excellent. Legacy is a heterogeneous album that mixes nuances from "Carved in Stone", stunning solos and innovative and complex riffs that took place in "Tyranny" and of course, a clear influence on the debut, especially in the presence of crystalline sounds on the ballads.

1. Cliffhanger II: this is a real example of virtuosity, symmetry, intelligence and force. A track divided in two parts. The first one is the continuation of "Cliffhanger" story from the first track of "Carved in Stone". It is about a man that is victim of a prosecution. He is hanging from their fingers on a cliff and seems there is no way to save his life until a woman gives him a hand and saves him under condition. Then these people are victims of a terrorist attack and are buried by an avalanche that does their part with them. The second part is completely instrumental. There, the band shows all the abilities to make real heavy and complex music. The riffs are ornamented by the keyboards of Chris Ingles who is without a doubt a genius. Solos here and there by both guitarists and very remarking riffs conduct the track to a take-breathing journey through a real Gallery of Shadows through music. (10/10)

2. Destination Unknown: a track that begins with a soft piano in companion to the mellowing voice of Mike Baker. Inspired, full of eloquence and romantic song. The dynamic presence of the guitar solos and the solid bass lines makes of this one a real good ballad. To honest, maybe you will need at least a couple of spins to get into it but once you enjoy it you will definitely love it. This is the reason I insist there is innovation. This is the first time SG plays this kind of composition and adds it to progressive style as a new option. Anyway, Exceptional track (9/10)

3. Colors: A track that sounds soft and mellowing. Inspired vocals that reminds of Barkley James Harvest but with an even more complex and finer composition. Vocals similar to "Alaska" from "Carved in Stone". This track deserves an A in inspiration. The low complexity is balanced by the heavenly chorus and ambient leads. Very Good Track! (8/10)

4. Society of the mind: Heavy track with powerful bass lines, strong and clear vocals from Mike along the track. Counterpoints here and there, a vocal bridge and complex arrangements on guitars and keyboards are enough to convince the potential prog- machine Shadow Gallery is. Very Good! (8/10)

5. Legacy: Beautiful, perfect in coordination, eloquent vocals and lyrics. A masterful track that reveals the emotive spirit of the band. Full of progressions, strong choruses, subtle touches of Chris Ingles on the perfect moments and of course a virtuosity that characterizes bass and lead guitars. Excellent Track! (9/10)

6. First Light: A long epic composition influenced by space rock sounds effects but with a clear presence of the proper style of the band. A delicious track that will take you to a journey to the afterlife. Music with very anti-existentialist and introspective lyrics. A man dies and so comes to his mind all the people he has loved. This is why I say this album is intelligent. With a bit of patience this track can drag you into music and have a real experience. (10/10)

Shadow Gallery is a very smart band with a clear vision on music and especially in this album. They have influences from early and late "Dream Theater" and early Queensryche but the main structure of their style is original. Shadow Gallery is a metal prog with clear influence on heavy rock but with remarked and involving bass lines full of presence, virtuous guitars from Allman an Wehrkamp and the real master on drums: Joe Nevolo. The way of moving through tempos, their fine solos and well-thought lyrics and arrangements characterize a professional band that moves other ways different than the commercial tendencies in the US and that is what I and many people love of them. Prove of their particularity is that they do not make live concerts or shows.

So dear reader, DO NOT let yourself get confused for all of the complaints you have probably read in here. Perhaps, the reason of all those comments is that this album is very heterogeneous and different, but that is what I love of it. Just give it a try, and I am sure there won't be disappointments at all.

I encourage you to give it a chance, and listen to Shadow Gallery. "Legacy" is a very good point to start. Excellent addition to any progressive collection, highly recommended for lovers of Dream Theater, Rush and Queensryche.

Good Progressions!!

Report this review (#52533)
Posted Friday, October 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I can't really see what's wrong with this cd i think this is an excelllent album by Shadow Gallery. Now i will admit i don't like the fact that FIRST LIGHT has ten minutes of worthless crap but its still a good but still look at the rest. ya got CLIFFHANGER 2 my most loved Shadow Gallery song ever it is freakin awesome and so complex with the longness and the solos and the thing. plus the shorter also has some great effect on them as well from heavy track like LEGACY (love the guitar and bass solos guys) and a great rocker like SOCIETY OF THE MIND to wonderful soft tunes like DESTINATION UNKNOWN and COLORS. Anyway to me SHADOW GALLERY is one of the best PROGRESSIVE METAL bands with a grand melodic twist and its kinda hard to believe with them looking like bikers all the times lol. but anyway even though at times i don't like the sound of COLORS and it kinda ticks me off that FIRST LIGHT is a 30 minute song on the disc but its not i still love this album so a definate 4 stars
Report this review (#70800)
Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars For me this isn't nearly as good as "Tyranny" or the follow up "Room V". Lots of good moments of course, but not enough for me to give it 4 stars.

The first song "Cliffhanger 2" opens with some piano and atmosphere. We get some power 1 1/2 minutes in as riffs and vocal melodies come in. Vocals 3 minutes in as the sound gets heavier. Great section. It's spacey 6 1/2 minutes in until a really good bass / drum section takes over. The guitar then comes in ripping it up. This is the best track on here. "Destination Unknown" is ballad-like for the first 3 minutes until the guitar comes in and just goes on and on. Nice. "Colors" is pure, thats the best way I can describe it. It's very uplifting. "Society Of The Mind" has some nice crunchy guitars at times and some good guitar solos as well. This is good driving music.

The song "Legacy" has an interesting story behind it. Gary the guitarist wrote 9 songs for James Labrie's MULLMUZZLER project, and this was one of them that was called "Forever" originally. Anyway James and Gary hooked up again and Gary actually traded two songs in order to get this one back. Joe the drummer really liked the song and it ended up on this record, they just changed the name to"Legacy'". Not surprisingly the drumming is fantastic on this song. I really like the heavy intro as well. Not a fan of the harmonies though. "First Light" may be listed at over 34 minutes but in my opinion this is no epic. I just find it meanders along too much, plus there is that annoying 6 minutes of silence. Hello ?

Good album with some great moments.

Report this review (#89215)
Posted Thursday, September 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars SHADOW GALLERY is another one of those bands that used to be one of my favourite ones years ago (and whose records were growing dust on my shelf meanwhile). I'm really wondering how I would describe their music to someone who never heard of them (which I don't consider a shame actually). Maybe as a heavier version of KANSAS or a less complex and less technical type of SYMPHONY X. Be it this way or either I'd rather consider them redundant for both a Prog AND a metal fan. For fans of Kansas-type of music I'd rather recommend to stick to the original or go for the albums released under the name PROTO-KAW. For prog metal fans I'd know many other names to recommend first but certainly not this band. Nonetheless I find their music still moderately enjoyable (as long they don't play this type of "fabric softener-metal" as on their highly acclaimed "Carved In Stone"-album) but more for running in the back and not for an intense listen I've to say.

"Legacy", their 4th album can be considered a decent effort by them with almost any significant changes in their style compared to previous ones. We get offered here at times more powerful and sometimes more ballad-esque quite respectable airplay-friendly melodic metal. Admittedly they've thrown in as well some proggy features as moderately complex guitar/keyboard play and some vocal lines for several voices. There are also two long-tracks (triggering shiny eyes in every prog fan's face after having a quick look at the track list) which wasn't the case at all on their previous album "Tyranny". And in fact those two tracks are by far the best ones on here without being anything really groundbreaking, but nice to listen and offering at least some alternative to the usual simple verse-chorus- verse-chorus pattern shown by the other tracks. There are mainly two things I've to niggle about with this album, that are first the overall quite dull lyrics (unfortunately this applies to all of their albums) and the fact that the final track is actually a bluff package. Because in fact it does not contain almost 35 min of quite good melodic metal but "only" 22 min (which is still okay). The remaining running time is filled up with silence and a so-called (redundant) "hidden track" consisting of boring and pointless pseudo-classical noodling.

Finally I can only say that this is a quite nice record to serve as pleasant background music from time to time but by far not anything to be considered essential in progressive rock (as probably all releases by this band I dare saying). Recommended only to fans of AOR-type of music looking for some slightly more sophisticated stuff!

Report this review (#96629)
Posted Wednesday, November 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
The T
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you followed Shadow Gallery's career in a chronological order, chances are you heard Tyranny before listening to this one. So, as with me, your first reaction must've been something like "man!... this is not in the same level as Tyranny!"... Because, for sure, following in the footsteps of such a FLAWLESS album as that is no easy task, as with every band that has ever released their "ALBUM"... But after the initial shock, what you have here is a pretty good, at times equally masterful collection of (sadly only) 6 songs....

What striked me the most is the lack of anthemic, superhuman choruses that SG delivered in Tyranny.... As in the follow-up to this one, Room V, the choruses here are nowhere near the level of tracks like "I believe", "Roads of thunder" or "Mystery".... and believe me, one of the greatest assests of SG are their choruses, and honestly, I can't find a band that matches their ability.... But, as usual, the instrumental performance by each individual is amazing, especially from the guitars: SG is mainly a guitar band more than a keyboard band (a la Royal Hunt), and here we have excellent playing courtesy of Wehrkamp and Allman.... But another highlight in this band is Mike Baker: he's truly one of the BEST singers in all prog-metal and in all rock... his is a truly unique voice, a little mellow at times, but very effective and, most of all, GREAT with melody singing....

If we'd have to mention the biggest influence in SG's sound and Baker's singing, for sure we would have to talk about Queensryche, but a lot more "prog"....But never did Tate's band played songs with the beauty that SG's opuses have: even more than their choruses, it's their skills with MELODY that truly make them one of the greatest in all progressive metal (for me, only second to DT). But SG also have an "arena rock" vibe within their sound...

Cliffhanger (10/10), a marvelous song, almost an epic in length, great vocal melodies (as always), courtesy of Carl Cadden-James and Wehrkamp's masterful music skills. It's related to the track of the same name in "Carved in Stone", but this one is better.... a true prog-metal anthem.... the instrumental part asks no favors to Dream Theater's own in terms of quality...great. I just love the doubled guitar solo 3/4 down the song....The end is pure Dream Theater meets Shadow Gallery, this meaning that, while showing clear influences by the New York masters, SG's sound is mostly their own.. The final section is in neo-classic metal style, much ala Royal Hunt and Symphony X....

Destination Unknown (10/10), pure melody, a beautiful piano beginning and a PERFECT performance by Mike Baker... a very theatrical middle section, with lots of amazing choral harmonies... some accuse SG of being "too sacharine", too sweet.... I will say, so what?? We need some beauty in metal from time to time! Near the end a female vocal harmony plays over piano chords and acoustic guitars... A GEM Colors (8/10), the beginnijng of this sound reminds me of Wehrkamp's and Cadden- James'-written Mullmuzzler songs in "Keep it to Yourself".... a great melodic start gives way to a so-so chorus, not as good as SG had us used to... this one sounds a little bit "glam"...

Society Of The Mind (8/10), a short, powerful, driving track... it sweats energy... it bleeds energy... the chorus is a little bit too "arenaish" (as in ARENA-rock, not as in ARENA the band)... The choruses in Tyranny were anthemic yet never cheesy... This one is not cheesy, but lies in the border.

Legacy (10/10) , just amazing. If the latter track was energetic, this one is A TORNADO... it has the force of thousand bikes at night... yeah, listening to this while driving an open car in the midst of the city's blaring, flash-like lights.... this chorus, again, not perfect but ALMOST there... great, great song... really a 9.5/10, but it's so damn frenetic, adrenalin-pumping that we add half a point for that....

First Light (6/10), sadly, the weakest track in the album happens to be the longest, and as it takes more than half the size of the cd, it causes the record to lose a point in the ratings....SG's specialty is not the moustrous epics... leave that to the symphonic-rock masters of old or to today's masters like The Flower Kings... or to other Prog-metal bands for that matter.... SG is at their best in the 7-13 minute ratio.... this one is just TOO long, not coherent at times, and in the midst of the confusion we just lose track of the good vocal melodies that just pass us by without being noticed... and to make things worst, man, THE PAUSE.... more than 10 minutes silence!!! And this is not a "secret" track, for the song's length is LISTED in the booklet as 34 minutes... so when the music stops at 22 minutes, you just wonder "what the hell"... then you wait, you wait... when you are snoozing, beginning to lose conciousness and enter into Freud's Kingdom, the music starts again.... and not good music but mediocre music at that! This song could've been good with a good edition-job.... but even trimmed down to 8 minutes, it just doesn't have enough going for it to say "flawed masterpiece"... just flawed piece, period....

So, a very good album, worthy of its predecessor but almost slipping into 3 stars territory, and only because of the completely botched attempt at a giant epic by Shadow Gallery... but don't let this discourage you from buying this otherwise amazing album! The first 5 tracks are almost Tyranny-level songs.... so get it....

... just have your finger in the FORWARD button when the last song approaches minute 22... or have a book at hand... you'll need it for the pause, it is THAT LONG....

Report this review (#98681)
Posted Monday, November 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Cliffhanger is certainly the best song of this album. If all the others songs from this release would have had the same quality I would have give 5 start without a doubt. But I was little disappointed especially because of Colors, Society of the Mind and Legacy which I think are somehow uninspired. I'm not saying that that these are not good songs but after the first song I was somehow disappointed. The album has also a long composition (more than a half an hour) named First Light. The introduction is very spatial than we have a very nice intro with Mike Baker's voice (by the way he has a type of voice which is really appropriate for this genre). We have some goods moments after this introduction and before the last part (which I think are too long) starting somewhere before minute 13, more in the vein of Cliffhanger.

Overall I would rate this album with 4 stars only especially because of the first song and the good production but consider maybe 7 from 10 points as an accurate evaluation of this release. For sure not the best release of Shadow Gallery. In any case the sound is really improved if you compare it with their first release but is not the same quality here as in case of Carved in Stone.

I look forward to hear more from these guys in the future. In this moment one the most important bands in progressive-metal scene.

Report this review (#114932)
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars To me is a 4 star album, despite to some reviwers from here. It's true that is not the best they ever done, but has some very good moments like firts track Cliffhanger 2, the best from here and maybe one of the best they ever done, and Society of mind. I think the last track is some how to long, and at some point get bored, but all in all a great album, in Shadow Gallery stile.If you like this band you have to get this one because worth it. I remain to Carved in stone (i think the best ever so far). I always like this band so my rate is 4 stars.
Report this review (#119078)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars the american band shadow gallery,with this album called legacy..this is one of my best albums of shadow gallery.i will give my explication. The first song Cliffhanger 2...the B)section of this song "The crusher"is the best instrumentalist of shadow gallery,the changes on the melody is so Damn Good,is so freak,so progressive,all the instruments sounds good with their own direction.joe nevolo shows his talent on the drumms and brent allman like allways so amazing on the electric guitar..

Destination unknown..the second track.. is so beatiful..this one is an incredible composition as well.the voice of mike baker is perfectly amazing,and flows very good with the nature of the music of this song.and ends with a piano section so the type of pink of the best tracks on this album..

Colors...Another beatiful song..with deep lyrics and amazing acoustic guitars..this one also have a good only your point of view.

society of the mind..this one is so energetic ..with a good lyrics as well..i like the part when he is singing..."in my next level of quake when i can shoot them i can kill them and deshumanize with cancer in my veins" deepest thing.

legacy...mmm the weak part of the album,but have a nice chorus..

first light....the best song on this album,so epic,so dynamic..veryo long with good vocals...good music on this one..but the 10 last minutes in silence is boring...i could given to this album 5 stars but for this question only 4...

Keep on the good gallery..

Report this review (#127705)
Posted Friday, July 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars In Carved in Stone I highly praised the terrific Cliffhanger as one of the best songs by Shadow Gallery. This also goes for the opener on this 4th album, Legacy. Cliffhanger II is at least as good as part I, probably better. Because it's longer and this higher length is used for a mindblowing instrumental part I simply can't get enough of. Unfortunately the album continues with a few tracks that is too much of the same we already heard on Tyranny. They are all good even very good songs but they are 99% copies of Tyranny songs so I can't value these too high. Even the first two albums were more varied and more original than this one even though production quality and composition quality is higher on this Legacy release. The title track is more original than the 3 previous ones but is no more than good/very good. The last track is the epical First Light. On itself a very good epic but where the booklet says it's an epic of 34 minutes in reality it appears to be some 18 minutes (3:30-22:00, just over half that time that is !!).

And it's this rediculous phenomenon of hidden tracks that is reaching the deepest level on this album. And it's about time this behaviour is punished. Because even though Shadow Gallery is one of my favourite bands I can do nothing else than subtract 1 star from my rating for this album. When I bought it I thought I was also buying an epic of way more than half an hour. And this appeared to be phoney. This is extremely disappointing. Shadow Gallery had also done this on Carved Stone with the epical Gostship (1 minute of silence followed by 3 minutes of knocking on a door or something) but goes way to far this time. So instead of 4 I give 3 for Legacy.

Report this review (#163896)
Posted Friday, March 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Legacy" was the Shadow Gallery album in charge of following up the epic masterpiece "Tyranny", a job that ultimately was well accomplished. For this one, the SG guys partially recreated the combination of clear melodic metal rock, eerie moods and epic overtones that had made the best of "Carved in Stone": they even restored the tracklist's scheme, with a sequel to 'Cliffhager', a closing multi-part suite and a symphonic instrumental stating the real closure after endless sounds of door bells. Ring a bell? All in all, this is not a "Carved in Stone" clone (just like "Room V" was not a "Tyranny" clone either), but the testimony of a band that decided to recapitulate the most prominent stylistic tendencies that had been dominant in their previous three albums. Business as usual regarding compositions and performances: the former are creative, catchy, ambitious but not overwhelmingly so; the latter are proficiently accomplished, Baker's confident singing, the virtuosic guitar and keyboards, the consistent rhythm section, the polished arrangements. All of them work beautifully, with a crystal clear sound production: on the other hand, you can also notice that the level of pyrotechnics is a tad lessened, which probably means that the band were aiming for a more freshening approach to their inherently complex style. Like I said earlier, 'Cliffhanger 2' kicks off the album with a recognizable piano ornament, quickly leading to a dynamic rocking section that alternates "Metropolis"-type Dream Theater and standard bombastic symphonic rock. The sung section 'Hang On' has a sustained rhythm pattern that obviously emulates that of 'Cliffhanger'. The instrumental section 'The Crusher', in turn, is more related to the band's more metal-focused side, and its vibe is different to that of the instrumental section of 'Cliffhanger', it is more controlled in its dexterity. 'Destination Unknown' kicks off from a very different place: introspective, controlled, yet undeniably passionate about the subject of reflection. The beautiful sung lines and choral arrangements successfully complete the main motif's meditative vibe, properly sustained by the piano and the guitars - all these aforesaid elements really are so moving, even stating a consistent build-up for the track's second part. The second part is an amazing symphonic-meets prog metal tour-de-force that states a powerful mixture of Queensr˙che, Kansas, Iron Maiden and "The Wall"-era Pink Floyd, eventually leading to an hypnotic piano motif augmented by soft, soaring orchestrations. This has to be one of the best Wehrkamp/Cadden-James compositions ever, and also, one of Mike Baker's best vocal deliveries ever. 'Colors' is a semi-ballad that may sound as if SG were leaning a bit closer to mainstream retro-rock; well, this is more like an acoustic rock ballad lightened up by a nice touch of good old "Heartbreak Station"-era Cinderella. Since the SG guys are keen on flaunting their sophisticated aura even in their less complex songs, you can picture the majestic magic provided by the orchestrated background and the added slide guitar leads. 'Society of the Mind' also bears that sense of catchiness somehow related to mainstream, but this time it is an up- tempo rocker with pleasant glam rock stints: the frantic metallic interlude, including flashing guitar and synth solos (the one by Ingles, amazing as usual), spice things up all the way through up to the final chorus and closure. Now, what we get from the title track is a major prog metal ride, whose straightforward cadence and creative melodic development anticipate the sort of mood that will be later prevalent in most rockers from the "Room V" album. 'First Light' is the album's final epic, very much dissimilar to 'Ghostship' (I told you, this is not a "CiS" clone). 'First Light' bears a compellingly meditative ambience that pretty related to that of 'Destination Unknown'. A combination of eerie keyboard layers and a mysterious orchestral background makes a nice prelude to the effective main sung section, slow and majestic, at times dominated by acoustic guitars, at times driven by sustained electric guitar riffs. A second sung section is undertaken through an almost pastoral setting. Before the 12 minute mark, a dramatic orchestral build-up sets the stage for the emergence of the bombastic prog- metal section that changes the initial introspective stance for a more assertive one. All in all, the melodic candor is still very present and working greatly. Somewhere around minute 17, the band makes a curious approach to the Savatage standard for a little while before going to more symphonic realms. This section fluidly segues into a reprise of the first acoustic guitar-based motif for the last few minutes. This is a lovely suite, indeed, an extended showcase for SG's ability to use the energy of prog metal as an ingredient for their symphonic prog ideas. After some minutes of silence and some door bell ringing, a Wehrkamp-penned orchestral piece arises as a colorful coda. A nice ending for a special album that might as well grace any good prog collection - "Legacy" is, over and above, an album of rock music made with beauty and intelligence.

[Thank you for the music, Mike, which brought so much joy to us who forever love Shadow Gallery's music.]

Report this review (#188749)
Posted Monday, November 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Legacy", Shadow Gallery's follow-up to their masterpiece "Tyranny", deserves its place in any list of top prog metal albums just for "Cliffhanger 2" and "First Light" (excluding the silly stuff after 23:30). But then, it also has "Destination Unknown" and the title track "Legacy" making it another masterpiece in itself. There is not a single weak song on this album. Many people compare all prog metal bands to Dream Theater. I'm sorry to say this (being a big DT fan myself) but Dream Theater does have the tendency to do songs which feel half-hearted just to make their albums longer (as is the norm with this genre)

"Cliffhanger 2..." picks up where the first part (on "Carved in Stone") left off but the instrumetal second half "The Crusher" is (pardon the cliche) truly crushing! Enough said!

As I've said in my review of their debut album, I'm a sucker for long, epic closers...and "First Light" is up there in the top 5 of this list. In fact, its the only 20+-min song since "Echoes" by Pink Floyd that does not have a weak section or moment and that does not start feeling too long...congratulations to the Shadow Gallery guys on a job well done!

Report this review (#372470)
Posted Tuesday, January 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Legacy ? 2001 (3/5) 10 ? Best Song: Cliffhanger 2 Egh! You'd think the band would learn the lessons they garnered from Tyranny and apply them to their future work, but I suppose some bands learn lessons and others go from day to day, hopping in and out of well-served reasoning at the blink of an eye. It's really crazy. I was listening to 'Cliffhanger 2' and as soon as I typed blink of an eye, he sang it. Weird. Maybe that psychological prick who rambled on about synchronicity wasn't a crackpot. That or this was merely a coincidence, but I want you to donate to me for theological research. Send in your offers and we'll solve this, together ? you, me, and my new Ferrari. Oh, Legacy is the band's fourth album. It takes the clean, heavy approach they started on Tyranny and meshes it with the cheese and listless unimportance of their first two records. What you get is an inbetween album. The singing is good, the few times they DO let the guitarist have a little room to play, he's great (Rush comes to mind), but there's an air of rote predictability in each of the songs ? a staleness, if you will. Well, the song goes quiet, so of COURSE they're gonna 'abruptly' swing in with a complex jam. It's the LAW. And that jam is required to droll on for nearly 14 minutes. 'Destination Unknown' sounds familiar, like a lost Carved in Stone tune. The band have a lot of ability, that much is true, but sometimes, though, I honestly wish the guys would pack a real, exciting punch in their albums, one that isn't lost on such cheap balladry and predictable formula-hounding that bands have been overabusing since 1980.
Report this review (#441808)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Don't cry, just remember

This album harks back (in some ways) to the band's second album Carved In Stone from six years earlier and even though it does not come close to being as great as the masterpiece that was Carved In Stone, Legacy is indeed a very worthy companion. In between these two albums there was Tyranny, which is by many considered to be the band's pinnacle and from the perspective of Tyranny, the present album is often seen as something of a step backwards for Shadow Gallery. This attitude is perhaps understandable to some degree, but for me Legacy is a very good album in its own right and even rivals Tyranny. Taking a step backward is not necessarily a bad thing, especially not if you have such a sublime album as Carved In Stone in your discography.

This album opens with Cliffhanger part 2 which includes some "quotes" from the original Cliffhanger that opened the Carved In Stone album. It is hard to match the original, but this second part is strong. Also like Carved In Stone, Legacy ends with an extended piece. In this case the 20 + minute First Light with some Pink Floyd-ish parts. The four tracks in between are considered weaker by some people, but for me these are some great Kansas-like Symphonic Prog songs with strong melodies and harmony vocals. The title track is ironically the least good track for me on this album.

Perhaps the reputation of this album suffers from the fact that it is less Metal and more Prog? Maybe Metal fans are disappointed in what they hear and Symphonic Prog fans never get to hear it because they are scared off by the 'Metal'-label?

Highly recommended in addition to Carved In Stone and Tyranny

Report this review (#585121)
Posted Friday, December 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an excellent album despite the last 10 minutes of air and junk. Bands have a right to be creative, but it just detracts from an amazing album. Fortunately, it is at the end so you can move on easily. I really think this release is very close to masterpiece status, and should be rated more like 4.5/5. Any fan of Shadow Gallery or Progressive Metal should pick it up. The title track Legacy is excellent along with the two stellar tracks that anchor the album: Cliffhanger 2 and First Light. There are no bad tracks. I am enjoying it along with the two successors and expect to get the early releases next. This album is solid and should not be missed.
Report this review (#1423336)
Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Having really hit their stride with the 'Tyranny' album, Shadow Gallery are back with 'Legacy', an album that is similar stylistically, though does away with the concept album format and features only six songs, and some rather ambitious ones at that.

Shadow Gallery's brand of progressive metal has always taken a more melodic approach than other bands of the genre, and while their guitar riffs can elicit plenty of headbanging, it's in the vocals and melodies that the groups strengths lie, with 'Legacy' being chock-full of catchy chorus's and interesting harmonies. Expertly produced to give the music the punch it needs, yet straying away from being too heavy or brutal. The Pennsylvania-based band have the right blend to appeal to fans of metal and softer rock alike.

The true centerpiece of the album is 'First Light', a 34-minute epic that serves as a smorgasbord of every possible element that gives Shadow Gallery their defining sound. The track can lull from time to time, but the highlights more than compensate for that. The middle section of the song features some of the bands finest musical virtuosity and vocal harmonies, making it a challenging yet rewarding listen.

Songs like 'Colors', 'Society of the Mind' and the title track 'Legacy' are all shorter songs that can be considered some of the bands best work. As per usual, the musicianship is incredible, finding a perfect balance between heavy and melodic, and Mike Baker's beautiful vocals are an absolute joy to listen to.

The duration of the songs can make for some demanding listens, which will ensure that while 'Legacy' contains some of Shadow Gallery's best compositions, it's probably not their best album overall. But hey, it's still a damn good one, and that's what matters!

Report this review (#1783343)
Posted Sunday, September 17, 2017 | Review Permalink

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