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ROOM V

Shadow Gallery

Progressive Metal


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ketch22@bresn
5 stars That little message that pops up and reminds you that 5 stars is reserved only for masterpieces. THIS IS A MASTERPIECE!!! I am not one for reviewing, as I believe each person should discover music for themselves... but I do believe if you love heavy metal, with progression and great instrumentation and great vocals... then this CD cannot be passed by without a listen.

STYX, Queen, Kansas, Dream Theater, Royal Hunt... all these bands are evident here, but there is a style that only Shadow Gallery has. They have the ability to combine severe talent (do they all have PHD's in music?) with melody, with harmony, with everything else a true ear could want.

I do recommend you listen to Tyranny first as this is the sequel to that one... but it stands alone in splendor.

Look up Shadow Gallery reviews and you won't find a bad review about this phenomenal group.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#34856)
Posted Monday, May 09, 2005 | Review Permalink
fn30966@fmi.u
5 stars It is a shame that Shadow Gallery music is not so popular as it have to be. Voting with both hands - masterpiece. Shadow Gallery is the only band which has not a single song in their albums that I dislike. And this album is the best of their work so far. Great story. Great music. Great vocal lines. Great sound. Shadow Gallery has in their music the thing that I wanted to hear in every new Dream Theater album. IMHO These days Shadow Gallery(with Room V) are the best players on progressive rock/metal scene. A MUST BUY ALBUM!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#34859)
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well the album title is all wrong here - the actual name is "Room V":). And now the music on the album: awesome since the beginning till the very end. Surely the best album they have ever recorded. Everything is perfect: storyline, vocals, instrumental parts... Not many improvements to find, but hey who cares if the old formula works perfectly. Dream Theater's Octavarium would have to be one hell of an album to compete with this one.

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Send comments to auggie_p (BETA) | Report this review (#34860)
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Room V" is the sequel to the intriguing story started in "Tyranny" (and approached already in a couple of earlier songs) But it's by no mean a clone of "Tyranny", and that's for the best. Beside similar musical references, this one contains maybe more instrumental parts and more varied atmospheres. Shadow Gallery continue to evolve and to refine their very own, unique style and musicianship. Although it's composed of great instrumentalists and singers, the main focus in their music is melody and emotion before the instrumental prowesses (but lovers of great instrumental parts will find many varied and complex ones here !). Shadow Gallery yet represents the perfect balance between powerful guitar riffs and symphonic rock with the best vocal works that can be heard today in any style ! You can love them for their mellow side or their heavier side but one thing is sure : they've got a great sense of melody, harmony and counterpoint in everything they create and they also put their whole heart into their music. Their incredible multi-layered vocal harmonies are matchless in the rock world and this album just proves this again. This concept album - which is probably the one where they achieved the best production/sound - is as coherent as ever but a bit more contrasted and, beside their usual musical references coming from bands as diverse but as talented as Queen, Kansas, Pink Floyd or the most progressive Iron Maiden, plus classical music, they've added slight touches of bluesy and jazzy references occasionally in their fantastic guitar parts. Lovers of David Gilmour's playing will hear some wonderful surprises. Beautiful melodies, a great sense of drama, very exciting and very accessible progressive structures throughout those 75+ minutes of music and there's not a single meaningless track, everything is essential ! Shadow Gallery's albums are long in the making but always done in the best way possible, this fifth one was well worth the wait. They should be much more famous than they are. so those who haven't checked them yet but who love the aforementioned styles and references in music, it's very unlikely that you'll be disappointed. By the way, there's a limited edition for Europe only, with an extra CD full of unreleased stuff and a video track as well !

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Send comments to Marc M (BETA) | Report this review (#34863)
Posted Sunday, May 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is the Shadow Gallery masterpiece that the fans have been waiting for: A worthy successor of Tyranny, with elements from all their other albums - most prominently Carved In Stone - thrown in ... let me rephrase that: carefully interwoven. The songs are divided in the two acts III and IV, which shows that this is really meant to be the successor to Tyranny.

Listening to the first song the heritage becomes obvious anyway, as it's basically an Overture to the new songs as well as a summary of Tyranny, constructed in a manner similar to the Overture 1928 on Dream

Theater's concept album or the Neal Morse opuses. I don't want to go into too much detail on the music, because it really boils down to being "just" what they did on Tyranny and Carved In Stone, but with lots of fresh ideas and beautiful melodies.

The story picks up pieces of Tyranny, but although I didn't give it much thought (didn't listen and simultaneously read the booklet), it obviously isn't about a new world order, but more about the personal life of the protagonists.

Mr. Arjen Lucassen makes a guest appearance, and tracks 2 and 3 feature beautiful female vocals in the same unusual manner as on Tyranny (quite low registers, I wonder if it's the same singer).

One word about the BONUS DISC: Among some acoustic versions and demos of the Room V songs, there's an absolute highlight: The 25 minute medley Floydian Memories. While it's basically a medley, where typically passages from different songs are put together, this track goes one step further and merges different Pink Floyd tracks in a psychedelic way. Marvelous. Wonderful. Masterpiece.

What a pity that apparently they don't tour ... maybe that changes with them signing on to InsideOut, let's hope so!

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Send comments to MikeEnRegalia (BETA) | Report this review (#34864)
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
thmsbiniaris@
5 stars To be honest untill last Saturday the only thing I knew about Shadow Gallery was the name. Then Metal Hammer (Greek Edition) declare this album, "Album of the month". Then I did the obvius. I download (shame to me but what else could I do?) a track from the Tyrrany album. And then I run and run and run to my nearest music store. I bought this diamond and I was struck as hard as the first time I heard Dream Theater or Tool. The music hidden in this piece of polymere is pure art. It is soul transcoded into notes. Great tunes, greater singing, wonderfull concept.

I don't think I have the music knowledge to critisize this album. I have only two things to say:

1. Whoever likes music from rock to death metal should buy this CD.It's the most complete concept album since the "Wall" (that goes for rock fans) and Abigail (metal and above fans) 2. Please Shadow Gallery do something because here in Greece you can't find anything from your back catalog AND I NEED TO BUY "Tyrrany" (and not download it).

That said I only wish I knew this guys lot time ago.....

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#35373)
Posted Monday, June 06, 2005 | Review Permalink
cmortland9212
5 stars Great album. Really great. I got it the first day it came out and love it just as much as I did at the first listen. Comfort Me and Vow are my personal favorites, but all the others are right up there. There are multiple instrumentals to my liking, although they are short and I wish they would have expanded on one to make it a full listen rather than a 2 and a half minute interlude. That is my only complaint and its hardly worth taking the word "masterpiece" out of this album's description. This album came out the same day at my local store as Octavarium. I actually find myself listening to this album more than Dream Theater to my surprise. The vocals are amazing. My favorite moment on the album is the flute on Comfort Me. It's only about 5 seconds but hey it's entertaining. Great album, strongly recommended.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#37162)
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars an exxxelent album form the begin to the end, rich textures, vocal lines, harmonies, the story,guitar riifs and hey... what a great keyboardist!there are many tracks with placid - speed lessions, complex solos and instrumental parts played in a wonderful way.definitely a masterpiece of progressive music.

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Send comments to Kubla_Khan (BETA) | Report this review (#37420)
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
mike@gmail.co
5 stars Superb album, the best they've What a fantastic album!!! After Legacy, which was not that earthshattering according to SG-standards, I was a little anxious that one of my favourite bands might have lost the way, but fortunately they've proved me wrong. My only criticism is that the first song is a ballad, after hearing Manhunt I was expecting something furious. On the other hand, this is evidence that Shadow Gallery is never predictable. Great catchy tunes, some nice instrumental pieces, and well constructed, intelligent story line and lyrics, these are some of the phrases to characterize this album.

And also: after being disappointed with Octavarium, Room V provides excellent consolation and more!

This album will stay in my CD-player for a very very long time! And while you're at the record store, get the album version with the bonus disc!!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#37448)
Posted Friday, June 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Good album, maybe very good for progmetal fans, which I am not, but still can appreciate talents of these musicians, their instrumental skills and tasteful harmonies. Probably this one is more attractive that "Legacy", but less than "Carved in stone". Basically the only thing which I do not like about this album is that vocal melodies are quite primitive and remind me of Ozzy Osbourne (circa '86 and later) in several parts. Anyway, think "Room V" can be a must for prog-metal lover, and it certainly deserves 3 solid stars from myself.

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Send comments to eugene (BETA) | Report this review (#37728)
Posted Sunday, June 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Wow, what a stunning release! In my brave review of "Octavarium" I wrote that there probably won't be a better album this year, after listening to "Room V" I must correct this point of view. THIS ALBUM IS THE PROG METAL MASTERPIECE OF 2005! I don't want to make the 5 star rating of the new DT album from my side as false disicion, because I still enjoy it, but the new Shadow Gallery record with it's bonus cd (including an phenomenal Pink Floyd medley called "Floydian Memories") really blows all recent stuff away in prog metal that I've heard since the last couples of years. The production is a pure hammer, the instruments (inclusive bass guitar) are all perfectly in presence. When they play fast forward, they sometimes sound like Dream Theater, but in quiet parts they really shine as a original. The songs are all on the same high level, it would be unfair to the rest of the songs to mention some single moments as highlights. I bought the limited edition double cd for a price of 18 ?, which is really worth the investment! If you are someone who is disappointed with the new Dream Theater record, this should be the record of the year to discover.

9/10 points = 92 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 stars / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#38092)
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
shsacc@aol.co
5 stars I have to say, that i listen to a lot of prog and I've yet to hear something similar to what shadow gallery has accomplished with this album. Mike Baker's vocals are incredible. He has a very commanding voice and shows quite a range amoung the songs. Cadden-James does a fantastic job using his flute very tastfully and also had his bass parts produced very well. Nelevo's drums are very tasteful, the sixteenth groove comes to mind in the song Room V. Both keyboardists work wonders. The brief section of the andromeda strain before the final chorus comes to mind. The guitars are also phenomenal, solos shredding though. Guest artists luccasen and jaegar have their great moments as well. An album not to missed.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#38799)
Posted Thursday, July 07, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes. YES. This is it. After 4 listens I can safely say that, up to this point in their career, Shadow Gallery has created their crowning glory. After the hiccup that was Legacy, it's good to see the band continuing on the concept from Tyranny, though yet again, it ends on a cliffhanger (pun intended to SG fans!)

Anways, on to the music....While Tyranny was a solid album on all accounts, I felt that there was a samness to much of the music...too much similiar tempos, structures, and melodies. Legacy, in my opinion, was a bit of a borefest (minus the grand opener Cliffhanger II). On Room V, Shadow Gallery are finally able to find a perfect mix of blazing guitar solos, emotional, melodic choruses, and grand instrumental sections. The CD opens with "Manhunt," very similiar in style to Stiletto in the Sand from Tyranny, and segues into "Comfort Me." While being one of the weaker tracks on the CD, the melodies remain longer than most of Shadow Gallery's previous work, and the inclusion of the female singer adds depth.

Next up, "The Andromeda Strain" is pure Shadow Gallery from the start. Reminiscent of the best up-tempo numbers from Tyranny, "Strain" takes a wicked opening guitar riff and expands on it with a very emotional and melodic chorus and cool bridges. At this point, it is also clearly noticeable that the concept of Room V is much more personal and on a slightly smaller scale than that of Tyranny, as this time it follows the exact emotions of the narrator and his woman friend and their troubles.

"Vow" is up next, and, though it goes on for perhaps a minute to long, proves to be a very grand ballad, never too pompous or pretentious but always emotional and melodic (you'll notice I use these words alot in describing the band). The next three songs, "Birth of a Daughter/Death of a Mother/Lamentia" speakj for themselves in their titles. The first two are chugging instrumentals, showcasing Gary Wehrkamp's outstanding guitar skills. The last part is simply a short piano piece with Mike reuing the theme from "Comfort Me." Very nice indeed.

Act IV opens with the fantasticlly atmospheric "Seven Years," starting with an amazingly epic and catchy opening guitar line which could no doubt be used in movies. A cool guitar solo, courtesy of Arjen Lucassen, is another highlight. The following song, "Dark," is just a minute long exercise in building tension, with the use of dark noises and smashing bottles.

Now it has been a good 5 songs since anything has really happened music and story-wise, but somehow, it works. The songs are shorter, concise, and help bridge the gap to what is the best part of the CD, the last few songs.

After "Dark" comes "Torn," another grand ballad in the vein of "Vow," but this one is done slightly better, with more melody and less bombast at the end, although a minute could have been shaved off near the end. No matter; the next four songs represent the pinnacle thus far of Shadow Gallery's recording career.

"The Archer of Ben Salem" rocks, and hard. With the use of Carl Cadden-James as The Archer, his vocals mesh perfectly with Mike's limited lines; this song is Carl's vocal shining point. The verses are catchy, the melodies are hard-hitting as a lot of the story up to this point is explained through the Archer's shouts. Halfway through, SG continue intrsumentally for another 4 minutes of hard-hitting prog-metal

"Encrypted" is another joy, and could be my favorite song on the CD, along with the next track. Starting with a mellow guitar line, another grand ballad gives way to one of the best choruses on the CD, and after the singing is done, the guitars come in, with Gary and Brendt showing their love for David Gilmour while trading off equally emotional solos. A true joy to hear.

The great dramatic build leads up to "Room V," the high point of the CD, where right out of the gate, the band rocks hard, and in no time, the greatest, most epic chorus on the CD comes through, and boy is it awesome! Every prog-metal lover's dream, a big, back-of-the-arena epic chorus that leads into one the best instrumental passages on the CD (of which I'm still trying to figure out the time signature for!). Following this high, "Rain" comes in and is everything a great rock song should be. While only mid-temp (it resembles "Encrypted" and "Torn" in this way), it is a very emotional and powerful ending to the album.

Maybe I am too quick to call it a prog-metal masterpiece just yet, and further listens may detract one star if I find flaws. But not in a long while have I heard such a suberbly crafted porg-metal CD. If you were put off by Octavarium or have played it so many times you need some more prog-metal fix, Shadow Gallery's brand of metal is distinctly differen't from Dream Theater's, so it should provide a welcome change. "Room V" is easily the best CD thus far from Shadow Gallery, and could go down as the pinnacle of their career. It'll be tough to beat!

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Send comments to Deadwing12 (BETA) | Report this review (#39323)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars For the most part I find this album to be bland progressive rock. The guitar is obviously quite well done, if you want to hear a ballad in every song (Though he's talented, that's a given). I came to progarchives.com to get away from the repetition many artists in punk, heavy metal, and mainstream all seem to currently display. Each song on this album is clearly in the same vein. What I mean by that is, each track could most likely stand out and make Shadow Gallery look incredible talent and style wise. When you listen to the album all the way through, hopefully you realize there are many other bands out there who don't sound the same in every song on any given album. "Room V" is such a huge step up still, especially in the 'talent' area, I give this three stars, but to me it's just tacky 80's hair metal overdone, nerdy, singing about things I never needed to hear about anyways. I wish I could get something NEW and fresh from this band rather than the same song over and over again. If you enjoy this, good for you, I'm happy for you. But I don't.

Every song on Dream Theater's "Octarvarium" and "Images and Words" albums are completely different. Sacrified Sons sounds nothing like These Walls. -- For Example Room V... is just Room V, regardless of how amazing they are with a guitar and drums. But if you don't like Dream Theater, lets take another 2005 album. "Deadwing" from Porcupine Tree, Track 01. Deadwing -- heavy, Opethy tone from Mikael. Track 02. Shallow -- Perhaps not "prog," but Deadwing was "prog"-ish. Track 03. Lazurus -- Oh my god, what a touching song. Even if you don't like it you have to admit it's nothing like the previous two (gentle lyrics/tone and soft keys). "Room V" is very consistant, so if you like Shadow Gallery you will immediately fall inlove with "Room V," if you've never heard of Shadow Gallery and like 80's-ish metal and enjoy some "Progressive Metal" then it would be my guess you would also fall in love with "Room V." If you listen to Prog-rock to be wowed by talent, "Room V" should be interesting for you. I look for those things of course, but there's more to it than just that. In my opinion, the flaw: After a few listens, it all begins to sound somewhat mainstream, but not only that. Every song blends together to make really one track cut into 14, it drags on way too long to keep my attention.

Either you like the sound or you don't, and that is Shadow Gallery, along with most artists I don't like. There's not much of a middle ground. I hope you don't LOSE money, make sure you know what you're doing.

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Send comments to The Ryan (BETA) | Report this review (#40108)
Posted Sunday, July 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Concerning Room V i think is a good album but i have rated as Good but non essential. The reason is that although it is connected to TYRRANY it reminds me more of LEGACY. The music in some part is great especially the piano , but in the end i find it a bit similar. Moreover i think that SG haven't worked well on the lyrics and sometimes they repeat themselves and become quite boring. I don't know if INSIDE OUT has anything to do with this meaning that it might have forced them to make some things fast.

I happened to buy the 2cd version and i can assure u that the 24min Pink Floyd Medley is FANTASTIC.

I believe that as rated now -Masterpiece of Prog Music- Room V is rather over-rated! It is a good progressive album :)

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Send comments to Aerandir (BETA) | Report this review (#43187)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well...I agreed with the last review about this album. It´s a good cd but really, it becames boring because this band always do very similar albums. I think that, there is people that want to talk bad about dream theater so they used this band, and compared ROOM V with OCTAVARIUM, and there ir no comparation. But, returning to this cd, the voices are ok, the other instruments are good too. However, is a repetitive album that not deserve more than 3 stars.

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Send comments to javierr86 (BETA) | Report this review (#43202)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A very good album, but not a masterpiece in my opinion...

Here you will find the typical progressive metal, with elements from Dream Theater and Symphony X, but without the personality of these bands. The singer Mike Baker is simply correct, with some very good vocal melodies by Cadden-James. The drums sound weak, like the bass guitar... The production isn't marvellous, but at least it fullfils it assignment. So this album has nothing really special in my opinion, having an average production and very predictable compositions.

The hightlights are not the harderst ones... I think the slow tempo tracks are the speciality of the band. Some chorus are very inspired in these tracks... The hardest ones have nothing really markable. I've heard a lot of bands making the same music... But better.

Best songs: Confort Me (beautiful beginning for this album...), Andromeda Strain (the best hard song of the album...), Torn (fine vocal melodies...) and Room V.

Conclusion: good songs, good composition, good interpretation, good collaborations, good production... But an absolute lack of originality!!! "Room V" is an album wich will give some funny moments for soft prog metal lovers... But if you're searching for a band with true personality or something new to offer, you're looking in the wrong direction.

My rating: ***

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Send comments to The Crow (BETA) | Report this review (#43267)
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I can`t write a review articulate enough to sum up the brilliance of Shadow Gallery`s works , each CD they have made has been fantastic and Room V is no exception. Room V continues on from where Tyranny left off and its done with class. Shadow Gallery sound like a few bands but their own style sounds like themselves ... The bands Shadow Gallery sound like a bit are Dream Theater, Ayreon, Rush, Kansas, Queensryche and Pink Floyd. So if you like those bands there is a pretty big chance you are going to find something you like about Shadow Gallery. Mike Bakers vocals sound fabulous on this CD supported by some of the finest progressive metal musicians in the business. Room V has already been noted as a masterpiece by most respected progressive rock critics in the buisness and I agree with them. If you are serious about Progressive Rock/Metal theres a fair chance you already have Room V if you don`t have Room V heres your chance ... order it today ! (Most progressive Rock/Metal takes a few plays to get into, give Room V three plays and I think you will be hooked)

Regards s1ip

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Send comments to Trouble X (BETA) | Report this review (#43270)
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
kwp02@lycos.c
4 stars Wow. can I leave it at that? I am so impressed with this album. This album should be in discussion more! I can hear the influences of so many great Prog Rock bands of the past...great music- tasty, tasty stuff. I enjoy the positive lyrcs- it's a nice change after listening to bands like Opeth and Floyd (love those bands as well...but sometimes the lyrics are just a little too negative)

This album may soon be a hidden gem...feel as if its not getting the recognition it deserves!

After 4 or 5 listens..I see it as 4 stars

Give me time....and it could become 5.....(possibly)

Great Album...Great Band!

Prog ON!!!!!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#45087)
Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
freedom90731@
4 stars Room V is the sequel to Tyranny and much better. The recording quality is much better than it is on Tyranny. The songs are more varied and the instruments are tighter. From the opening track to the end this album is explosive. Sure they are not that original they have there own story which IMO is better than other cheesier stories. This is not a total masterpiece but it holds its ground. Anyone who likes Prog Metal should be satisied, I know I am!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#46250)
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Vanwarp
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars American progressive rock band Shadow Gallery saw the light of day in 1992 and have since only released one album every 3 or 4 years. Not the most prolific band in the genre, but certainly one of the most patient bands I know. These guys are all perfectionists and Room V is absolute proof of the bands total dedication to progressive rock music.

In addition, Room V is also the continuation to 1998's Tyranny, and just as this latter concept album contained Act I and II, Room V contains Act III and IV.

ACT III:

1. "Manhunt" - 2m10s - (10/10)

The album opens with a most fierce instrumental intro. It all starts off rather heavy and frenzied, a very technical opening. From a Progressive Rock standpoint, you'd think they were preparing you for something quite intense...

2. "Comfort Me" - 6m52s - (8.5/10)

Beautiful piano opening. This is a ballad and a beautiful duet performed by none other than Mike Baker and Laura Jaeger who also worked on 1998's Tyranny. There are some nice background vocals here as well. Musically not very progressive at all but it's nice and polished. Both piano and flute are added for a little more musical variety. There is a gorgeous emotional guitar solo...and a soft, yet pretty piano fading outro...I must admit that this was not what I was expecting after such a blistering opening introduction.

3. "The Andromeda Strain" - 6m46s - (9/10)

Starts off rather decently with some nice guitar riffs, which gives it more of a progressive metal edge. The other thing you'll find with this track is that the music is so catchy, you could easily find a track like this one on FM radio stations. At the 3 minute mark the music goes pretty wild as if to satisfy progressive metal enthusiasts who will probably find some of this album too soft! There's also a most interesting musical improvisation moment that is worth pointing out here...

4. "Vow" - 8m27s - (9.5/10)

Another beautiful soft ballad! Begins with clean electric guitar strumming a lovely soft lick, Mike Baker sings along with the rhythm guitar. Beautiful harmonies, sweet melody in the chorus. Nice orchestrations and very sweet soloing throughout.

5. "Birth of a Daughter" - 2m40s - (first minute rating only 5/10; next minute and a half - 10/10)

Instrumental that starts off atmospheric, it slowly builds and at the one minute mark they add guitars, organ and then drums which turns into another very intense and fast progressive rock moment. It ends with a very fast arpeggio...and it's all so very exciting, just like the actual "Birth of a Daughter."

6. "Death of a Mother" - 2m15s - (9/10)

Another instrumental that builds to a most intense musical moment again. Faint hospital beeps can be heard at the beginning and then a flat line tone slowly fades away just as the music quickly turns frantic for about a minute before the track ends slowly and smoothly with guitar solo and piano fading outro...this one ends sadly just as the "Death of a Mother" would make one feel, it leads right into "Lamentia."

7. "Lamentia" - 1m04s - (8.5/10)

A very short musical moment that appears to be the closing part to "Vow" and to ACT III...Everything is neatly tied in together, actually the listener is starting to make sense of it all.

ACT IV:

8. "Seven Seas" - 3m37s - (8.5/10)

Act IV opens with slowly fading in orchestrations, piano, guitar and flute...another instrumental moment which comes complete with guitar solo.

9. "Dark" - 1m03s - (7.5/10)

Special effects open this short track. At first you hear a crashing window followed by a very sharp scream. Atmospheric sound effects abound here...serves as an intro to the next track.

10. "Torn" - 8m23s - (9.5/10)

Sweet guitar lick opens what is perhaps the catchiest ballad on the album. I really like this track, but I believe the song suffers because of its overall length and apparent "mainstream" feel. After listening to this one, I think most will agree that it is an awesome song, not really a progressive track and not really a pop song either. It sorta sits awkwardly between both worlds. It's like this, "Torn" has the potential to be a "hit" single, but unfortunately, it would need to be edited down to 5 minutes for radio play. That's unlikely to happen...so, you'll just have to enjoy it as it is. Gorgeous track, period!

11. "The Archer of Ben Salem" - 7m28s - (9.5/10)

It's a rocker! A variety of drum patterns and guitar riffs. I guess the band deserves to stamp a progressive rock sticker on this album. The band appears to favor a "fading out" approach as we witness here again...

12. "Encrypted" - 8m01s - (8.5/10)

Soft and clean guitar picking intro. Beautiful vocals, beautiful melodies and harmonies. Ballad, ballads and more ballads...what can I say, they're good at it.

13. "Room" - 7m44s - (10/10)

Wow! Finally, we get some truly interesting electric and lead guitar work. I must admit I'm a sucker for good guitar driven rock tracks. This one fits the bill perfectly! It has everything one wants to hear when listening to prog rock. Some truly awesome musical moments! My absolute FAV song on the album.

14. "Rain" - 8m59s - (9.5/10)

More progressive rock for the soul. There is an obvious theme to the album, that re- appears now and then, a common musical melody that is integrated into the songs inconspicuously. But it's there, and it ties everything together perfectly.

Concluding Remarks:

At 75m29s, the band could not have jammed another 3 minutes onto the album without going overboard. As it stands, it is an excellent journey in progressive rock. I didn't want to compare Shadow Gallery to anybody, but, when I listen to this album, I'm reminded of the rock group: Yes, and I'm not going to elaborate on that.

This album has a nostalgic feel to it, perhaps a good mix of old and new progressive influences that fit together wonderfully. It is different, yet very familiar to the music one associates with progressive rock. Song composition, lyrics, musicianship all first- rate in my book.

It's hard to find fault with the album, but one could argue that this prog album contains too many soft moments, and I'm not just talking about a couple songs here. There is well over 30 minutes of soft/soothing music (maybe closer to 40 minutes), and many will think this album is not progressive enough for them?

In my view, Room V works for me and deserves it's progressive rock tag. I say this not only because of its' overall length. I can say this because if you are one of those individuals that is put off by this albums' overall mellow tendencies, you can always try programming a few ballads out of your play-list. For instance, simply removing "Encrypted" will bring the overall length of the album down to 67 minutes and you've effectively eliminated 8 minutes of soft music. OK, you've ruined the bands musical vision but you may also find the album works better for you this way, giving it a harder and heavier progressive rock edge! I introduced my buddy to the music on this album in exactly that way and he was blown away by it. I know, its blasphemous to even suggest it, I mean, who would actually program tracks out of a concept album? Perhaps only those with short attention spans? But, if you love the softer side of progressive music, then this progressive album is absolutely essential to your collection.

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Send comments to Vanwarp (BETA) | Report this review (#53503)
Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars At last! Shadow Gallery have kept us waiting quite a long time for the their next release. Its been 4 years since the great Legacy. But most prog metal fan know that its always worth waiting for a new album, because these people always take their time to create quality music. The most interesting thing with "Room V" is that its the 2nd part of the concept album Tyranny form 1998. Will it match the greatness of that release?

The structure of this album is similar to that of Tyranny. 2 more acts, 14 more songs, the same storyline. I will not write anything about the story here, but I have to mention that there is no clear end. Lets hope there's another album planed! An Album like this!

The intro, Manhunt gives us quite a nice jump right on the start. Sounds quite familiar to Stiletto in the Sand, only a bit more aggressive and hectic, with great melodic and technical work by the band. One may notice the piano theme from Christmas Day somewhere near the end. 5/5

After the musical pyrotechnics of Manhunt We get one probably the highlight of this album. Comfort Me is an awesome ballad with Laura Jaeger, the same singer that performed on Tyranny! This one sends shivers down the spine. A Worthy successor of Spoken Words. All the instruments play here equally, making it more" full". Great flute, awesome guitar solos by Allman/Wehrkampf, and of course, the emotional vocals of Mike Baker & Laura Jaeger. 5/5

Along with The Andromeda Strain comes back the metal edge. The main riff is very aggressive, with Mike sounding fierce. The chorus is still infectious, though. And we have all the typical prog metal elements here, like speedy but always catchy guitar & keyboard soloing + lost of time changes. It gets quite interesting after a while when the track mellows leaving place for a nice Jazzy guitar solo. Track such as these show why Shadow Gallery are filed under progressive metal. 4/5

Once again we get another beautiful ballad. Vow has a sort of happy, maybe even euphoric feeling to it. Its about a Wedding, so Some may find it cheesy. Mike's vocals are very dreamy here, bu the song looses some of its laziness during the chorus & Middle section. The track becomes more symphonic with each minute. Again awesome guitar work! 4/5

The 3rd Act is closed with three small pieces. The 1st two are instrumental titled Birth of a Daughter and Death of a Mother. Very hard, aggressive, sometimes majestic and at the end, full of sorow... These tracks show how a band can show emotions without the voice or words... both 5/5 But what about the tiny 3rd track, Lamentia? Only one minute long, it reminds me of Broken form Tyranny. Surprising how much emotion can someone put into one minute of music... Mike Baker never sounded sadder. The perfect end of Act III. 5/5

And another instrumental. Quite a lot of them on this album. 7 Years opens act IV and is the longest piece of music without vocals here. Interesting, mesmerizing, with nice flute by Cadden-James. It gives a feeling of safety and warmth. 4/5

The Feeling of safety fades away with the sound of broken glass and a scream. Dark is only 1 minute long, but its enough to rub away the happy feeling of 7 years. 4/5

Here come the longer, more progressive tracks. Torn is a track that was originally made for James LaBrie's solo album. It about a father that is searching for his kidnapped daughter. Its got an interesting sad guitar riff accompanied with some nice flute, occasional heavy riffs & the sad voice of Baker. The chorus (one of them;) & the middle part are very symphonic, so the song looses a bit of the sadness, but its still very moody. Ow, and as always I have to mention the guitar solos... 5/5

The Archer of Ben Salem is an aggressive tune in the vain of The Andromeda Strain. While listening to this one it occurred to me how versatile Mike Baker is. If someone thinks he sound wimpy most of the time, they should give this song a listen. The middle section has a Dream Theater touch to it, But its still impossible to mix the bands up. DT has a more electronic sound lacking the symphonic aura that SG has. Powerful Symphonic progressive metal 5/5

Encrypted is very moody with powerful, majestic symphonic breaks. It has some great drum work by Joe Nevolo. Interesting guitar parts, Erie synths & a dreamy guitar solos make this song another strong argument for getting this album as quickly as possible. 5/5

The title track blasts us with a powerful riff. This is a typical upbeat melodic song by Shadow Gallery. It has a great infectious chorus in the vain of Mystery or War for Sale!. The only problem is that the Story has taken a rather cheesy turn and the lyrics sound a bit funny... Its got some nice prog metal noodling right form the middle to the end. After that it slowly fades away with the sound of thunder and... 5/5

...Rain. Its the grand finale. Nothing like the soft Christmas Day, though. The overblown symphonic metal aura shall haunt us till the end, I see. Mike Baker does some wailing here, of course, on purpose. The song sound quite confused & desperate. When You look at the lyrics, You will know what I mean. Its the most Symphonic and longest song on the album. It leaves a lot o things unclear... It leaves you begging for more... And that what a album closer should do. 5/5

SG did it. They created another genius album based on the same story. Its very hard to say if it beat Tyranny. Room V is more metal, while Tyranny more mellow. I'd say bot are unique. Two unique albums by a unique band.

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Send comments to Ed_The_Dead (BETA) | Report this review (#54133)
Posted Monday, October 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
pronetmr@hotm
4 stars The Band is very tallented! But the lyrics and the way he sing's, sound's very old. Like 70's. Anyway's that's just my point of view. But that's their best so far. And we can't compare that to Dream theater. Dream Theater are Dream theater and shadow gallery are shadow gallery. They do what they want. If you don't like it, then don't listen to it.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#58191)
Posted Sunday, November 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The successor of the very impressive Tyranny is finally here, and I think we have a winner!

Despite the similar flaws of Tyranny, Room V is delivering strongs melodies, arpegoes of guitars and groovy textures of keyboards making this album a sure winner. Lots of melodies are tending on the 'Journey' side of Shadow Gallery. Lots of choruses could take you back in 1989 and the production seems to capture that era too. Waddaya want? Shadow Gallery seems to be stuck in a moment, where snake skin boots and lycra leotars were selling. Why not, grab a cherry coke, put on your Poison t-shirt and sing loud, sing proud because this cookie has more catchy melodies than Tyranny.

The double cd version has 2 main appeals: the making of the cd and the Pink Floyd medley. Basically the making of is just a guy telling you the (8 hours long) story about the Tyranny/ Room V plot. And frankly, it could be a blockbuster movie, despite the many Da Vinci Code references. The Floydian medley is fluid, accurate and not too much apart of what Pink Floyd did themselves. So it's good for a quick fix of your favorite tunes, not more.

It's basically hard to say anything else than 'go get this is you liked Tyranny.' They're pretty much the same record althought Room V has a lot of good tunes and seems to be a lot less heavy.

Hey Baker, Axl Rose called, he wants his hair back.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#58686)
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have to say that this is the first time i listen to Shadow Gallery, and guess what? I totally fell in love with the music, from the beginning to the end. I can't even imagine that there's such a beautiful and brilliant music that keeps me listening day after day without boring or interrupting. Each time i listen to Room V, it brings something new to me, something that worth listening again and again and again. I'm sure all of you would have the same feeling like me.

Just to let you know that I'm a big fan of progressive. I've listened to many prog metal albums of 2005 like: Dream Theater - Octavarium, Riverside - Second Life Syndrome, Redemption - The Fullness Of Time, Pagan's Mind - Enigmatic: Calling, Sieges Even - The Art Of Navigating By The Stars, Opeth - Ghost Reveries, Crytal Ball - Time Walker,... and more... But, in my opinion, Shadow Gallery - Room V is definitely the best of the best. It was such a pity that I hadn't known Shadow Gallery sooner. I'll try to buy other previous albums of Shadow Gallery then.

This album has brought me to a new horizon of progressive music, a place full of emotions and timelessly melodies.

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Send comments to huynhthean (BETA) | Report this review (#60981)
Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
thellama73
COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars I am not a fan of Prog metal at all. I picked this album up on a whim without knowing anything about it. After owning it for a while and giving it quite a few listens, I feel qualified to review it.

There is no doubt that this is a talented group of musicians, all technically excellent. Many of the songs are well written, with a balance between ballads and rockers, although a few too many of the former for my liking. The song writing is, on the whole, good. Some of the lyrics are pretty bad, but not so much that detracts overly from the music. The highlight of the album is The Archer of Ben Salam, which rocks harder than anything else on the record. My main complaint, as with many Neo-Prog and Prog metal bands is with the singer. While he can sing, his voice lacks character. Why should I care what this guy has to say? He sounds just like a million other singers out there. One of the hallmarks of Prog has always been distinctive singers like Geddy Lee, Jon Anderson, Peter Gabriel and Ian Anderson. Another problem that music of this sort often runs into is the lack of emotion. Despite (and partially because of) their technical prowess, they at times end up sounding like music machines, churning out Prog metal by rote. I used to really dislike this album, but now I am forced to concede that it is quite good, but certainly not essential.

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Send comments to thellama73 (BETA) | Report this review (#80260)
Posted Saturday, June 03, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Some years ago i heard of a band named Shadow Gallery.I was impressed by their name so i asked a friend of mine who had their cd,"Carved in stone" to write me some songs to see what they were playing.THAT was it.I couldn't beleive my ears!!!The next day a bought the cd and since then i wait 3 years to see what their next statement in music will be!!!And here we are.Room V.A compilation of art,emotions,imagination and musicianship.Dream Theater..you have just lost your throne,i'm sorry..

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Send comments to kentavros (BETA) | Report this review (#82659)
Posted Tuesday, July 04, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Room V. What can I say that hasn't already been said many times?

This long-awaited sequel to Tyranny is the ultimate achievement for Shadow Gallery, both lyrically and musically. Toping everything they did before, coming out with an unusually well-crafted production, blending awesome songs and wonderful musicianship.

Any attempt to review this album is doomed to failure, as its content is far beyond any word. Just go out, buy it along with Tyranny and simply ENJOY one of the most exciting musical concept ever heard in progressive metal. Every track is great. The rythm section is groovy and smooth, the guitar play is incredibly intelligent, while Mike Baker's vocals fit perfectly over the top.

My suggestion : lend a peaceful ear to "Death of Mother". You'll get hooked in a minute, then compelled to listen to the whole thing, again and again.

A killer record. While lying underneath such marvels as Riverside's Second Life Syndrome or DT's S.F.A.M., it still deserves a frank 5 stars-rating. Unique and precious.

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Send comments to ValhallFR (BETA) | Report this review (#88085)
Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Room V is yet another succesful album produced by Shadow Gallery. They truely know how to make great music. It's a great album with plenty of mixture emotions that I love to hear in these albums. I was captured with the album from "Manhunt" all to "Rain". It's a great listen and deffiniatly worth the buy. It does get a little meshed together around "Lamentia" to "Torn", but it's something you shouldn't deduct from this great band. They've truely released some great albums, and this is definatly another pinnacle to thier success. All the songs are good and some are even some of my ultimate favorites. 4 stars, excellent addition, highly recommended. The only reason I give it four is because some of the songs I didn't agree with such as "Birth of a Daughter" I didn't care for that song for. "Vow", "Lamentia", and "Seven Seas" were also some I didn't prefer. But the rest of the album is ingenious. It's great.

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Send comments to Xeroth (BETA) | Report this review (#89204)
Posted Thursday, September 07, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars "We will rock with the thunder of a thousand mighty horses".This is a line from the song "Room V", and is an apt description of a lot of what your going to hear on this album.

As others have mentioned this is the same story line as was in "Tyranny", and so in "Room V" the story continues, beginning with "Manhunt" opening with violin, guitar and keys all played at a million miles an hour. Things get mellow though with light guitar and piano before this short instrumental is over. "Comfort Me" sounds absolutely incredible ! A duet with piano that features some great guitar before it ends. "The Andromeda Strain" opens with an absolutely ripping guitar solo, that comes back throughout the song. The guitar, keyboard interplay is fantastic. The vocal harmonies are wondrous as well. And check out the amazing guitar melody with the drums pounding away. "Vow" features acoustic guitar and vocals that are quite moving. More awesome guitar. "Birth Of A Daughter" is an instrumental with some heavy riffs. "Death Of A Mother" is another instrumental that features some high speed guitar and piano. I was amazed at how fast he played the piano.

"Lamentia" is like a reprise of "Comfort Me" so short and also so sad. "Seven Years" is another instrumental with violin and flute and a guitar solo that is inspiring from none other than Arjen Lucassen. Great song ! "Dark" is a minute long song of samplings."Torn" has a beautiful guitar intro. There is some piano melodies, and I love the guitar and vocals working together.This is a powerful song. "The Archer Of Ben Salem" features lots of tempo changes and powerful vocals. There is hammond organ as well as some wicked guitar and pounding drums. "Encrypted " opens with gentle vocals and toned down guitars.This may be slower paced but is it ever powerful (there's that word again). Some more amazing guitar towards the end of the song. "Room V" is a heavy duty rocker that ends calmly with the sound of rain and piano. The final song "Rain" opens with heavy riffs and a long scorching guitar solo followed by a fantastic guitar melody, then vocals. There is mind numbing guitar throughout this song.

I reviewed their first record not too long ago, and I swear you wouldn't know they were the same band, they've come so far. From a good debut to a masterpiece!

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#100550)
Posted Sunday, November 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
semismart
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Long time fans of Progressive Rock/Metal are most likely familiar with Shadow Gallery, a musical ensemble, known as a purveyor of high quality Progressive Rock music, though not in high quantities. Shadow Gallery was formed thirteen years ago, yet their latest album, Room V is only their fifth studio album. It is a concept album which picks up from a previous concept album, Tyranny, a story about a man and woman fighting against the diabolical government, who practices hegemony on third world countries. (Hmmp sounds like us.)

What's Hot Kudos for the instrumentals. That's where you can really hear what fantastic musicians these guys are. "Manhunt," "Birth of a Daughter" and "Death of a Mother" are all excellent fast paced numbers with great guitars, keyboards (fantastic on death of a Mother) and percussion.

Didn't like the ethereal sounding beginning but some super guitar work turned Seven Years into a winner. Another instrumental!

Despite Mike Baker's melancholy, sugar-coated vocal, "Torn" is a pretty good song. Still at eight minutes, it's a little overdone.

Hey, I like Baker's singing on "The Archer of Ben Salem." Like the song too, especially the organ/guitar playing!

The last three quarters of "Room V" is excellent. Fantastic musicianship!

What's Not The only thing that keeps "Comfort" from being two and a half stars is the excellent keyboards and the lady singer. Sugar coated vocals by Mike Baker. 3 1/2 stars.

The eight minute plus ballad, "Vow" is so boring it makes me want to throw something against the wall. Yes, it has a pleasant melody, but Mike Baker's vocal are sweet enough to make you nauseous . 2 stars. Give me the Mike Baker of Human Equation's "Loser?"

Another unnecessarily long song, "Encrypted" is average at best.

Nine minute "Rain," is a pretty good song but it could be better. A little less band harmonizing, a little less redundancy, a little shorter and you've got a five star song instead of four.

Conclusion

I like to think of Shadow Gallery's music as mellow progressive rock. There is nothing radical about their music but it's always very melodious and pleasant, with musicianship second to none. One of the problems I find with their music is, because I gravitate to a little heavier strain of music, I tend to tire of their music, quickly. Room V is like that. It has an impressive sound but with limited staying power. If you haven't heard it for awhile it sounds great. If I play it three or four times, I put it away for another two or three months because I'm ready for something a little more upbeat. Yes, there are some riotously upbeat songs or sections of songs on Room V and they are excellent but three overlong tedious songs trump the shorter faster songs. Still I won't deny Room V is a good album. I'll just skip the boring parts. Final rating 4.15 stars.

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Send comments to semismart (BETA) | Report this review (#104287)
Posted Saturday, December 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
sleeper
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Room V is, obviously, the fifth album from prog metalers Shadow Gallery and is the second part in a concept trilogy, started way back in 98's Tyranny, that follows the struggles against a totalitarian government. For those that don't know, Shadow Gallery could be described as clones of Dream Theater, though this would be a little unfair as they are contemporaries of Dream Theater, both bands having started at about the same time. This means that you get bombastic metal with more than a passing nod to both Rush and Yes, though they do have their own distinctive sound, stylistically you can be pretty sure of what your getting.

I have to say I was expecting more from this album considering the praise they receive from many fans of prog metal. That's not to say that this is a bad album, but it at no point shouts out as being a fantastic work of art, just average, good enough to enjoy but not enthrall. Decent melodies and strong solo's abound in this album, as you would expect, simultaneously supporting and being supported by the concept here creating a good, even experience with no hint of one, or more, tracks being weak whilst not having anything that stands out. One thing I will say is that the occasional use of the flute really does work better on this type of music than I thought it would, definitely a nice surprise courtesy of Carl Cadden-James.

Of the music and musicianship, the heavier end of the music tends to be driven forward by the effect of the twin guitars from Brendt Allman and Gary Wehrkamp, with the softer side of the music being led by Chris Ingles keyboard work. One of the disappointments of the album is that Carl Cadden-James's bass work is very much lost in the mix here, its certainly there if you listen hard for it but when you do you wont be overly impressed. Though Carl Cadden-James is one of the main composers of the music, his talents with the instrument are not very strong, he supplies an adequate bass line but only offers the typical support to the rhythm that you would expect from a standard rock/metal band without much attempt to expand on his role. The drumming is quite good though, filling in the creative side of the rhythm section, but unfortunately Joe Novelo is not someone that I would call a superstar on the kit, but rather good all the same.

The vocals are a rather big problem here though. Mike Baker is technically a very good singer but his style is stereotypical metal, attempting to be dramatic but sadly only coming off as rather cheesy, in particularly on the title track. I must admit that almost every time I hear the chorus to Room V I laugh out loud its so bad, so thank god the song is mostly instrumental.

In the end this album is spectacular in its averageness. The band are quite clearly very close to Dream Theater stylistically without sharing their superb command of memorable, and very strong, melodies or powerful solos, and this goes for all the musicians. Which is a shame because technically they are about equal to Dream Theater but very much lacking in the imaginative side of things, an overly cheesy singer (though with OK lyrics) doesn't help things either. Fans of prog metal will probably get some enjoyment out of it but for the majority its not really worth bothering with. 3 stars.

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Send comments to sleeper (BETA) | Report this review (#106639)
Posted Monday, January 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Shadow Gallery is a rare case. Without vast differences in their music, I find each album unique in its way. You can feel the development of their music without finding any weaknesses on their first albums. An all this led to Room V.

It is an extraordinary album, probably their best so far. As you listen you can never guess how the next song will be like. Sometimes the music is complex and sometimes the beauty of simplicity does the work. Every musician of the band knows what he is doing in the song and he does it masterly. There is a sense of secureness and calm that emerges. In this album they insist on the melodies without making it pop. You feel that the soft parts fits to the story and the lyrics. In their strong parts exists the feeling of 70's and the metal of 90's all mended in their style. It is heavy and groovy.

Some may say that the influence of Dream Theater is very obvious. I agree only if you are trying to categorize the band in the broad sense of Progressive Metal. Past this I believe that this band is moving in a different direction. And in Room V they paint their music in different colors, their unique colors.

This album can make you feel and each time you listen the feeling is alway there. It gets to you. Progressive not only in a technical way. Deservedly a masterpiece.

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Send comments to Sophocles (BETA) | Report this review (#107207)
Posted Friday, January 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Simply exciting.

Extremely complicated and still melodic, sweet and hard at the same time.

Because I prefer some hard sounding tunes, the best in my opinion are Manhunt, Birth of a Daughter, Death of a Mother, The Archer of Ben Salem and especially Room V. Rain is best balanced album closer, resembled Stargazer by Rainbow in its vocal manner.

Five of five, no doubt.

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Send comments to yktoo (BETA) | Report this review (#107348)
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is THE definitive Shadow Gallery album. I was pleasantly surprised with this CD. I was a little disappointed in "The Legacy" to be honest with you. This CD encapsulates the Shadow Gallery sound and has quickly become one of my favorites of all time. These guys know how to mix in heavy stuff with more melodic tunes for a great mix. This CD is prog metal at it's finest.

I would even go so far as saying that this is better than Dream Theater's "Octavarium". This is definitely worth 5 stars.

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Send comments to Daydreamyng (BETA) | Report this review (#114447)
Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars well,waiting so long for this album,and when i had this album on my hands was a magic moment because the curse that shadow gallery have is the perfect way to make wait all the fans of this band...they make a great album,to the begining to the end is very amazing..with the history they finally end what they started with tiranny... i think that they next album will be in 2009 but i prefer not think about that...wll talking about the songs i think that this are the best ones..

comfort me:a nice song.with female vocals make a good song the andromeda strain.a powerful song with a nice chorus,and a amazing solo!!.... encrypted.i think that this song is the perfect one on this album, a very nice song with a good solo,good intro,a slow track but the best on this one,the solo drum is also very good..

highly recommended,shadow gallery is one of the best progressive metal bands at the moment.. keep on the good work guys..

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Send comments to JgX 5 (BETA) | Report this review (#124927)
Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is the Shadow Gallery masterpiece that the fans have been waiting for???

I don't think so, to me is a 4 star album, and not by far their best. I consider that Carved in stone (my fav) and Tyranny to be their best albums so far. Here, kind the same riffs, the same keys, like on that 2 albums that i mention. Of course is not bad, is well played, every instrument sounds where should belong, but something make me not to put 5 stars to this one. I don't know what, maybe sometime the slow pieces are to cheese like Confort me. Their is some super tracks that continue the tradition of what Shadow Gallery begin in 1995, Andromeda strain, The archer of Ben salem and Room V. So, a 4 star album to me, still recommended, is considered to their best, but not to me.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#125390)
Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rock is without a doubt some one of works conceptual good elaborated of progressive metallic, from conception same which it marks the second part of the TYRANNY, that although for is considered one of best conceptual works of the progressive one in the general much has great dyes of being a full work of social and political reflections of the present life, for the second part we have very similar things taking into account the literary taste from the band to also make a species of amalgam of idea for the second part that contains an incredible one to be able interpretativo worthy of the best bands not only of the progressive metal, but from the progressive one in stricter his and pure style, unlike other bands SHADOW GALLERY if it makes real rock progressive, in the case in concrete of DREAM THEATER we see that only this MP2 (1999) and other have created clear a clearly progressive concept with fame that did not have the awaited commercial results SDOIT (2002) which is without a doubt the best sample of a metallic progressive rock, taking into account these two works from DREAM THEATER I will say that SHADOW GALLERY is superior since of the 5 discs that the band has the 5 they are concepts affluent made and made but not for that reason famous like discs of DREAM THEATER but if conceptualizadas masterpieces are done works with the flavor and the love that single SHADOW GALLERY can do since they do not have to surprise anybody or to demonstrate that they are the best ones because they are it, this disc is without a doubt a sample of which the continuous band having love reason why does, in such a way that these are the movements III and IV that continue with TYRANNY whose chapters I and II are full of moments really or done and for this continuation the minimum of that could not be hoped less than, but despite it is to my point of view more good because music this to everything and full of instrumental power and or the classic choirs of the band, it is enough to listen of track 1 until the end to realize that music class SHADOW GALLERY expose that as always it is of first level, in this band does not waste anything and it is made of music without excesses nor commercial miramientos enough single, so if you are of the people whom they love to listen to something easy they listen to another things then SHADOW GALLEY is a band for the chosen ones...

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Send comments to Shelket (BETA) | Report this review (#126546)
Posted Friday, June 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Shadow Gallery is an American Progmetal band with great potential. I already discovered that through their four previous albums but with their fifth (the title can't be a coincidence) they moved up to the absolute top league of progrock. What an amazing album, great variation with a few ballads and some rougher songs in a fantastic mix, a true classic. In one of my earlier reviews I stated that to deserve 5 stars at least 3 songs of top class quality should be on the album or the overall quality had to be very high. This time it's a mix of those two: the top songs are Rain, Room V and especially Encrypted one of the few songs I know that gives me the shivers down the spine. This happens particularly during the guitarriff by Gary Wehrkamp towards the end of the song. Other great tracks are Andromeda Strain, Vow and Torn. They prove that the guys were in absolute top form when they wrote this album. What a masterpiece !!!

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#140817)
Posted Friday, September 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Fight Club
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Now here we have the latest studio album from American progressive metal act, Shadow Gallery. This is one of my favorites in the prog metal genre, right up there with Dream Theater's finest. However, this album focuses more on the emotional side of music for the most part and includes more symphonic elements. It's one rockin' album to get your blood pumping, but it's also got a lot of mellow moments. Basically almost anything I could ask for in an album.

Now the music isn't extremely complex so it's pretty easy to get into. However, it has it's fair share of progressive moments. The album moves from intense instrumental passages to beautiful piano ballads. There's all the catchy hooks anyone could ask for and enough heart wrenching guitar solos to make a guitarist's mouth water. It is also a continuing story that started with their album, Tyranny. Overall, it's one of the best prog metal releases in recent years.

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Send comments to Fight Club (BETA) | Report this review (#142437)
Posted Saturday, October 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Shadow Gallery´s Room V is the continuation of the story present in their most celebrated CD, Tyranny. I was skeptical if they could come with something as inspired and powerful, specially after keyboards man Chris Ingles has left the band (although he does get some writing credits). .Fortunatly they did not try to duplicate that sound and style but go forward. Thus comes this CD, in which their fine musicality comes intact. In fact, they sound evolve into more progressive than ever.

Shadow Gallery is one of those rare cases in prog metal that virtuosity is used sparingly, only when the song calls for it. This is a group efford where the music as a whole comes first. The musicanship is superb: Gary Wehrkamp has a very unique guitar style and also plays all the keyboards on this album (and does it like he was born with a piano by his hand!). the storyline may be a little cliche sometimes, but it is good anyway. Arrangements are varied and tasteful, the backing vocals are quite original and subtle. This album may not have the same impact as Turanny, but it grows on you with every listening. Most of the songs can be heard individually without problem, but it works better if you follw the story sequence.

All in all a great sequel to a classic. I´m looking forward to hear what those guys are going to do next. Highly recommended!

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#148200)
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars One of the progressive metal acts living in the shadows of giants like Dream Theater and Symphony X, Shadow Gallery has put out a number of consistently good albums in that vein. Room V might be the culmination of these albums.

First, it must be noted, Room V is a sequel to the 1998 concept album Tyranny. Except here, the dystopian qualms of the main characters becomes a struggle with small pox and the abduction of a daughter. It makes much more sense when you read through the booklet as you listen. Suffice to say, there is a good bit of dwelling on romance and good bit of dwelling on insurrectionism and rebellion. Some of the lyrics dance the line of cheesiness, but that is the price you usually pay for one of these sorts of albums. Musically, however, it is fairly strong, if a mite repetitive. The performers take their cues from the other main progressive metal acts, shredding along on the guitars, noodling around on the keyboards, and taking pains to make the rhythm section work off a whole lot of carbohydrates for every song they play. Mike Baker, the vocalist, does not work for some people, but his voice fits the mood and the sound of the music pretty well here--it also is a nice touch to have a progressive metal band with a singer who isn't still stuck in the 80s hair metal mania.

The album kicks off with the short instrumental Manhunt. This bit is fast paced and exciting, if mostly aimless. It corresponds pretty definitely with two of the other instrumental tracks: Birth of a Daughter and Death of a Mother. The other two instrumental tracks on the album (Seven Years and Dark) are more melodic filler. Seven Years features Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon on a guest solo, and he adds quite nicely if a bit predictably to the track. As far as main tracks go, some are heavy and exciting, while others are much more mellow and soft. On the heavy side we have The Andromeda Strain, The Archer of Ben Salem, and the title track. These all feature some Dream Theater inspired metal riffs throughout, as well as some intense instrumental portions. For the mellower side (though in truth all the songs have some mix of mellow and heavy), we have the remaining songs. Comfort Me and Vow are both touching sorts of songs with wonderful vocal parts and romancy lyrics. Torn is a melancholic song with probably the best chorus that Shadow Gallery wrote--Mike Baker absolutely shines here. Encrypted and Rain are pretty standard tracks.

Why isn't it higher than three stars then? Because, while it's an entertaining and energetic album, it gets pretty predictable and mildly repetitive. Also, for the most part, the music features a lot of awkward bits that don't really add to the songs. Fans of progressive metal would probably enjoy listening to this album, but it does not cross over so well into the progressive rock side. Fans of Dream Theater and Symphony X and related bands would most likely find something of value here.

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Send comments to LiquidEternity (BETA) | Report this review (#184492)
Posted Thursday, October 02, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars There are a lot of good things on this album. Strong guitar playing, mostly strong vocals. I pretty much like it a lot. I was even toying with the idea of moving up to a 4 star rating. But, then I hit a song that reminded me of Dragon Force. This is not a good thing for me. A few more pretty good songs and then we get the the title track. The chorus here has me groaning .....Dragon Force...Dreagon Force .... Most of the album is pretty strong in an alternating metal to ballad style. Good...but definitely not essential in my books.

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Send comments to digdug (BETA) | Report this review (#222708)
Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've just come back to this after listening a lot to Dream Theater and The Flower Kings. This is an excellent CD, A concept album that has thus unusual credits in that they list books - (for inspiration and information) - The Holy Bible and - "River out of Eden" by the very famous atheist Richard Dawkins! - Anyway, with this you get a lot of good prog-metal with some softer ballad type songs. Starts with a fast and furious instrumental - MANHUNT. Then you have the first power ballad With the Sexy voice of Laura Jaeger - COMFORT ME. Then a complete change and into power metal with ANDROMEDA STRAIN, a lot of good guitar work and keyboards that complement the overall compositions. Then a slow one - that I really like - VOW. Two short but good instrumentals. SEVEN YEARS - starts with some nice swirling guitars/Piano - in fact this is an excellent bit of prog especially when we get into the Guitar sort of building up into a nice bit of hackettesque axing -m in fact this is my next favourite on the CD Followed by a short ambient piece called DARK - which takes us into a slower ballad - TORN. Not bad but then comes my favourite track - THE ARCHER OF BEN SALEM -I love this track - the swingy riff and the nice synth chords and organ work) - Bit of a nicked Rush riff (Natural Science) at the end but i love this track anyway - Good Prog Metal. with a Dream Theater like instrumental bit with shredding and synths like DT. Good time changes - excellent stuff. ENCRYPTED - bit of a Marillion type riff (Three Boats down from the candy) sort of Rush also - more of a ballad., I still like this trck though - Some nice floaty synth chords into power chords. Into a slower floydy type of passage. a definately Floyd solo is to be heard. The title track is a good one also - I like the cheesy chorus - some nice guitar fiffing - as we go into the last track (RAIN) - again an ace start good guitar work. This is a good track to end an excellent concept - about genetic engineering / Biological warfare... Almost a five star (just falling short - no REALLY outstanding composition) = I reckon 4.2

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Send comments to M27Barney (BETA) | Report this review (#239234)
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Shadow Gallery are back with 'Room V' to finish the story they started with 1998's 'Tyranny'

Anyone familiar with Shadow Gallery will know what to expect on this album, and it doesn't disappoint. Virtuoso musicianship, epic vocals, catchy chorus's, very well-written lyrics and plenty of twists and turns in the music. One of the high-points for this band is also the backing vocals and harmonies, which put most full-time singers to shame.

Story-wise, the album delivers big time. Picking up where 'Tyranny' left off, the band has done a lot of research to make this album as realistic and accurate as possible, as seen by the list of their influences and inspirations in the booklet. Although the story itself is far too long and complex to describe in one small review, it definitely rates up at the top with other concept albums like 'Scenes from a Memory' and 'Operation: Mindcrime'.

A lot of the songs here are some of the best I've ever heard, but unfortunately the reason for the four star rating is that I find this album does feel quite clustered at times with a lot of one or two minute songs which are just used to progress the story. However some of the longer songs are amazing and really make the entire effort worthwhile. Examples include 'Room V', 'The Archer of Ben Salem', 'Vow', 'The Andromeda Strain' and 'Torn'.

Also, check out Carl Cadden-James, who does an AMAZING vocal job on 'The Archer of Ben Salem'. Considering he isn't actually the singer of this band, this performance is spot-on, and I didn't even realize it wasn't Mike Baker until I read the credits in the booklet.

An excellent follow-up album to 'Tyranny', Shadow Gallery deliver the goods once again, proving they are one of the most underrated bands on the planet today.

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Send comments to Valarius (BETA) | Report this review (#254592)
Posted Sunday, December 06, 2009 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars I purchased this album just around the time it started to receive highly positive reviews and no one seemed to question Shadow Gallery's authority. Personally I definitely consider myself a fan of Progressive Metal but this never stopped me from being cautious of U.S. bands since they tend to go a bit overboard into the Power Metal territory. Although there are bands, like Queensr˙che and Symphony X, that manage to fuse their Power Metal tendencies with high quality material Progressive moments others completely miss the mark for me. Having just been burnt from listening to the highly acclaimed band called Kamelot I approached Room V with caution.

It's questionable whether my skeptical approach had any significant effect at first since I really liked the first part of the album. It might not have featured that many Progressive Metal moments but Mike Baker definitely convinced me with his clear and passionate vocal delivery. The music might have had a bit to much drama in it but now I'm just getting picky. Unfortunately once the instrumental tracks started pilling up one after the other, starting with Birth Of A Daughter, I began loosing the original opinion of the music. Most of the so-called Progressive instrumental moments featured on Room V are in fact pure Power Metal material and, with an exception of Seven Years, instead of showing how good the band were it actually gave me a glimpse of their flaws.

While it might be considered debatable if Room V is just another Dream Theater-inspired offspring of the excellent Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory it's clear that Shadow Gallery aren't as versatile as their colleagues in the Progressive Metal genre. Still there are definite glimpses of potential showing though thanks to the excellent vocal sections and melodic delivery that, if evolved, might actually give other concept albums a run for their money. As it stands today this album is just a good, but non-essential release.

**** star songs: Manhunt (2:09) Comfort Me (6:51) The Andromeda Strain (6:46) Vow (8:27) Lamentia (1:04) Seven Years (3:37) Dark (1:03) Torn (8:23) Encrypted (8:01) Rain (8:59)

*** star songs: Birth Of A Daughter (2:40) Death Of A Mother (2:15) The Archer Of Ben Salem (7:28) Room V (7:44)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#277991)
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Don't get me wrong, "Room V" is a great album. Its just that following a duo of absolute masterpieces, it doesn't live up to the very high expectations that I had after "Tyranny" and "Legacy".

It has some fantastic songs, the slow, mesmeric "Comfort Me", the excellent "Torn" and the lovely closer "Rain" (not quite an epic clocking in at 8:59). What strikes me most about "Room V" is that there are quite a few songs that sound similar. This is the first SG album that I only have in digital (as opposed to on CD), and after several plays, I still cannot identify a song from a few opening bars. I also think the string of short instrumentals from "Birth of a Daughter" though "Dark" would have made more sense as several parts of a longer composition telling the same story.

"The Archer of Ben Salem" is reminiscent of "New World Order" off "Tyranny" (even the story is a similar context) but falls short of the excellence of the latter.

In summary, a good album, but not up to the standards of "Tyranny" or "Legacy". If you're new to Shadow Gallery, don't start with this one, go for either of the previous albums.

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Send comments to sv_godspeed (BETA) | Report this review (#372473)
Posted Tuesday, January 04, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars GREAT!

That's what I say about "Room V", my first experience with the Shadow Gallery.Last album with vocalist Mike Baker (who died tragically in 2008-rest in peace,Mike), this album is a great masterpiece.

The whole band works in tune to the creation and production of this great album.The sound reminds me a lot Symphony X (even the annoying keyboards) but the sound of these guys is pretty unique, investing in a heavy rock and melodic, but without resorting to grunting death or thrash metal, a point in favor for them.We have also a participation of Arjen Lucassen here,in retribution for the participation of Baker in "The Human Equation".

4,5 stars.Almost perfect!

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Send comments to voliveira (BETA) | Report this review (#439044)
Posted Monday, April 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Room V ? 2005 3.4/5 11 ? Best Song: Torn or Floydian Memories (if you count the bonus material)

Shadow Gallery, after another extended vacation, comes back to release a sequel of their minor hit album Tyranny. The plot is still as convoluted and facile as before, if not more than that, but what about the actual music, this time? I've always liked the band in my way, always been interested in their style and wondering when they'll drop the overly perfunctory silliness and release something deep and impacting that isn't weighed down by cornball piano ballads and aimless jamming a la Dream Theater. Still, they seem to ignore what they were doing with Legacy (walking backward, of all things), and released an honest continuation to Tyranny. 'Andromeda Strain', if you can ignore the ridiculous lyrics, is a fine rocker ? always with a catchy chorus, specially built for success! Karaoke prog! Is it me, or does Mike sound like Weird Al Yankovic on that one? Don't laugh, I'm being serious. Arjen Lucassen, from Ayreon, makes an appearance somewhere, but I can't for the life of me point it out. I think he was returning the favor for Baker doing such a fine job on Day 16 Loser. Why can't he sound that menacing on his own goddamn records? 'Vow' is a cardboard sing-along soft rock ballad. He could croon with the best of them. I wish he had been given a more impactful backing band, but what can you do? Apparently the plot revolves around the two internet rebels meeting, having sex, and having a child, but the mother dies during birth and the father goes on the run with her. In all, it's much less ear-catching than Tyranny, but a little more diverse and intentionally emotional. 'Torn' is possibly the musical equivalent of a climax for the entirety of the plot, and the vocal melody is the only truly memorable thing that stuck with me. After that it's jeneric jamming for fifteen minutes or so. Look here, son, I'd have readily rated Room V much lower if it weren't for that bonus disc, which contains absolutely the best song the boys ever performed ? a 25 minute epic Pink Floyd medley tribute, which is amazing for all of the duration. What a nice little treat. It features snapshots of Pigs on the Wing, Mother, Brain Damage, Welcome to the Machine, Wish You Were Here, the Trial, all sorts of songs. Why didn't they feature more Pink Floyd influences, man?

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Send comments to Alitare (BETA) | Report this review (#441813)
Posted Monday, May 02, 2011 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Tyranny part 2 - a lesser sequel

While 2001's Legacy album continued on where 1995's brilliant Carved In Stone took off, the present album from 2005 continues on where 1999's Tyranny took off. Indeed, Room V constitutes part 2 of Tyranny and contains acts III and IV of the story that started on that earlier album. Tyranny was a great album and in my opinion, this sequel is less impressive. Room V is a decent album for sure with some good moments but it emphasizes the weaker aspects of Tyranny rather than building on its strengths. Whatever is good on this album was already done at least as good on Tyranny and what is less good is... well, less good.

It starts off well enough with Manhunt, a short fast paced instrumental introduction in the same style as that which opened Tyranny. The second track is already a letdown, though. The male-female duet Comfort Me is cheesy and immediately gives the listener the impression that he is hearing a Rock Opera or Musical. Some people like this, I suppose, but for me it becomes somewhat bombastic in the negative sense. This song sounds very much like something you would hear on the radio or TV. Not my cup of tea and disappointing coming from such a great band as Shadow Gallery.

The rest of the album is better but it never really reaches the high level of previous albums. One of the many things that I liked so much about Carved In Stone, for example, was the strong variation. There is a lot less of that here. Still, there are several good moments. One further problem is that the album is very long with a running time of 75 minutes. Towards the end the ears get somewhat tired of listening to more of the same.

Overall Room V is a bit of a disappointment for me after such a strong series of albums as Carved In Stone, Tyranny and Legacy. I therefore recommend this album only after you've heard those others. I'm sorry to give such a low final rating as this is after all a decent album, but it just fails to impress me the way the band's other albums do.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#588754)
Posted Thursday, December 15, 2011 | Review Permalink

SHADOW GALLERY Room V ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

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