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Shadow Gallery

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Shadow Gallery Carved In Stone album cover
3.82 | 242 ratings | 18 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. CliffHanger (8:41)
2. Interlude #1 (0:40)
3. Crystalline Dream (5:44)
4. Interlude #2 (0:43)
5. Don't Ever Cry, Just Remember (6:29)
6. Interlude #3 (1:03)
7. Warcry (5:59)
8. Celtic Princess (2:04)
9. Deeper Than Life (4:33)
10. Interlude #4 (0:16)
11. Alaska (5:18)
12. Interlude #5 (0:18)
- Ghostship :
13.The Gathering The Night Before (2:42)
14. Voyage (1:37)
15. Dead Calm (2:32)
16. Approaching Storm (2:24)
17. Storm (5:38)
18. Enchantment (3:57)
19. Legend (2:54)
20. Ending (TG94 or Thanks Giving 1994) - Hidden track (7:24)

Total time 70:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Baker / lead vocals
- Brent Allman / acoustic & electric guitars, vocals
- Gary Wehrkamp / guitar, piano, synthesizer, vocals, orchestral arrangements
- Chris Ingles / synthesizer, piano
- Carl Cadden-James / fretted & fretless basses, flute, vocals, vocal arrangements & co-producer
- Kevin Soffera / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Shawn Lux

CD Magna Carta ‎- MA-9001-2 (1995, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SHADOW GALLERY Carved In Stone ratings distribution

(242 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

SHADOW GALLERY Carved In Stone reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album has set a good example of what prog metal music should sound like. This second album of the band remarks critical milestone for the band career in prog arena. Through this album, the band has set its standard in their music direction where the style and composition are much better than the debut. In terms of music flow, this album has demonstrated its consistency and balance combining those hard driving rhythm tracks and those with ballad-based structure interjected with classical music influence. It combines the high and low points flawlessly throughout the music stream offered in this album. Since this album onwards, this is the band that we should watch closely as their music has improved steadily from time to time. This does not mean to say that this one is less superior than its successor "Tyranny" album. If you enjoy Tyranny, most likely that you will love this album as well. The music of SG is a blend of QUEENSRYCHE, DREAM THEATER, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and SYMPHONY X.

I have a bit problem with the production side of this album. Sonic quality is excellent. But, when I look at track list, sleeve notes and printed lyrics, I got confused. Track- wise, this album has many "bridges" that contain a sort of connecting or transition piece between tracks. It's okay actually, but there is no description or whatsoever about these bridges. I would suggest that this should have been combined as one track with previous or succeeding track. It's so confusing. Another thing is the hidden track at the end of the album where there is a very loooooong quiet passage until there is a door- knocking sound followed with light music. It's a bit unstructured, I would say. Afterall, the music is excellent and I don't want to use this aspect to penalize the musical review.

Cliffhange (8:41) is a true killer. It starts with an ambient nuance followed with soft touch acoustic guitar fills followed with medium tempo rock music led by guitar solo (played stunningly). The keyboard work provides symphonic nuance of the song. At the end of first lyrical verse the music turns fast with dazzling bass lines, guitar, keyboard and drums work together in relatively complex arrangement with inventive guitar and keyboard sounds. Some keyboard works remind me to Keith Emerson even though in different vein. The guitar solo is stunning - it's a combination of Yngwie Malmsteen and John Petrucci styles. Keyboard provides a background that gives symphonic atmosphere. It's a masterpiece song! At the end of this song there is a short track (0:40) featuring piano that functions as a bridge to the next song.

Crystalline Dream(5:44) flows seamlessly from previous track with guitar fills in very slow tempo followed with hard driving rhythm and fast tempo music. The first part of the song is a straight forward rock music with some guitar riffs and good choruses performed by multi vocal. I really enjoy the choruses. The guitar solo in the middle of the track is stunning with very good and memorable segment demonstrating skillful keyboard work. The bridge part of this song is an exploration of spacey keyboard.

Don't Ever Cry Just Remember (6:29) starts with a combination of piano and keyboard sound at the back, bring the vocal to enter the music.The music flows smoothly with piano as basic rhythm section augmented with electric guitar. The pace of this track is slow/medium tempo with good melody. The bridge at the end of this track is longer than previous track. It features piano as main rhythm.

Warcry (5:59) is a slow track with a basis of piano as main rhythm instrument but it slowly moves into faster tempo with full energy, allowing electric guitar to take guitar solo. This track has a strong nuance of symphonic especially with the keyboard work at the back. Celtic Princess (2:05) is a short instrumental piece explores the use of piano with intense classical touch combined with keyboard work at background resulting a music with good harmony. Those who love classical music will like this song. Deeper Than Life (4:32) is a rocking track with a hard driving rhythm featuring a vocal quality reminiscent of Geoff Tate of Queensryche. It's a nice and energetic rock with a very little prog touch except the interlude in the middle of the track: fast paced with great guitar and keyboard work! Alaska (5:18) is a ballad song with acoustic guitar and piano works to accompany vocals. Ghostship (19:84) is an epic that concludes the album. It contains 7 parts that form the whole epic's structure. Composition-wise, it's an excellent epic with good structure and powerful songwriting. It starts off with an energetic music, medium/fast tempo with multi vocals and combination of speed guitar and keyboard. It moves to different style at second part where the music is influenced by blues filled with stunning and awesome guitar solo. The guitar solo fades out and followed with an ambient nuance enriched with sound effects coming from keyboard sounds. It suits to the title of the part: Dead Calm. Overall, this epic is truly excellent especially with a combination of piano solo influenced by classical music. It's really nice composition.

Overall, it's an excellent addition to any prog collection with a rating of 4¼ out of 5 stars. RECOMMENDED! Keep on proggin' .!!!

Progressively yours,


Review by b_olariu
5 stars This is no doubt my favourite from them. Absolutly amazing music. I can't choose a track because the entire album is very good. The musicians are talented and most important they are very skillful with the instruments. A true masterpiece of prog music, one of the biggest in the '90, and in entire prog music.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I think there are some improvements here compared to their debut, but overall I rate them both 3 stars. The things I dislike about this album are the multi-vocal parts that remind me of eighties Metal bands, and the abundance of piano.There is a lot of light weight music on this record. You know I like my Tim Horton's coffee, but if they put too much sugar in it I can't even drink it, it ruins it. My point is that this album is too sweet for my tastes. Thankfully this would change later on, specifically on "Room V". They show 13 tracks on the back of the cd, but they skip songs 2, 4, 6,10 and 12. These are in fact short untitled interludes consisting mainly of synths. The final track "Ghostship" consists of 7 tracks, and then there is the final song "TG94" which is the twentieth song. Confused ? Me too.

"Cliffhanger" opens eerily before piano arrives with gentle guitar and synths in tow. Some scorching guitar and vocals arrive in this reserved tune. Harmonies follow. More great guitar later on. Good start. "Crystalline Dream" is faster paced with vocals and more harmonies. The background synths are good. This one is ok. Nice guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in followed by a keyboard solo. "Don't Ever Cry Just Remember" is like a power ballad. Lots of piano and synths with reserved vocals, and even some flute. "Warcry" again opens with piano as fragile vocals come into the song a minute in. A fuller sound 2 minutes in with some ripping guitar a minute after that along with a galloping rhythm, but unfortunately it's very brief. "Celtic Princess" is all about the piano. "Deeper Than Life" is heavier with more aggressive vocals. I like it !

"Alaska" is a mellow song with piano, reserved vocals, acoustic guitar and some flute. "Ghostship" opens with "The Gathering The Night Before". I like the drumming, it's great ! "Voyage" is a really good track with scathing, filthy guitar. Finally !! It ends with haunting synths. The best song by far. Way too short though. "Dead Calm" continues appropriately with the haunting synths before acoustic guitar comes in."Approaching Storm" features fearful vocals as various eerie sounds follow. "Storm" naturally has heavy drums, ripping guitar, fat bass and strong vocals. Not as fast paced as I thought it should be though. "Enchantment" is filled with piano melodies for 3 1/2 minutes. Then heavy drums and a full sound arrives. "Legend" is more upbeat with vocals leading the way. "TG20" is kind of weird as we can hear someone knocking on a door for such a long time before the door finally opens. Synths and piano lead the way as it builds to a big sound. Not a fan of this one.

I was disappointed overall with this album. I was expecting more I guess.

Review by progrules
3 stars The successor of this bands debut immediately starts with the first mindblowing composition they made in their career and up till now I still consider it as one of their very best ever. I'm talking about Cliffhanger of course, a track where Gary Wehrkamp shows his abilities big time and also a composition that shows great class and potential (4,5*).

Unfortunately the next track is almost in the same style is most tracks on the debut, maybe slightly better (3,5*). This album by the way has all kinds of short interludes that really don't add anything positive to the album so I wonder why a band does something like this. The second one of these reminds me a lot of V:The New Mythology but this album by Symphony X was composed 5 years later so that means that SX would be the imitator unless it's all coincidence of course and we're talking about similarity and not about copying. But still it makes you wonder ....

5th (3rd in real) song is a bit ballad-like, good song but not exceptional (3,25*). Next three shorter songs are quite mediocre in my belief and are probably the least of the album (appr. 3* each). Alaska is another ballad and somewhat better than the previous few (3,25*). Finally we have the epical Ghostship, a better one than the Queen of the City of Ice of the debut but a little bit incoherent in the end (3,6*).

So that leaves us with one fantastic song (Cliffhanger) and the rest that is slightly better than the debut so all in all it's an improvement and we know by now they would keep improving with their next (Tyranny). A positive conclusion for Carved in Stone but not yet fully mature (3,4).

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Carved in Stone is one of the most celebrated Shadow Gallery albums, and quite rightly so, since it filled a space that usually signified a certain gasp between the standards of symphonic prog and prog metal: noticeably following the heritage of DT's Images and Words and classic Queensryche, while simultaneously retaking the grandeur of Yes, ELP, The Wall-era Pink Floyd and Kansas, SG delivers an impressive repertoire that shines through its versatility, melodic richness and sonic power. The opener 'Cliffhanger' is an adequate indicator of most of the main features to be displayed in the tracklist: metallic-oriented guitar riffs and leads, epic treatments of keyboard harmonies, complex dynamics, well-ordained mood and tempo shifts, chamber-flavored piano lines, polished vocal and choral deliveries. 'Crystalline Dream' is pure punchy prog metal structured in a reasonable complex pace, and surely one of the most remembered songs from the album. Later on 'Deeper than Life' will go for a similar mood although leaning more on the metallic side of prog metal. Sandwiched between the two are 'Don't Ever Cry, Just Remember' and 'Warcry', two particular pinnacles of SG songwriting. The former is a hauntingly beautiful power ballad full of eerie piano chords, dreamy backgrounds of synth and string arrangements, even a Moody Blues-like flute solo right before the solemn, carefully orchestrated multi-layered guitar lead. The latter brings more of the epic feel that had been so flamboyant in the opener, only this time being more focused: the song includes a good deal of Gothic- inspired textures in the choral arrangements and the final keyboard layers that assume the leading role for the final minute. Simply irresistable these two tracks are. The fact that almost all these songs are linked in a continuum due to the use of brief segues (written and arranged by the never-shy newcomer Gary Wehrkamp) helps the album to go beyond the grandiosity of each individual track and make it grandiose as a whole. 'Celtic Princess' is not a segue, properly, but a deliciously Wakemanesque piano solo at unison with acoustic guitar as a mirrored complement. This makes it a convenient bridge of classicist relaxation between the epic fade-out of 'Warcry' and the in-your-face opening section of 'Deeper than Life'. 'Alaska' is the acoustic ballad, bringing shades of Jon Anderson's bucolic feel, Pink Floyd's calmer side and Genesis' acoustic facet to a song that goes beyond the mere melodic approach of your current acoustic guitar-based ballad. The controlled tasteful piano flourishes, synh layers and the pastoral flute solo serve as great ornaments. 'Ghostship' is the album's ultimate gem, an exciting tour-de-force that finds the band exploring their usual domains of prog metal and symphonic prog, adding psychedelic and space-rock textures in places, plus a majestic piano solo sandwiched between the suite's heavier instrumental section and the solemn last part. The various moods and motifs make perfect sense with the storyline delivered in the lyrics. The album does not end here, but with the last segue (actually, the epilogue), a very symphonic treat full of candid feelings that flow through the track's patently epic structure. My only two complaints are: the sound production doesn't take full advantage of the band's sonic potential; the two members of the rhythm duo don't complement each other 100 %, despite the fact that Soffera is an undisputed terrific drummer (his style would make more sense in a band like Pain of Salvation or Fates Warning than on this bombastic SG). Nevertheless, Carved in Stone is an excellent item in any good symphonic prog collection: it also works as a hint of the maturity incarnated in SG's style, soon to be reinforced in the follow-up album Tyranny.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Carved In Stone" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Shadow Gallery. The album was released through Magna Carta Records in June 1995. It“s the successor to the eponymously titled debut album from 1992. There have been a couple of lineup changes since the debut album as Kevin Soffera (drums) and Gary Wehrkamp (piano, guitar, synthesizer, backing vocals) have been added to the lineup, making Shadow Gallery a sextet on "Carved In Stone".

While the debut album certainly had its fair share of quality moments, intriguing songwriting ideas, and high level musicianship, it was still a bit of a mixed bag in terms of consistent songwriting, and also featured a sound production which left a bit to be desired. In comparison "Carved In Stone" is a much more consistent release, and all the other features have also been given a lift in quality. The sound production is more well sounding and powerful (although still not as polished as the most well produced contemporary releases), the musicianship is on a high level on all posts, and the songwriting slightly harder edged and focused. "Carved In Stone" is generally not a very hard edged progressive metal release though, and there are many parts of the album, which have more in common with progressive rock than heavy metal (the occasional use of flute is one of them).

I hear influences from artists like Queensr’che (the vocals, the melodies, the atmosphere), Dream Theater (some of the most complex instrumental parts of the album), and Fates Warning (only a few times, but the influence is there), but also artists like Queen and various other 70s progressive rock acts. Savatage and their most Broadway musical styled tracks are also a valid reference, as Shadow Gallery often arrange their songs and vocals in a way that is similar to Broadway musical style arrangements and vocals (listen to the opening of "Don't Ever Cry, Just Remember" for proof of that). Classical music influences are also heard throughout the album (although this is not neo-classical metal in any way or form).

"Carved In Stone" features no less than 20 tracks and a total playing time of 71:03 minutes. Most of the first 12 tracks are constructed with one "regular" track followed by a shorter interlude track, before the 13th 21:56 minutes long epic track "Ghostship" kicks in. "Ghostship" is subdivided into 7 shorter tracks (although they all flow into each other to form the full "Ghostship" track), and "Carved In Stone" closes with the hidden classical influenced track "TG94 (Thanks Giving 1994)". So it can definitely be labelled a mammuth size album. Shadow Gallery produce quality all the way through the playing time of the album though, and even the hidden track is quite the treat (excluding the rather annoying first couple of minutes of silence and knocking sounds).

I wouldn“t call "Carved In Stone" a perfect release by any means and the Broadway musical influences are slightly cheesy in my book, but there“s no denying the high level musicianship and compositional skills involved in the project, and the good features of the album far outweighs the bad. The album features both the most beautiful melodies and the crazy jaw-dropping moments of technical playing that only the greatest progressive metal artists can produce and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I pulled this one out of my collection so I could listen to it and decide if I wanted to pick up their album that was released today. I'm glad I did.

Take two parts Dream Theater, one part Kansas, add a heaping dollop of Spinal Tap, and stir. What you get is Shadow Gallery. There are some very nice tracks on this album. Particularly, the epic Ghostship has some great moments. The problem is, in between all the meat, there are big slabs of cheese. I just can't get past singer Mike Baker's pinched vocals. And a power ballad about The Rapture (TM), come on.

2.5 stars, raised up because of the epic.

I'm not buying the new CD. But if you get raptured, can I have your stereo?

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars Crystalline Dream

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

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

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

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

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

Latest members reviews

5 stars An album that finally hit the music headlines not long ago! 1. CliffHanger classy and spacious intro with piano, acoustic guitar, the air rising, the plane passing and...Mike tumbling in with his recognizable voice, the enthusiasm is in order, the prog metal is there; Brent's tortured guitar with ... (read more)

Report this review (#2696196) | Posted by alainPP | Tuesday, March 1, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 'Carved in Stone' is Shadow Gallery's second album, in which the performances as a whole seem a lot tighter and polished, but the quality of the compositions don't quite surpass that of their debut. However, fans will instantly notice the improvement in production, which sounds a lot richer and ... (read more)

Report this review (#1766302) | Posted by martindavey87 | Wednesday, July 26, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Carved in Stone - 1996 )2.6/5) 9 ? Best Song: Storm? Taking a four year hiatus from creating, little-known pomp-prog amateurs Shadow Gallery finally came in with their second installment. I need to learn more skillfully literate transitions from one review to the next. I want to be taken ser ... (read more)

Report this review (#441806) | Posted by Alitare | Monday, May 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Carved in Stone" starts off with the excellent "Cliffhanger". The song demostrates quite well what these guys are capable of technically. At 8:41, its the second longest song on the album after the epic "Ghost Ship" and is easily the best one. We segue into "Crystalline Dream" which sets the ... (read more)

Report this review (#372472) | Posted by sv_godspeed | Tuesday, January 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I was deeply saddened last year by the tragic loss of singer Mike Baker. Gone is my hope that Shadow Gallery would one day decide to hit the roads and come to Europe to play live, so that we could have the chance to see them playing their masterpieces from both this album and Tyranny. In anticipat ... (read more)

Report this review (#250432) | Posted by Aeolus | Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Album Carved in Stone is very dissapointing. Except great technical skills, musicians are not showing anything special. There aren't any good or original ideas, no feeling, no love for playing... How can it be possible that in 20 minutes long song ("Ghostship") there is NOTHING interesting? They ... (read more)

Report this review (#142031) | Posted by Doorshlaq | Thursday, October 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars the only reason that Shadow Gallery don't enjoy the top of the prog metal world like , for example, Dream Theater do, is that they respectfully try to remain an underground, non touring band... without being pretentiously bohemians or snob, they focus on releasing only albums of the highe ... (read more)

Report this review (#86128) | Posted by toolis | Tuesday, August 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is my first SG's album and i'm still listening to it even if i've got it in my musical box since 3 years! this album is great but still tied to 80's prog-period with strong emotional songs like Don't Ever Cry Just Remember,Alaska and some parts more aggressive like Cliffhanger, Ghostship ... (read more)

Report this review (#60119) | Posted by fred84 | Sunday, December 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Shadow Gallery is one of my all-time favourite bands. This album is for a music lover of both metal and classical. If you like the sound of piano in a metal album and majestic piano intros into songs this album is for you. The piano is quite technical but not too overpowering and the guitars a ... (read more)

Report this review (#6523) | Posted by | Monday, October 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A masterpiece it is not, but a marked improvement over the first one, and the natural step in the evolution up to their definitive statement, Tyranny. Musicianship is much better, as is the composition, but the sound is mediocre. Not all of the songs are worth bothering with, especially not "Deeper ... (read more)

Report this review (#6517) | Posted by | Wednesday, February 25, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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