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Shadow Gallery

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Shadow Gallery Digital Ghosts album cover
3.84 | 265 ratings | 17 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. With Honor (9:59)
2. Venom (6:21)
3. Pain (6:22)
4. Gold Dust (6:45)
5. Strong (6:50)
6. Digital Ghost (9:37)
7. Haunted (9:36)

Total Time 55:30

Bonus tracks on 2009 IOM special edition:
8. Two Shadows (5:08)
9. Gold Dust (demo) (6:01)
10. In Your Window (2:52)
11. World of Fantasy (demo) (4:38)

Line-up / Musicians

- Brian Ashland / lead vocals, guitar solo (1)
- Brendt Allman / electric & acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals
- Gary Wehrkamp / electric & acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, vocals
- Carl Cadden-James / fretted & fretless bass, flute, vocals
- Joe Nevolo / drums (2,4)

- Mike Baker (R.I.P.) / lead vocals (8,11)
- Ralf Scheepers / lead vocals (5)
- Clay Barton / lead vocals (2)
- Srđan Branković / guitar solo (5)
- Vivien Lalu / keyboards (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Brendt Allman

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 317 (2009, Europe)
CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMSECD 317 (2009, Germany) With 4 bonus tracks

Thanks to LiquidEternity for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy SHADOW GALLERY Digital Ghosts Music

SHADOW GALLERY Digital Ghosts ratings distribution

(265 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

SHADOW GALLERY Digital Ghosts reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by LiquidEternity
4 stars This is exciting! This is my first promo CD and pre-release review yet.

I must say, before Digital Ghosts, my only experience with Shadow Gallery are their albums Tyranny and Room V, both of which I enjoy but don't find that much above average on the whole. But with this new release, they've focused on the aspects of their music that I appreciate most, namely melody, harmony, and keeping the noodling contained within fitting places. The big news that most people are wondering, though, is what the band is going to do following the tragic loss of their former lead singer, Mike Baker. The answer, thankfully, is to take the material they've been working on and turn it into perhaps their strongest album yet, as a wonderfully fitting tribue to their lost friend--and even though his vocals were probably my favorite part of their music, they do amazingly well without him. Also, I may only have the promo copy, but the production and sound values appear to be very strong, well mixed, and colorful. The album moreover is a good fifteen, twenty minutes shorter than their usual, which makes each song that much more impactful on the whole: a move I really appreciate and agree with.

The album's first track, With Honor, is a vocal-dominated piece full of brilliant melody and wonderful vocal interplay. Marked by a catchy and deep chorus, I must say that any fears I had about the band going more instrumental in the absence of their good man Mike were dispelled right here. Also of note, it ends with a long section of strings and spacey quiet. Next comes Venom, quite reminiscent of Symphony X with the crunchy riffs, grumpy vocals, and wild flailing guitars. It's also like Symphony X in that the melodies are well done (truthfully, as I'm not a huge fan of Symphony X, I find this a superior song to any of theirs). Lots of progressive riffing and trading of lead vocals fill this track. Pain has a soft Queensryche feel, mostly due to the guest vocalist (beats me, though, which one it is). It does get heavier, though rarely picking up in speed. Some soloing does occur, and it kind of does kill the mood of the song. Little things like these are why the album is only four stars in my book, though this is a strongly recommended four stars. Just for the record.

Gold Dust is something of a classic Shadow Gallery track, with light metal verses (with kind of weak melodies), strong and punchy choruses that get stuck in your head, and some breaks for entertaining but a bit shallow of noodling. The rapid fire riff chugging adds some serious meat to the tune. Strong kicks off in similar fashion, launching straight into a guitar solo. However, the vocal melodies here are not only really fantastic, they are particularly unusual for Shadow Gallery (at least from the two other SG albums I've listened to). Also, I'm not sure who the lead vocalist is here (as there are quite a few listed and, well, prerelease digital copies don't say these things), bu he does some wild wailing in very unusual fashion--for Shadow Gallery anyways. A bit of noodling happens, but there are some powerful choral movements hidden in here as well, cheesy though they may be.

However, it's with the last two songs that the album really soars. Digital Ghost begins with a beautiful and passionate instrumental section that could have kicked off a twenty minute epic and not been out of place. Here, it just fashions an upshift in quality and aim as the band shoots for much more progressive and much less noodly metal approach. The chorus sounds very classically Shadow Gallery, and the harmonies are painfully pretty. Vocals absolutely dominate this track, and that is one hundred percent a good thing. And this time, rather than singularly metal instrumentation, we get a feel for jazz guitars in the middle and more of that wonderful classical piano as well. The concluding instrumental might be their most inspired yet. If all the album's tracks were on this level, not only would this be way in the lead for 2009, it might promote Shadow Gallery to one of my top band slots. Haunted opens, well, hauntingly, as dark chords and tormented vocals rise out of the quiet of the preceding song's conclusion. Again, we have more well-harmonied choir action. It's amazing how many strong voices they have among their ranks. This is the gentlest track on the album by a long shot, though it doesn't stay gentle for its whole length. They manage to make a powerful slow song in the vein of mid- to late-era Pink Floyd without sounding anything at all like Pink Floyd, a wonderful feat to say the least. These choruses, these vocals: chills. Absolutely amazing.

According to my limited experience, the best Shadow Gallery release ever. It's got a bit much noodling that ruins some of the moods, and a couple of the middle tracks are only pretty good and not great, but heed my words when I recommend this. It's not a five star review, but I want to promote it as such. Definitely grab this when you can.

Addendum: I've received a few questions about the drumming on this album. Namely, that the drummer is only credited as being the drummer on two tracks. Now, I'm not sure what the band did, but this does not sound like drum programming on any of the songs. Perhaps electric drums, perhaps, but definitely not a drum machine. That, or they are ten times the programmer to any other band or percussionist that I have ever come across.

Review by debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As a comparative newcomer to Prog metal, I approached reviewing this promo copy of Digital Ghosts with some trepidation.

But, while I can't do an indepth overview using what little I know of most Prog Metal, I can still give it a good write-up from the perspective of the general prog fan.

So here goes ... you will find fiddly bits on guitar & keyboard as the stereotype that many identify as Prog Metal. But, to my ears, they feel natural, not just "solo time ! watch me fly" !

Over the course of the album, I hear influences ranging from Queen (the guitar playing in With Honor & Digital Ghost for example), some Kansas in much of the composition and arrangements, some Megadeth with a mellower attitude as on Venom, and even some Styx in their ability to present infectious Pop-worthy melodies. You can catch some Queensryche with keyboard moments, here & there.

In some cases, I found they shared a quality with Shadow Circus, their american prog compatriot - they allow themselves to make a joyous noise, happy prog, entertainment for the estethe if you will without being elitist.

Now if you're like me, and the furthest you've dipped your toes into Prog Metal is Dream Theater, this album can be a great way to open your ears to what is out there. I found Digital Ghosts to have more to it than just Prog Metal influences. I hear some Symphonic , some Neo, some commercial and crossover prog. Built on a base of solid prog metal, but surely of interest to fans outside that genre.

Well worth the time to those who are looking to step outside their usual preferred genres, and also to those who like their prog metal with mucho melody.

And for those who are curious but unsure whether they should spend their hard earned money on this album, you can always check out the samples found on the band's official site If you like that, the album will not disappoint.

Review by JLocke
4 stars When I received my review copy of ''Digital Ghosts'' from InsideOut, I was both excited and worried. Excited, because I had never gotten an advance copy of anything for review before, and so I felt rather cool and professional, but worried because I have had quite a love-hate relationship with Prog Metal over the years, and Shadow Gallery's music has never touched my ears until this was sent to me. Truly, I did not know what to expect, and if I would just be honest with myself, I was partly dreading it. I was afraid that I would despise the record, and therefore have to scathe my very first review copy. Feeling like an ass isn't something I enjoy, but I am also very honest about my feelings on matters (especially music!), and so I bit the bullet and gave ''Digital Ghosts'' a try.

Luckily, I did not hate the album. In fact, I quite liked it. I am reminded of the earlier days of Dream Theater, while also being surprised by the sheer originality present in the epic, heartfelt music the album has to offer. I'm not saying there isn't the typical slice of cheese to go along with the music, here; there certainly are moments I could have done without, but as a complete piece, Shadow Gallery's latest album delivers in strides.

I have no point of reference regarding the band's earlier works, but I was told that a new singer is featured here, due to the untimely death of Mike Baker, the original lead vocalist. I have no idea how his voice compares to this new guy, but all I can say is that I am impressed. Not too showy at all, just the right balance between emotional and bombastic, this guy knows exactly when to belt it out, and when to tone it down to best suit the songs.

The same can be said of all of the other guys in the band. I rarely heard a lot of over-the-top playing, here. Oh, certainly some top- notch playing, no doubt, but I never felt as if I were standing in the middle of a shredding contest where the goal is speed rather than soul. Now, most Prog Metal I have heard is crap-- shoddy rehashes of past Dream Theater classics with a few riffs switched around and absolutely no heart in the songwriting. This wasn't the case here, however. For me, this album is a great example of what good Prog Metal is actually capable of. Again, I can't judge any of their other works, but as far as I am concerned, ''Digital Ghosts' is a Shadow Gallery album that everybody should listen to if you're on the fence about this band, or the genre in general. It's a prime example of prog done right. Innovation, not duplication. Finally, Pain Of Salvation is no longer alone in this regard!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I still donīt know why Shadow Gallery havenīt reached a broader audience and be as famous and praised as, say, Dream Theatre or Symphoniy X. Those guys have everyhting needed for a band to be huge: terrific musicanship, excellent songwriting team, tasteful arrangements, a great sense of melody and good production. And more than that actually: a personality of their own and a fantastic and very unique vocal harmony style. And still they are not so well known. To top that their vocalist and original member Mike Baker died of a heart attack last year.

So I wasnīt expecting much from this new CD. I thought it might be a transitional album and in some ways it is. But it is also as good as their other excellent latter releases! Their mix of traditional heavy metal riffs, symphonic prog and wonderful melodies is intact. One thing those guys know is to make a record that pleases both the HM fans and the prog ones. It always takes a long time for them to record a new CD, bu boy, do they do it well! They know how to balance the heavy guitars with great melodies, soaring keyboards, unsual vocal harmonies and wonderful solos done by the mastermind Gary Wehrkamp (the guy is simply a genius!).New singer Brian Ashland is very good and versatile too: his voice is very fitting on all the tracks on which he sings, heavy or otherwise (a couple of the new ones were recorded with guests voclaists Ralf Scheepers (Primal Scream) and Clay Barton). But Ashland proves to be the right choice for Shadow Gallery.

Unlike their previous works, Digital Ghosts does not seem to be a concept album after all, although the theme of loss is present on most songs, for obvious reasons. All the tracks are good and varied, as usual. Heavy moments and slower ones, but all very melodic, strong and convincing. This is the kind of band that wastes no single note when they are recording. Everything fits like glove here. But be sure to get the digi pack issue, that includes four extra songs. Two of them are demos from tracks ended up on the final CD in different versions and includerecordings of the late singer Baker. But the real jewel is the song In Your Window, totally sung a capella (only voices, with no instrumental backing). They prove they are more than just excelent instrumentists. Brilliant!

Conclusion: another winner from this fantastic band taht should have more exposure than they are getting. After such a tragic loss, they come back with a very strong CD that shows that the sum of the parts is actually bigger than the individual talents of each member. RAting: something between 4 and 4,5 stars. Highly recommended.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having seen the name of Shadow Gallery around over the last few years and taken little notice I decided it was time to take the plunge and give them a chance on their new album Digital Ghosts. How this new album with new singer Brian Ashland compares to older material with their late frontman Mike Baker who died a year ago of a heart attack I couldn't say. This does however give me the opportunity to take it on it's own terms rather than comparing it to past glories and what I can say is I'm very glad I bought this cd as it's a really excellent prog metal album.

Shadow Gallery will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the likes of Dream Theater and Symphony X. The standard of musicianship is excellent with much guitar shredding for those who like that sort of thing. Along with the high octane instrumental workouts expected in the prog metal genre, Shadow Gallery can add another string to their bow with a strong emphasis on melody and excellent use of harmony backing vocals, which could give them wider appeal and an audience with people who aren't normally into the metallic side of things. New singer Brian Ashland is a fine vocalist in the Geoff Tate of Queensrhyche vein and works well with the backing vocal contributions of the rest of the band.

The music is often complex but not at the expense of melody, more so when they move into one of their often extended instrumental workouts, none better than title track Digital Ghosts where the band really show what fine musical chops they have. The music throughout constantly shifts from the more bombastic metal elements into more light and shade moments and does take a few plays to reveal its secrets but once discovered it makes a captivating and exhilarating listen. Particularly enjoyable is Gold Dust winning my award for strongest melody on the album alongside some fine playing. Also unlike many prog metal bands the keyboards are pleasingly given plenty of space, playing a key role rather than being merely used for texture and colour.

Overall then an excellent album highly recommended to prog metal fans that are partial to strong melodies. I'm pleased to have bought an album by Shadow Gallery at long last, my only regret being I left it so long to do so. I'll certainly be investigating their back catalogue.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Digital Ghosts is the latest creation from US act Shadow Gallery, and their first production since the tragic loss of their former vocalist Mike Baker.

As this is a band I really haven't listened much to previously I don't know how new singer Brian Ashland compares to Baker, but he comes across as a good and versatile vocalist - perhaps a tad steeped in metal traditions but with a fine set of pipes. And with enough scope to cover the stylistic variations on this album.

The core of the music on this production are vintage progressive metal. Drawn out riffs and riff patterns at times heaviuly embellished with keyboard textures of a symphonic nature. But while many tracks draws upon the stylistic elements first laid down by Rainbow and later further developed by Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force and Symphony X, Shadow Gallery adds a few dimensions of their own to the proceedings. Vocal harmonies for starters, where influences from both The Beatles and Yes are easily detected.

Musically the scope is rather extensive too. The songs shifts back and forth in pace, style and intensity, and unlike many other progressive metal bands Shadow Gallery seems to be fond of venturing forth towards neo progressive territories rather than other metal-based expressions. Those familiar with acts such as The Flower Kings and Transatlantic should be able to detect themes and passages with a great deal of similarity to those artists - even if those sequences may have more of a metal coating in this particular case.

All in all it is a well made effort, and while there aren't too many moments of pure brilliance - limited to the songs Venom and Strong in my opinion - the rest of the tracks are all intriguing excursions without any notable weaknesses as such.

Review by progrules
4 stars It was only logical for me to buy this unexpected new release by SG when I found out about its existence. I mean, I own all their previous albums and through the years they only increased in quality in my opinion so why not go for this one as well ? And still it was a bit of a gamble because of Mike Baker's death last year and the shock it meant for the fans. And a fan is certainly what I would like to call myself despite the fact SG is not my most favourite band ever.

What I noticed pretty soon after a couple of spins is the variation in style between all songs. Well, ok, SG was never a dull monotonous band, they always had a great balance between power ballads and heavy songs but on this Digital Ghosts album the variation is huge. Opener With Honor sounds surprisingly familiar, the usual style you might say and I was pleased to hear that. But I wouldn't want to call it a rip off from their earlier material. Somehow they also manage to sound new and this also goes for the other tracks. Of course new vocalist Brian Ashland has a lot to do with this but besides that the band has taken a slightly new direction as a whole as well. With Honor isn't a very rough song but it's not a ballad either. Somewhere in between but most of all it's a very fine composition. With second track Venom they apparently had to prove they still have the balls as well, in that case the title is well chosen. Probably the loudest track on the album and comparable with the same titled song by Symphony X. Around the 3:40 mark of the song it even sounds a lot like the other great prog metallists, very striking ! Pain starts as a ballad but after a minute a touch of power is coming in. Overall it's a pretty quiet song but not in the vein of their splendid ballads on Room V. But for sure another great track. 4th Track Gold Dust again scores right in between a power ballad and a metal song. Somehow this song reminds me of their Tyranny release (3rd album) and I believe it's one of the strongest songs on this album, if not the very best. A great keyboard passage towards the six minute mark certainly helps for this positive feeling. Strong (5th track) takes care of a superb follow up to keep the fantastic flow of the album going. By now I'm convinced the band has succeeded with this 6th album and was right by going on after Mikes death. Title track Digital Ghost is another proof of that, another wonderful song and great composition. The chorus is coming back in one of the bonus tracks and sounds a bit annoying there but in this song it fits very well. Near the end of this long track the band suddenly sounds a lot like Ice Age with their fast guitar play. Last track of the original album is yet another half ballad, that is for the first half of the song. Second half is much more up tempo and isn't ballad-like at all. But it's absolutely a tremendous finish of a great album.

The bonus tracks that happen to be a part of my edition are a bit disappointing to be honest (especially In Your Window). Except for Two Shadows, one of the tracks that feature Mike Baker. If I would count them for the rating they would even push the verdict towards a three star possibility. But that wouldn' be really fair and I usually leave them out for my judgment. The 7 original tracks are really good enough for the four stars and remarkably enough this is the score they got from all prog reviewers so far. (Most of) the guest reviewers are somewhat more enthusiastic even but I don't feel this is a masterpiece like Room V. So 4 stars is ultimately the only outcome I can think of.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars With honor

After the previous Room V album, Mike Baker sadly passed away and left Shadow Gallery without a lead vocalist. They bravely soldiered on however and recorded this album, their last to date. The album opens with the superb, 10 minute With Honor featuring delightful Yes-like harmony vocals and Steve Howe-like guitar. Venom is a more straightforward Metal tune and not particularly interesting. Pain shifts back and forth between piano-based balladry and a simple heavy riff. The vocal performance on this song is sublime (reminding of Mike Baker's best moments), but the simplicity of the main riff subtracts from the song's overall value. It comes across as something like an average latter-day Deep Purple track! Gold Dust has some very nice keyboard parts but again the song as a whole is merely good and not too special. Strong continues in a similar fashion with a rather conventional riff. Don't get me wrong, all of these songs are indeed enjoyable - but it almost constantly feels as if you've heard it all before.

Not until the title track are we again approaching the quality of the very good opening track. These tracks are longer and more progressive than the tracks in the middle. There is in these longer tracks a Symphonic Prog influence as well as a certain jazziness. Haunted is a nice piano based semi-ballad with strong vocals, but again not too special or original.

This album is as good as Room V, but far behind earlier greats like Carved In Stone, Tyranny and Legacy.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Digital Ghosts ? 2009 (2.4/5) 8 ? Best Song: Venom (not counting the terribly rotten snarling turtle voice near the end) Why continue on? In the four years between Room V and this, their lead vocalist Mike Baker died. Instead of calling quits like any mediocre band with respect would, they de ... (read more)

Report this review (#441814) | Posted by Alitare | Monday, May 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars First of all I should say, Rest in Peace, Mike. I think this Album is what the fans have been waiting for! Excellent ideas and melodies once again, a very good replacement voice (although we will always miss Mike!), and of course when I first heard that Mike had some part in this album before his ... (read more)

Report this review (#284425) | Posted by Silentmanww | Tuesday, June 1, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When listening to it the first time it was not until the ending of the entitled song, when i realized that 46minutes had passed and my feeling was that i was still in the beginning of the album and said to me- this song is just one more way to end of the album, wow, do not let this satisfaction e ... (read more)

Report this review (#248457) | Posted by Silent Knight | Friday, November 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The very first note of this album will capture you completely & won't let go--from the lofty harmonies through the driving beats & furious guitar solos to the exquisite finish, "Digital Ghosts, the new album from Shadow Gallery, is a revelation. I'm a huge fan of music. I have a decent & eve ... (read more)

Report this review (#248431) | Posted by Nil17 | Friday, November 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars How do we define a musical masterpiece? I am listening to Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor as I write this review. Many critics will hail this (along with No. 41) as the pinnacle of his genius and it is clearly one of the most brilliant pieces of music ever written. Too often reviewers f ... (read more)

Report this review (#248333) | Posted by fishfire | Thursday, November 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I love Shadow Gallery. IMHO, Room V and Tyranny ranked among the best prog metal album in this decade. This album however is a big disappointment of this year. I must admit that I'm a bit too skeptical. Maybe it's because the great expectation, maybe I familiarized myself too much with Mike Ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#247404) | Posted by Jadittir | Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My first review and I'm a bit biased being a huge Shadow Gallery fan but after about 20 listenings of this CD I feel compelled to offer my .02Ē worth. First I was devastated to hear of Mike Baker's untimely passing. Because of this I awaited the release of this CD with both hope and trepidation. ... (read more)

Report this review (#247176) | Posted by jayzeb | Thursday, October 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I'm happy with this release over all I think Shadow Gallery did a fine job with this CD considering... The late Mike Baker was one of the finest voices in prog metal (if not the finest !) and simply can't be replaced easily so to a certain degree Shadow Gallery had to take a chance on a new singer ... (read more)

Report this review (#246762) | Posted by Yorkie X | Tuesday, October 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Like many recent "Prog Metal" bands, Shadow Gallery is full of ups and downs. However, Digitial Ghosts just may have moments that take you to heights where you might want to freeze forever, as well as enough downright ridiculous moments to make you wish the album was half it's length. To be ... (read more)

Report this review (#246759) | Posted by dtismajesty | Tuesday, October 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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