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SHADOW GALLERY

Progressive Metal • United States


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Shadow Gallery biography
Shadow Gallery is a progressive metal band, which formed in Pennsylvania (USA) in the 1980's, originally under the name "Sorcerer". After changing their name to Shadow Gallery, the band recorded an 8-track demo, which helped them sign to Magna Carta Records in 1991. The band released their first proper EP of tracks a year later, with copies being sold in Europe and Japan aswell.

In late 1993, the band recruited a new musician to their course - Keyboardist and guitarist Gary Wehrkamp, and in 1994, added another virtuoso to their palette, drummer Kevin Soffera.
In 1995, the band released their second proper studio recording: CARVED IN STONE.
Shortly after, Shadow Gallery released another full length recording, titled TYRANNY (1998). This is a concept album, concerning itself deeply with politics. This album also features a guest appearance from vocalist James LaBrie (DREAM THEATER).

To follow up their latest hit, the band released LEGACY in 2001. Many fans consider this to be a marked change, displaying a more progressive, technical and focussed Shadow Gallery. This was the band's last recording under Magna Carta Records. This album also features many tracks with a more commercial taste, and although released between to concept records, stands as a collection of songs.

In 2005, the band returned with ROOM V, another concept record made to pick up where Tyranny's narrative left off. Many consider this album to be the band's ultimate success, only challenged by their 2009 release, DIGITAL GHOSTS. ROOM V also featured more guest work, mainly in the form of Arjen Lucassen (AYREON) on vocals for sections, and also contributing a guitar solo.

The band followed up their dark concept record with 2009's DIGITAL GHOSTS, another smash hit amongst metal fans. Many consider this to be their best album, and this also features a new member, vocalist Brian Ashland. This album blends symphonic rock, metal and progressive technical metal seemlessly.

Shadow Gallery can easily be enjoyed by any (prog) metal fan, and is one of the best prog acts of the decade.


Current Lineup:

Gary Wehrkamp - Piano, guitars, keyboards, vocals
Brendt Allman - Guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
Carl Cadden-James - Bass, vocals, flute, fretless bass
Chris Ingles - Piano, keyboards
Joe Nevolo - Drums
Brian Ashland - Vocals

Former members:
Mike Baker - Vocals
Kevin Soffera - Drums


DISCOGRAP...
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TyrannyTyranny
Magna Carta 1998
Audio CD$10.77
$1.98 (used)
Room VRoom V
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$7.91
$5.75 (used)
Digital GhostsDigital Ghosts
Inside Out U.S. 2009
Audio CD$11.36
$8.38 (used)
Carved in StoneCarved in Stone
Magna Carta 1995
Audio CD$10.60
$3.59 (used)
LegacyLegacy
Magna Carta 2001
Audio CD$9.99
$7.95 (used)
Prime CutsPrime Cuts
Limited Edition
Magna Carta 2007
Audio CD$4.85
$7.91 (used)
Shadow GalleryShadow Gallery
Import
2003
Audio CD$22.70 (used)
Shadow GalleryShadow Gallery
Import · Remastered
King Japan 2011
Audio CD$30.03
$39.26 (used)
Carved In Stone (Japan edition)Carved In Stone (Japan edition)
Import
Magna Carta/Roadrunner/Jasrac
Audio CD$38.77
$19.64 (used)
Shadow Gallery : LegacyShadow Gallery : Legacy
BMG by Ukraine ( made in Ukraine)
Audio Cassette$15.00
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SHADOW GALLERY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SHADOW GALLERY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.42 | 129 ratings
Shadow Gallery
1992
3.82 | 163 ratings
Carved In Stone
1995
4.14 | 234 ratings
Tyranny
1998
3.71 | 144 ratings
Legacy
2001
4.13 | 327 ratings
Room V
2005
3.90 | 198 ratings
Digital Ghosts
2009

SHADOW GALLERY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SHADOW GALLERY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SHADOW GALLERY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.71 | 13 ratings
Prime Cuts
2007

SHADOW GALLERY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SHADOW GALLERY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Shadow Gallery  by SHADOW GALLERY album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.42 | 129 ratings

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Shadow Gallery
Shadow Gallery Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars First release selftitled from 1992 of already legendary prog metal band Shadow Gallery is a very promising debut in prog metal realm. I really like a lot this one, being very close in consistency of what they will offer later on. Even the sound is not exactly a very solid one, the compositions really smoke from start to finish. Pieces like The dance of fools, Darktown and the lenghty The queen of the city of ice are strong prog metal pieces with nice changes in tempo and some killer keyboards. The keyboards arrangements here are really great, and the vocal parts and guitar aswell. Bombastic symphonic passages are very well melted with prog metal elements all in good measure and with fine musicinship. This is more then ok material, oftently unnoticed in prog metal circles, all the eyes were on Dream Theater second album Images and words back then who re invent the prog metal scene with that album and Shadow Gallery debut released same year were kinda left in the shadow. Definetly one of the best debut albums in prog metal scene for sure. From me easy 4 stars, in same league with their later releases. Carved in stone btw remaining to me at least, their most acomplished work and one of top 5 prog metal albums ever .

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 Tyranny by SHADOW GALLERY album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.14 | 234 ratings

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Tyranny
Shadow Gallery Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Shadow Gallery's first concept album presents a near future techno-thriller plot and a musical style that is best described as a mingling of the complexity and virtuosity of Dream Theater with the ballsy grit of classic Queensryche. It's an entertaining listen which will please most fans of those giants of prog metal but doesn't really expand the bounds of the genre much; on top of that, it begins to lose steam towards the end, with songs such as Spoken Words and New World Order getting downright repetitive and in dire need of a bit of editing. Still, if you want a cheesy conspiracy thriller concept album I'm sure there are worse choices.

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 Prime Cuts by SHADOW GALLERY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
1.71 | 13 ratings

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Prime Cuts
Shadow Gallery Progressive Metal

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Excellent, but almost completely unnecessary

Two stars is the default rating for compilations that primarily contain only previously released material. The present compilation features only one previously unreleased track and this track is the sole reason why anyone should bother with this release at all. This previously unavailable track is a demo from the recording sessions of my favourite Shadow Gallery album, Carved In Stone. The rest of the tracks here were taken from Shadow Gallery's studio albums on the Magna Carta label. That is, their first four albums. All of these albums are excellent and the music found on Prime Cuts is thus of the very highest quality. But even if they work surprisingly well outside of their original settings, these songs are better heard on the original studio albums.

The self-titled debut is represented with two tracks: The Final Hour and Say Goodbye To The Morning. Carved In Stone, too, is represented with two tracks: Deeper Than Life and Don't Ever Cry, Just Remember. Four tracks from Tyranny are featured, one of which is mislabeled Mystery. In fact, it is not Mystery but Out Of Nowhere that opens this compilation. The other three tracks from Tyranny are Ghost Of A Chance, Hope For Us? and New World Order. Finally, Legacy is represented with three tracks, two of which are edited versions (The Crusher and Colors) of the original album tracks. The third inclusion from Legacy is the title track. The previously unreleased demo is called Rule The World and is good but not up to par with the cuts that actually made it onto the Carved In Stone album.

In my opinion, the albums from which these tracks were taken are Shadow Gallery's best albums and the selections are indeed excellent music. But I strongly recommend to get the original studio albums instead on this compilation. Only if you are a true fan would you need to get this in order to hear Rule The World.

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 Shadow Gallery  by SHADOW GALLERY album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.42 | 129 ratings

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Shadow Gallery
Shadow Gallery Progressive Metal

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Mystified

I have now reviewed all of Shadow Gallery's studio albums and for some reason I left this self-titled debut album for last. While there seems to be a consensus on that this album displays a somewhat less mature Shadow Gallery compared to subsequent albums (and I agree with this as well), I must add that this is a very promising debut indeed. On the first few listens it was inevitable to compare this album with the fantastic ones that came after it and as such this debut initially suffers somewhat. However, on further listens this albums holds up extremely well in its own right and constitutes another great album by this wonderful band. Indeed, I enjoy this more than the most recent couple of albums by the band.

Most of the elements that made later albums so great are already here including the influences from classic Symphonic Prog (Kansas comes to mind), Classic Rock (Queen-like harmony vocals) and Neo-Classical Metal (Yngwie Malmsteen), strong vocals (often reminding of Geoff Tate of Queensryche) and instrumental prowess. They would perfect this style on Carved In Stone, but already here it is very successful. If I must complain about something it would be about the quality of the recording which could be better. But the quality of the material and the performance of the band more than makes up for it.

Highly recommended in addition to subsequent albums. A great start for a great band!

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 Digital Ghosts by SHADOW GALLERY album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 198 ratings

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Digital Ghosts
Shadow Gallery Progressive Metal

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 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.

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 Room V by SHADOW GALLERY album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.13 | 327 ratings

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Room V
Shadow Gallery Progressive Metal

Review by 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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 Legacy by SHADOW GALLERY album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.71 | 144 ratings

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Legacy
Shadow Gallery Progressive Metal

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Don't cry, just remember

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

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

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

Highly recommended in addition to Carved In Stone and Tyranny

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 Tyranny by SHADOW GALLERY album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.14 | 234 ratings

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Tyranny
Shadow Gallery Progressive Metal

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars I believe

While not as wide-ranging and varied as the masterpiece that was Carved In Stone, Tyranny is indeed another great Shadow Gallery album. They seem to have matured a bit, but this maturity is something of a double-edged sword in this case. On the one-hand the end product is very professional and polished, but on the other hand they have also streamlined their sound somewhat and evened out some of the dramatic twists and turns that made Carved In Stone such an exhilarating musical journey. Don't get me wrong though, Tyranny is a very solid album. The material is powerful and melodic.

The album is conceptual and split into two "acts". The first act is the best one and runs very smoothly. The lead vocals again remind of Geoff Tate of Queensryche but the musical influences are more towards Queen, Kansas and Dream Theater (especially Images And Words). The harmony vocals are gorgeous and blend very well with the riffs and solos. James LaBrie from Dream Theater makes a brief guest appearance towards the end of the album and there are some other guests as well including some female vocals that were a bit misplaced for me. Overall, I think that the album loses steam towards the end and it could have been shortened somewhat for a stronger impact. Still, this is a highly enjoyable album.

Highly recommended!

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 Carved In Stone  by SHADOW GALLERY album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.82 | 163 ratings

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Carved In Stone
Shadow Gallery Progressive Metal

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 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

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 Shadow Gallery  by SHADOW GALLERY album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.42 | 129 ratings

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Shadow Gallery
Shadow Gallery Progressive Metal

Review by VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was one of the first bands I stumbled across when I was first delving into the modern progressive rock scene, and this was the first album by Shadow Gallery that I picked up. Since then, I've gotten Tyranny and Digital Ghosts as well, but this one remains my favorite.

This is classified here as progressive metal, but there's quite a bit of symphonic influence here as well. "The Dance of Fools" shows this quite well, with a lot of the instrumentals seeming to my ears at least to channel Kansas. "Darktown," the second longest track on the album, starts off with a fairly standard prog-metal sounding intro which briefly features some very interestin Tull-esque flute work. From there, the track slows down for a vocal section before building back up in intensity again. The track alternates between these themes for the remainder of its duration, culminating in a very satisfying nine minute track. Following that is "Mystified," which, after a brief introductory section, reveals itself to be one of the more commercial sounding tracks lyrically, though, at seven minutes, it's still a very dynamic track. "Questions at Hand" ups the tempo, starting off with a guitar intro very reminiscent of Iron Maiden, and continues much in the same vein to be probably the most straight up metal track. "The Final Hour," is fairly forgettable, in my opinion, with a bit too much shredding, but it was written and composed by clearly talented people and it works where it is in the album. Not anything special but nothing bad either. "Say Goodbye to the Morning" is another one where I can hear shades of Kansas, but some of the keyboards definitely have a Genesis feel to them as well. The chorus is a bit more traditionally prog metal. One of the highlights of the album for sure. Finally, we get to the 17 minute finale, "The Queen of the City of Ice," an excellent closer to the album. This is pretty much a straight symphonic track, there's almost no metal here but that's perfectly fine. Sections are, again, highly reminiscent of Genesis, although in a few parts it also sounds a bit like Dream Theater's epic track "A Change of Seasons," which is interesting since this album was released three years before that DT disk. A fantastic closer which is undiminished by a spoken word section in the middle, something that is usually not a good idea but works here.

I have to mention briefly how highly I regard Mike Baker's vocals, especially on this album. I had initially heard him on Ayreon's "The Human Equation," (actually how I found out about this band) on which he sings in an intentionally grating way, so I was a bit concerned about how he would sound on this album. Needless to say, my fears were unfounded. Sometimes sounding a bit like Queensr˙che's Geoff Tate but also capable of a delicateness Tate could never match, the vocals are stellar here and progressive rock truly lost a great talent when Baker died of a heart attack at 45. Just listen to the beginning of "The Dance of Fools" and you'll understand what I mean.

A really, really, good album from the early 90s and if everything was on par with "The Dance of Fools," "Say Goodbye to the Morning," and "The Queen of the City of Ice," this would be a five star record. Highly reccomended, but falls just short of a masterpiece.

4/5

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