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Shadow Gallery - Digital Ghosts CD (album) cover

DIGITAL GHOSTS

Shadow Gallery

 

Progressive Metal

3.84 | 252 ratings

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progrules
Prog Reviewer
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.

progrules | 4/5 |

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