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Shadow Gallery - Tyranny CD (album) cover


Shadow Gallery


Progressive Metal

4.03 | 312 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars So far, "Tyranny" has to be regarded, IMHO, as Shadow Gallery's top achievement, and I'm saying this without any intention of dismissing the previous or posterior albums they released - it's just that this concept-album brings the best of the band in terms of songwriting, performing skills and progressive moods in a prog metal vein, and so it comes to be a prog metal masterpiece for the 90s. SG doesn't hide its influences from the prog metal (Dream Theater, Royal Hunt, Queensr˙che), classic prog (Pink Floyd, Kansas, Yes) or arena rock departments (Queen, Boston), but "Tyranny" sure shows the band achieving their own voice among the usual cliche of current prog metal. In no small degree is the renewed rhythm section (with teh entry of drummer Joe Nevolo) partially responsible for the enhancement of SG's most archetypical strong points, but we mustn't overlook the magic created by all performers at unison all thorughout the various emotions and thoguths displayed in the repertoire. The album's concept revolves aroud the deceitful use of patriotism by the powers-that-be (policital and economical) in order to keep them on top of the world and owning the world's resources: an idea that was valid in the perspective of the then finished Gulf War and is still valid nowadays, unfortunately (and that's when the sequel "Room V" comes in, but that's a matter for another review). The songs' linkage follows the road of discovery, disappointment and rebellion of the main character, a guy who used to accept the major political lines without further reflection and now feels obliged to take a marginal role as a techno-anarchist. Well, the brief yet incendiary instrumental 'Stiletto in the Sand' pretty much conveys the belicist atmosphere of the theme's landscape, an atmosphere fluidly followed by 'War for Sale', the fisrt sung track. The next two songs era not as intrepid in terms of tempo and heavyness, but they build a proper melodic approach to the main character's increasing skepticism. In the beuatiful ballad 'Hope for Us?' we find skepticism replaced by melancholy in a most majestic manner: the lead vocal lines, choral arrangements, piano phrases, orchestrations, the guitar adornments, all of them are impressively used for the song's mood. While slightly louder, 'Victims' continues with the preceding song's reflective spirit, which leads to the brief ballad 'Broken'. For the second part of the album things begin to get more sophisticated in a progressive point of view: the well-ordained epics 'I Believe' and 'Roads of Thunder' plus the dramatic epic 'New World Order' (special mention for guest D. C. Cooper) comprise some of the musical highlights in the album, full of complexity, electrifying stamina and solid energy. Among all this bombast, the ballad 'Spoken Words' brings an oasis of emotionally charged romanticism. In a very concept-album fashion, the frantic instrumental 'Chased' erupts after the final menace of 'New World Order' as an effective bridge toward the sequence of the last two songs. 'Ghost of a Chance' brings a serene reflection about the preservation of hope, having an interesting ballsy rockier climax; finally, 'Christmas Day' portrays a sense of loneliness and disillusion, with the piano assuming a leading role and the flute bringing subtle textures. A beautiful end for an excellent grand opus - this is SG at their very best.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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