Shadow Gallery

Room V
(Inside Out Music)
Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1
Order Issue #8!  This review included.
In a showy display of musicianship, this very progressive release begins with a two-minute instrumental. They then progress right into a dual-vocaled male/female power ballad complete with flutes and such. The mood of this album is very up and down. Although there's nothing wrong with a good slow, emotional metal song, it's better when it's not every other song. And the key word is still "metal"; their slower songs are generally accoustic, and don't carry any of the heaviness or technical prowess that their other songs showcase. The instrumentals, which are also scattered throughout this 14 song disc, are impressive but could have been developed into even stronger songs with vocals and extra length. The order of the songs seems based on the album's continuous theme, but this leaves the middle of the album cluttered with mini-songs. Some are really good, like "Seven Years" which mixes traditional metal instrumentation with flutes and pianos to create a really complex and intricate sound. Others just sound like solos that could have been placed in another song.

The strength of this album, however, is their longer, heavier tracks, which are mostly clustered at the end of the album. They are very reminiscent at times of Dream Theater, but sometimes heavier. There are some really shredding heavy metal riffs on here, and some adventurous break-downs. The vocals are great too, with a lot of range and not a lot of annoying high notes. One of their vocalists' lower-pitched singing sounds eerily similar to Dave Mustaine, with his patented throaty voice and similar story-telling style.

Shadow Gallery have made some improvements since "Legacy" including stronger vocals, better defined songs, and a more modern sound. There's no doubt that they are experienced musicians in a genre that only the top musicians can survive in, and their many years of working together are evident in the tighness and precision of their sound. "Room V" will do well within the heavy progressive genre, but it's not quite heavy enough to draw in a mixed audience. --
Lady Enslain