Shadow Gallery - Room V
Mass production is mass destruction. Most of you will probably know what I’m talking about: the never ending production of albums by a band that floats on commerce. It’s no use mentioning names, but there are loads of examples to be found out there.
But what when a band exists for 13 (thirteen!) years and has only produced 5 albums so far? Is that good or bad?
Shadow Gallery is such a band and their new album, ‘Room V’, is the subject of today’s analysis.
Shadow Gallery is a progressive metal band from the USA and with ‘Room V’, their fifth album saw the light of day.
The album continues in the same concept story where 1998’s ‘Tyranny’ ended.
First thing you begin to realize after the first session of listening to the album is that Shadow Gallery is not such a band of the temporary-rush-music you hear all the time nowadays.
Bands do their best to create melodies and riffs that will make you go crazy for a week or maybe two, but you’ll have forgotten after because it’ll become a case of ‘heard it, forget it’.
Well, Shadow Gallery may not produce many albums, but when they produce an album you know it’ll be special. A couple of examples.
‘Room V’ is started by ‘Manhunt’, an instrumental song that starts with a couple of fast, melodic solos and keyboard parts. Going from fast to slower parts, this song is certainly a good way to give people an idea of what the band is made of.
‘Comfort Me’, the second track is a whole lot different from the ‘metal’ instrumental. Singer Laura Jaeger and Shadow Gallery lead vocalist Mike Baker have the two leading roles in this beautiful ballad.
Then, nearly at the end of the disc, there’s the title song. With many different musical influences in it, ‘Room V’ is the track at which all other songs come together. But at the same time, I’d say this is the only song which could trigger that ‘heard it, forget it’ effect because of the slightly dominating, catchy chorus, were it not that it only comes by two times in the track, that lasts for over 7 minutes.
‘Room V’ has something to offer for every fan of progressive metal: speed, melody, technical solos, jazzy intermezzos and loads more.
Mike’s enchanting, soothing vocals suit the music more than I had imagined. At first, his vocals may sound a little out of place, but as this is music you have to sit down for to be able to fully enjoy, you’ll soon discover that the band couldn’t have picked a better voice for their music.
Many of the songs on this album are instrumentals or ballads, so I can imagine it won’t appeal to any progmetal fan immediately. But I encourage everyone to just give this record a listen and judge for yourself. As for me, this is an impressive example of skill, endurance and personality in this world of mindless commerce.
Shadow Gallery are:
Brendt Allmann – guitars, vocals
Mike Baker – lead vocals
Carl Cadden-James – bass, flute, vocals
Joe Nevolo – drums
Gary Wehrkamp – guitars, keyboards, piano, vocals
- Comfort Me
- The Andromeda Stain
- Birth Of A Daughter
- Death Of A Mother
- Seven Years
- The Archer Of Ben Salem
- Room V