Review Summary: Shadow Gallery just keep on improving in every aspect. Simply true progreesive metal.
4 of 4 thought this review was well written
With the tragic passing of Mike Baker almost a year ago, there were doubts that Shadow Gallery could continue to churn out another fine album without their late vocalist. With new vocalist, Brian Ashland, this doubt can be put aside. I would image Mike would be proud of this record as well as all the fans of this criminally under-appreciated band.
Despite rave reviews of their previous works, Shadow Gallery has never had the recognition they deserve. There are many reasons for this, but the main reason is that their name is simply not put out in the market. This may be a shortcoming of the label they are signed to, but also because they are strictly a studio only band. In any case, the quality of the music they create is all that matters. Despite all the setbacks that fall on them, they continue to sit with the best progressive metal bands out there.
From beginning to end, 'Digital Ghosts' seems to flow from track to track. This isn't a run of the mill cliché concept album, but rather a thematic album. The music, the vocals and lyrics intertwine with each other to create a vivid and haunting atmosphere, whilst also keeping the listener entertained. The album bears the hallmarks of Dream Theater's 'Awake'. Although 'Digital Ghosts' will have less of a massive impact as 'Awake' did on the metal scene, it still challenges the genre into being more accepting to bands that create melodic and dare I say it, 'beautiful' music. Shadow Gallery are intelligent enough to know that being labelled a 'Progressive Metal' band means that they have to rock, but also have the guts to try something different by adding various influences and elements into their craft. There are shades of influences ranging from Metallica to Queen to Pink Floyd. The main songwriters, Gary Wehrkamp, Brendt Allman and Carl Cadden-James are on top form here with their virtuostic technical abilities, but their most important contribution to the album is their restraint. Their ability write great songs without resorting to a speed fest is what separates this band from others.
Praise has to be given to Brian Ashland for not attempting to be a Mike Baker clone. His vocals do not have the warmth of Mike, however the strength of his voice is not lacking in any departments. His voice slightly resembles Geoff Tate of Queensryche, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Apart from a few technical issues, 'Digital Ghosts' is a resounding success because they manage to do something that most progressive metal bands do not; they progress for the better, not for the worse.
I purposely didn't write too much about the album because this is a 'Review', not a video game walkthrough.
If you want a detailed runthrough of the album, you should listen to it yourself. I just gave my impression of the album, which is usually what a music review is.
Thanks for reading it though.
Btw, I did upload a picture, but it not showing up....
No, you should definitely and always give far more detail. The purpose of the review is to help the reader decide whether or not to purchase the album. Music isn't free; that's why sites like this exist.
They released a new album that quickly after Mike's death? I had no idea.
I'll check this out. Review was decent for what it's worth, but more detail would be nice. You don't have to overdo it like say, my review for Room V but if I didn't already know Shadow Gallery well all I really would have gotten out of this was that the genre is Progressive Metal and their new singer resembles Geoff Tate.
I have most of SG's albums. You're gonna hate me for saying this. But what I always disliked about the band was the singer's voice. No doubt a very capable singer, but not hard enough for a band like this.
I will buy this album based on the reviews and hope the singer is a better fit to the great music of SG.
Can anyone tell me who the new singer sounds like?
I am sorry to say this but the singer sucks.
Shadow gallery would be one of my favourite bands if they had someone like Oliva singing (that would sound godlike like most power-progressive metal) but right now I can barely stand them.
I own this record anyway.
Brian Ashland is no Mike Baker, and is actually kind of annoying at points on the record. His overall performance is quite good, however, and the guest vocals were excellent throughout. This is very different from their usual stuff, much darker and heavier instrumentally for the most part, but really good stuff.
amirali: The new singer sounds somewhat like a bit of Roy Khan invaded Geoff Tate. Much fuller, lower-pitched voice than Geoff, but otherwise sounds quite similar to Mr. Tate. SG were in fact looking for someone like Geoff, and they succeeded - plus, Brian sings Mike's songs so incredibly well live.
This is a fantastic album that could still have used a tiny bit more diversity and atmosphere.