Now available as a limited edition double-CD set, these were the first two albums from this veteran Pennsylvanian prog metal troupe, and when reassessing them it’s important to remember that Shadow Gallery were really sailing against the wind.
The term progressive metal scarcely existed in the early 90s, but here was a band echoing the majesty of Yes, Genesis and Floyd, and channelling those influences through the spectrum of hard rock and metal. (No wonder that, before being unearthed by shred messiah Mike Varney, they had been a tribute act covering Yngwie Malmsteen and Rush.) Their eponymously titled debut was issued in April 1992, a year when flannel shirts and self-flagellation were in vogue. But Shadow Gallery knew what they liked and liked what they knew. The nine-minute Darktown begins with a flourish of bassist’s Carl Cadden-James’ flute, before exploring luxuriant keys and soaring guitar arpeggios. Its five-part, 17-minute epic The Queen Of The City Of Ice is ‘none more prog’, and three years later they trumped themselves with 22-minute whopper Ghostship. If you own neither of these little gems then now’s the time to put that right.