Shadow Gallery: Shadow Gallery/Carved In Stone

The Pennsylvanians’ first brace, in a bargain bundle.

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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.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.