It took three years until American SHADOW GALLERY would release a follow-up to their ultra-brilliant, self-titled debut. That one still is a legend of the Prog Metal-genre and one had already written off the Americans, but then it came: "Carved In Stone".
The big question had been, could they keep up the damn high level of the debut or should they rather have remained in oblivion? The answer clearly is: They could!
From the very beginning this album has the inimitable SHADOW GALLERY-flair, borne by a powerful rhythm-section, heavy and intricate guitars, epic keyboards, which always strengthen the arrangement instead of drowning it in pomp, and the brilliant vocals of Mike Bake combined with the unique, multi-layered vocal arrangements, just world class!
The six Americans once more masterfully do the split between high musical demand and incredible accessibility, a challenge that most bands more or less miserably fail in taking on. No matter, if keyboards and guitars go into a duel ("CliffHanger"), they get balladesque ("Don't Ever Cry, Just Remember"), get heavy ("Celtic Princess") or unleash the almost 22-minute masterpiece "Ghostship", each note has its perfect place and for itself is a masterpiece as you may hold in hands only very, very rarely indeed.
None of the musicians pushes to the fore to showcase his extraordinary skills, but uses them only for the good of the songs, without losing musical class, this is truly progressive music, an extremely high standing union of man and music, which does not need any egocentrics to convince.
"Carved In Stone" is no second to "Shadow Gallery", is sounds different, but still is 100 per cent SHADOW GALLERY, I don't have to say anything more…