Album Reviews

The Shadow Theory – Behind The Black Veil

Released by Inside/Out Music

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Progressive Metal



Line Up:

Devon Graves – Vocals, Flute

Demi Scott – Keyboards

Arne Schuppner – Guitar

Kristoffer Gildenlöw – Bass

Johanne James – Drums


1. I Open Up My Eyes

2. The Sound of Flies

3. Ghostride

4. Welcome

5. By the Crossroads

6. Selebrate

7. Snakeskin

8. Sleepwalking

9. The Black Cradle

10. A Candle in the Gallery

11. A Symphony of Shadows

For those of you who are a little knowledgeable of the progressive metal scene in general, you will surely remember the name of Psychotic Waltz and front man Buddy Lackey. Waltz are what some purists still today considered one of the pioneers of the genre. It’s hard to put into words the sound of Devon Graves in that band back then, an unbelievably structurally layered piece of music was created then full of dark and gritty almost evil sounds.  It wasn’t the most accessible form of music possible at the time or easily digested but with similarly great music, with given time you found it’s true beauty.

Devon Graves eventually became involved with the alt metal band Dead Soul Tribe and released in a quick span of 5 years five records as well, which we’re critically acclaimed by the progressive world. Now he returns here with a new project titled The Shadow Theory and it’s debut record featuring some highly skilled players along side him. Guitarist Arne Schuppner joins the ranks here, alongside excellent drummer from Threshold Johanne James as well as former Pain of Salvation Kristoffer Gildenlöw hitting up the bass.

The new sound featured here manifests onto itself a mix of Thrash, Psychedelic and Symphonic Metal alongside dark folk moments of aggression and darkness. This new record plays like a soundtrack to a dark  journey through one’s deepest and inner struggles and fears. Such standouts like “Ghostride” start out soft and calm, but rapidly the rhythm changes into an  abrasive thrash assault of manic compulsion. The haunting hymns chorus in “Welcome” enriches your ears with both suspense and melody, a killer combination back ended by a great guitar riff. The melancholy eerie sounds of “Sleepwalking” keep the listener interested, alongside the symphonic arrangements.

Some good and bad things to point out about this release. The very obscure moods the story portraits are definitely worth mentioning, the added keyboard layers are very well played. In some spots though, the music seems a bit convoluted and uninspired it feels like an angry grunge alt metal all mixed into one big experimentation of ideas thrown together. While the overall concept storytelling is praiseworthy, some of the vocal delivery in the chorus parts feel a bit too low, likewise on parts where some growls are delivered they feel a tad unpolished. I felt like I was listening to a imitator of Opeth on certain parts but without the pure vocal aggression. Overall an ambitious effort for certain that perhaps needed a bit more refining in it’s delivery.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   7/10

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