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Alpha Flood – Shadow Theory (Kris Gildenlow)/A Symphony of Shadows

Shadow Theory

Kris Gildenlow is no stranger to  He’s been a regular around here.  Contributing to such projects as Samuel Arkan’s Epysode (along with wife Liselotte Hegt; review here) and Ian Parry’s Consortium Project V (review here).  And of course the prog world probably knows him best from Pain of Salvation.  However, his contributions go far and wide, mostly for obscure acts such as Arcana, Dial and Dark Suns.  Today, let’s talk about Shadow Theory.

Shadow Theory in and of themselves is a bit of a super-band project.  With Kris on bass, Devon Graves (best known by me as “Agony” on The Human Equation, but also the lead singer of Dead Soul Tribe) provides the vocals and is the creator of the project, recruiting another household prog name, Johanne James (Threshold) for drum detail.

So, from 2010’s Behind the Black Veil (a concept album, following a man from one horrific nightmare to the next), let’s have a listen to the closing track, A Symphony of Shadows.  Starting slowly with a piano melody and vocal harmonies that signals the end of this journey, this song feels exactly the way the title suggests it should.  It’s a tune that I could totally see used in a Tim Burton movie, with a dark and decrepit feel, yet buried within it is chaos and love; desperation and optimism; despair and hope.  The song itself feels like a contradiction, with almost an argumentative point/counter-point design to the lyrics, vocals and music.  Devon uses screams and growls perfectly (even though I personally am not a big fan of that vocal style), it fits the mood of this track like a glove.

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