Room V

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Room V
Studio album by Shadow Gallery
Released June 7, 2005
Genre Progressive Metal
Length 75:01
Label InsideOut
Producer Carl Cadden-James, Gary Wehrkamp, and Shadow Gallery
Shadow Gallery chronology
Legacy
(2001)
Room V
(2005)
Prime Cuts
(2007)

Room V is the fifth album by the progressive metal group Shadow Gallery, released in 2005 (see 2005 in music). It continues the story started in Tyranny, picking up after Tyranny's Act II. It is the band's first album not featuring longtime keyboardist Chris Ingles, although he did have input in the album's writing process before his departure.[1] It is also their last album to feature longtime lead vocalist Mike Baker, who died of a heart attack in 2008.

The cover art was done by Rainer Kalwitz, who also did the art for Tyranny.[2]

Track listing[edit]

Act III:

1. "Manhunt" – 2:07
2. "Comfort Me" – 6:49
3. "The Andromeda Strain" – 6:44
4. "Vow" – 8:25
5. "Birth of a Daughter" – 2:38
6. "Death of a Mother" – 2:13
7. "Lamentia" – 1:02

Act IV:

8. "Seven Years" – 3:35
9. "Dark" – 1:01
10. "Torn" – 8:21
11. "The Archer of Ben Salem" – 7:26
12. "Encrypted" – 7:59
13. "Room V" – 7:42
14. "Rain" – 8:59

Plot[edit]

Manhunt[edit]

This is an instrumental track. The story begins where it was left off. Eight hours later, the Man is still running and hiding from the government and searching for his "lover".

This song is as fast as the song "Chased" from Tyranny. The fourth quarter of the song resurrects the piano melody from "Christmas Day", as the time is still Christmas. "Manhunt" ends with a calmed section like "Chased".

Comfort Me[edit]

At last, the Man joins his lover (portrayed, again, by Laura Jaeger). Both are tired of running and hiding, but they realize how comfortable and safe they feel when they're together, and believe their. So, they promise one another to be always together.

The Andromeda Strain[edit]

Her journal reveals her past. She was previously working on a cure for a weaponized version of smallpox. She used her own DNA to create a serum that can cure it. However, she stumbled on evidence that her employer wanted to cause a small outbreak of the disease to drive up demand for the serum before they release it. She stole the formula, sabotaged her work and ran away from them, putting her in the situation she was in at the start of Tyranny.

The title of this track is a clear reference[citation needed] to the book The Andromeda Strain, although it is not based on the book itself.

Vow[edit]

Soon the Man proposes to her, and the two get married, hoping to forget their past lives.

Birth of a Daughter[edit]

This is the second instrumental track and, as its title implies, the Woman has given birth to a daughter named Alaska. The song builds towards a brief moment of calm, happy ambience as Alaska is born.

Death of a Mother[edit]

This is the third instrumental, and the sequel to the previous track. It opens with a sudden mood change from happy to dark, and the sound of a heart monitor which soon flatlines, leading into a chaotic instrumental that ends with wrenching guitar solos. As its title points, the Woman has died in childbirth, leaving the Man alone with his daughter.

Lamentia[edit]

The Man is broken, as his wife promised she would never leave during "Comfort Me", but she left so soon. The vocal arrangement is identical to "Comfort Me" as the Man remembers this broken promise. He claims that she is in the hands of God, while he must live in this world.

Seven Years[edit]

This is the fourth instrumental, and as its title indicates, seven years have passed since the Woman's death. The Man's daughter has grown healthy. The mood is lush and innocent.

Dark[edit]

This is the fifth and final instrumental. The peaceful life of the Man changes as a shattering window and a very high pitched scream is heard. Beside the scream, it can be heard that the word "daddy" is shouted twice. The remainder of the piece is dark ambience.

Torn[edit]

The Man enters the room, only to find out that Alaska was kidnapped, and all of his emotions are let loose. He says he never heard the scream, and starts to curse the kidnappers. He wonders himself if he can ever escape from his past. Although he knows it is likely that the culprit is the New World Order, who would have staged the kidnapping to draw the Man out, his daughter is the only thing that matters in his life now.

The Archer of Ben Salem[edit]

In the early morning the Man heads out into the forest determined to bring Alaska back alive, but he sees a soldier with a crossbow aimed at him. The Archer (portrayed by Carl Cadden-James), from a special U.S. Special Forces segment fighting the New World Order (who chased the Man previously on Tyranny), has come with news.

He reveals that the smallpox virus is in the wrong hands, and that they have tried to recreate the serum, but they haven't achieved it. So the Archer reveals that he also carries the same rare blood his wife had, implying Alaska has this blood too, and that her blood is essential to create a vaccine.

The Archer also reveals that the Man's wife didn't die naturally, but she was killed by Mossad, the Intelligence from Israel, to steal blood from her (from the baby; they stole some blood from the Woman's womb). The Archer discloses that the New World Order organization is behind all this, and that U.S. Special Forces have a key mission for the Man to perform.

Encrypted[edit]

The Archer takes the Man to a well hidden town, to the back room of a library. Here the Man works on the serum, shaping encrypted lines, as the Archer stands guard. It is here that he discovers that the NWO is planning to unleash the plague, and sell the serums to those fortunate enough to pay the high fees for it. When the Man has finished, a scientist takes the disc and nods his head.

It is also revealed that the codeword and keyword for the serum are "Room V" and "Tyranny" respectively; the Man uses this information to organize a resistance.

Room V[edit]

The Man forms a band of six members, which are actually Shadow Gallery themselves (in an act of breaking the fourth wall), and it is implied that Mike Baker is equivalent to the Man. They write the serum key into Tyranny and Room V, knowing that because of Shadow Gallery's underground status, they can deliver the serum to the world without the New World Order knowing about it. A brief binary code is listed in the album booklet to the left of the song lyrics. The listeners are urged to join the resistance themselves by supporting Shadow Gallery. A five-minute jam session ends the song and fades into the sound of rain.

Rain[edit]

As the Man has finished his work with the U.S. Special Forces, he continues to search for his lost daughter within the woods of Alaska. His entire mission may have saved the world, but it also has destroyed everything he has ever lived for - hence the metaphor "Their antidote is poison". He is tired of this world and this life, and begs to his dead wife for her shelter. It is implied that the Man may have died at the end, but his ultimate fate and that of Alaska's is left open-ended.

Special edition[edit]

The limited edition set includes a second disc. In addition to a multimedia segment titled The Story of Room V that can be accessed on a computer's CD ROM are these tracks:

  1. "Joe's Spotlight" – 3:06
  2. "She Wants to Go Home" – 2:40
  3. "Memories" (Demo) – 1:59
  4. "Rain" (Acoustic Version) – 5:53
  5. "Floydian Memories" – 24:36
    1. Pigs on the Wing (Part I)
    2. Fearless
    3. Mother (The Post War Dream/Thin Ice)
    4. Bike
    5. Brain Damage
    6. (Tienneman's Square/Goodbye Blue Sky)
    7. Point Me at the Sky
    8. Your Possible Pasts
    9. Shining On (guitar solo by Arjen Anthony Lucassen)
    10. One in the Crowd
    11. Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict (distant banter)
    12. Baby Lemonade (with guitar riff from Another Brick in the Wall)
    13. Welcome to the Machine (with interspered vocalization from Wish You Were Here)
    14. Summer of '68 (instrumental)
    15. Sheep (sung by Arjen Anthony Lucassen)
    16. Julia Dream
    17. Comfortably Numb (guitar solo by Gary Wehrkamp)
    18. Cymbaline
    19. Corporal Clegg (with interspersed vocalization from The Great Gig in the Sky)
    20. Mother Reprise
    21. Wot's... Uh the Deal? (with Wish You Were Here segue)
    22. The Fletcher Memorial Home (Paranoid Eyes/The Final Cut)
    23. On the Turning Away
    24. Pigs on the Wing (Part II)
  • The track "Joe's Spotlight" is a drum solo performed by Joe Nevolo.
  • The track "She Wants to Go Home" is an instrumental track.
  • The track "Floydian Memories" is a big medley composed by Pink Floyd songs extracts, though some parts are not:
    • There is no song or song segment named "Tienneman's Square" composed by Pink Floyd. It is uncertain if the band misspelled (on purpose or not) the name of the famous Tiananmen Square. It's "And I grief for my sister" fragment from solo Roger Waters track "Watching TV".
    • The section "Baby Lemonade" is a song composed by an ex-Pink Floyd member, Syd Barrett.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
ProgArchives 4.13/5 stars[3]

Personnel[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Laura Jaeger - vocals on "Comfort Me"
  • Libby Molnar - part of Alaska on "Dark"
  • Mark Zonder - drums on "One in the Crowd" and a portion of "Floydian Memories"
  • Arjen Lucassen - vocals throughout "Floydian Memories"; guitar solo in "Seven Years" and in the extract "Shining On"
  • Jim Roberti - vocals throughout "Floydian Memories"
  • Joe Stone - first guitar solo on "The Archer of Ben Salem"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rademacher, Brian. "Interview with Mike Baker", Rockeyez, May 5, 2005. Retrieved on December 3, 2013.
  2. ^ Kalwitz, Rainer. link, DeviantArt, 2005. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  3. ^ . www.progarchives.com http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=7550. Retrieved 2014-05-08.  Missing or empty |title= (help)