Independent Release (WZ Records)

23 May 2019 by Martien Koolen

Can you recall classic progressive rock albums like ‘Carved In Stone’, ‘Tyranny’ or ‘Legacy’? These are all magic albums by Shadow Gallery, of which Gary Wehrkamp was the singer/guitarist, keyboarder and composer. Now that music “wizard” returns with a completely different album called ‘If It’s Real’, on which he worked together with no one less than Mark Zonder, drummer of the notorious prog metal band Fates Warning. However, do not expect a new Shadow Gallery-like album, which would also be nice, but ‘If It’s Real’ turns out to be a magnificent listening experience as the album is filled with melodic, emotional prog rock with rather dramatic lyrics. All of the ten songs were composed by Zonder and Wehrkamp except for ,,Goodnight” and ,,Last Place’, which are “solo” contributions of Gary Wehrkamp. When I listened to this album for the first time I really had to get used to it, but after a couple of spins I was completely into the album’s amazing music. Songs like ,,I Can’t Believe”, ,,It’s Not The End” or the title track are sheer raw emotion with top notch musicianship, meaning dramatic keyboards/piano passages and melodies, stunning vocals, beautiful percussion, excellent guitar work and most of all very gripping and indeed intense lyrics. Personal highlights for me are the longest track ,,It’s Not The End” (mysterious, filled with amazing melodies and a beautiful guitar solo), ,,Too Late” (Shadow Gallery-like with a great guitar solo) and ,,Two Years” , which is kind of “heavy” with excellent drums and guitar passages. ‘If It’s Real’ is not an easy album, as it is an album about introspection and discovery; it is a musical trip which you will and can enjoy over and over again and every time you listen to this album you discover something new and different. Listen to this amazing album with your headphones on in a comfortable chair and a glass of wine and it will be the ultimate listening experience of the year 2019!!!

#zonder #wehrkamp #independent #headbangerslifestyle #hbls #awayoflife

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