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*Shels - Sea Of The Dying Dhow CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.12 | 40 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When power and subtleness meet

Can you imagine an album in which you can literally swim in its music? For me, this is such an album.

The interplay of electro-acoustic guitars with the devastating heavy riffs of the electric guitars is a great ear-catcher. Done very well and makes for a great listening experience. This band puts emphasize on emotion, melody and power in their music. Crushing upon you with their heaviness is not the only thing they know how to do; they also deliver smoother and softer facets, creating beautiful soundscapes of marvelous power and beauty.

The music can come tumbling upon you like a ton of bricks (The White Umbrella Part 2). The riffs are just like I love them; crunchy, heavy, raw and wide. But here is also the good thing about these guys; there's no dominance of the heavy upon the subtle. On the contrary, where softness is needed, it is given its place; in the aforementioned song, the light and delightful part follows the heavy one and they co-exist together so well. The switch is natural, flowing easily from one to the other. The vocals are mostly on the clear and malleable side, fitting very well with the two opposing facets of the music, those being the soft where they enhance it and the harsher where they contrast it. When they are on the more ferocious side, they are very well done, fit the music perfectly and add to the rawness of the sound and to the volume of the music. Another good thing here is that it is not a shiny and clean production; rather it is crispy, hard edged and somewhat raw, whether in the overall sound or specifically in the guitar riffs.

I find that I make the most of listening to this album during night time; there is fantastic soundscape weaving here and a great interplay of mellow and harsh. It is an album that is pretty accessible but that needs several listens to appreciate its beauty and intricacies, mainly due to its length. There is a very good balance between the scenic musical soundscapes and the more song-oriented songs which makes for a well equilibrated album and a varied sounding album.

This album has all the right elements, and all act synergistically to create what is an exceptional listening experience. This is not a simply metal release; it is an exercise in texture making, in layering, and in building tension through contrast while actually reaching harmony. Powerful is a word that is used often, but in this case, the word does not only describe the metal elements, but also the emotions the music elicits. Last but not least, the art of composing an appealing tune is applied here throughout the album; melody is oozing from each moment of each track. It is compelling and haunting music; such that stays with me after the album is done and which makes me want to come back and listen to it again.

What you should do: Get this album, dim the lights, put this cd in your player, sit down, close your eyes and be carried away by and with the music.

More than 4 stars...

avestin | 4/5 |


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