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Shaman Elephant - Crystals CD (album) cover

CRYSTALS

Shaman Elephant

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.94 | 16 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Heavy Prog Team
4 stars The problem sometimes with gem albums is that they get released in December and thus missed off our top lists. This needs to stop. Shaman Elephant add another worthy progressive rock album to the thriving scene of Norway. If prog rock is your destination, Bergen is the place to be, not sure what's in the water over there...

The title track carries a captivating main riff that reminds me of Sabbath's most uplifting moments and despite its 8+ mins duration its a track you would easily call "trippy" and would accommodate you on your drives. 'Shaman in the Woods' plays with late 60's psychedelia on a lethargic, druidic (sic) tempo; Woodstock, elephants, purple haze and you get the picture. Sounds like a lot of Rise Above Records artists who have developed a keeness of folk and paganism. 'IAB' is back on elevated grooves with semi-distorted riffs crossing Hendrix and indie rock infused with enough keyboards to differentiate it from the typical heavy rock sound. 'Tusco' bears the highest resemblance to co-Bergeners Seven Impale; the keys and slight distortion give it away while the track floats on a delightful and melodic smooth jazzy pattern of Mahavishnu Orchestra meets The Tangent. A creeping, doomy riff appears in the first 2 minutes of 'The Jazz' before giving way to a psych mid-tempo which would make Atomic Rooster proud of their legacy. Perhaps the only complaint is the rather unecessary couple of last minutes. The closer 'Stoned Conceptions' is a heavy blues epic in the vein of Led Zeppelin (...Since I've Been Loving You...) that attempts to, but only really does, kick off with a slight quickening and guitar solo in the last 3 minutes, resembling to the opener and thus finely completes the circle.

I can't really see why a prog fan would not enjoy this groovy roadtrip; particulary recommended to fans of Seven Impale albeit with a more straightforward, heavy psych and proto-prog vibe. A band to watch.

aapatsos | 4/5 |

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