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Vespero - Shum-Shir CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.87 | 54 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Originally released digitally and on vinyl in 2017, this has now also been released on CD with some additional songs. This is the eighth full-length studio album by Russian band Vespero, and is the second in the 'Abyssinian Tales' series, following on from 2016's 'Lique Mekwas'. Apparently, 'shum-shir" is an ancient Ethiopian ceremony where every ten years the tribal elders and shamans would choose a new Nəgus' (King) for the entire tribe. This took the form of imbibing various drugs and dancing all night, and in the morning they would make the pronouncement. I continue to be impressed with the music coming out of Russia, and these guys are somewhat of a surprise to me as I felt I was fairly well informed, yet they have been around since 2003 and it is the first time I have come across them.

They are an instrumental outfit, with more than a hint of Ozric Tentacles about them, but the violin is more important than woodwind, and percussion more important than either. This is space rock, but they have also taken on many influences from world music and fusion, with the result being an album that is incredibly impressive and inviting, while also not conforming necessarily to what people may expect from the Russian music scene. I just continue to be impressed with the quality and variety of the music coming out from that particular part of the world, and this is yet another unknown (at least to me) outfit that demands further close inspection. Psychedelic, progressive, meandering yet with direction, this is an album that fans of bands such as Ozrics or Gong should be seeking out.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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