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Shakary - Shakary 2006 CD (album) cover

SHAKARY 2006

Shakary

 

Neo-Prog

3.87 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Shakary was a kind of personal project by ex Clepsydra guitarrist Lele Hofmann, bassist Scandy and Sandor Kwiatkowski (lyrics and artwork), plus assorted musicians. Their sound was a delightful mix of symphonic and neo prog (influences detected were the usual suspects: Yes, Gabriel era Genesis, Camel, Pink Floyd and early Marillionm, but not copying any of them). They released two excellent works: Alya (2000) and The Last Summer (2004). Shakary 2006 .is a partial re-recording, and total remixing and remastering of those two CDs in a double album. I was not really sure if I should buy this ´new´CD since I had both orginal works and I liked them very much (for some reason I can´t explain why I did not review neither of them!).

But after listening to it just for some seconds I knew i had to have it. Shakay 2006´s production is at least five times better than both early recordings. Besides, the music here is not simply a copy of the two aforementioned works. It contains much reworked parts and most fat was left out. Alya, for instance, was a double CD I always thought that could easily be reduced to a single one for its own benefit. Although its new recording includes only 9 tracks instead of the 16 original ones, its essence remains much the same. The Last Summer contains basicly the original numbers, but this time the tracklist order and some instrumental parts were altered.

The vocals were totally revamped, singer Noel McCalla (Manfred Mann´s Earth Band and Mike Rutherford) taking the place of Clepsydra´s Aloisio Maggini (who had sang on Alya only). His voice is very good and worked very well on both works. McCalla´s delivering is very emotional, he has a fine technique and never overdoes it. Great choice of pipes! The music itself remains more or less the same: brilliant guitar work by Hofmann (a little heavier than what he did on Clepsydra, but not much), lots of wonderful, retro sounding keyboards runs, a very consistent and versatile rhythm section. The use of a few extra musicians providing some violin, flute, trumpet, flugelhorn and bagpipes is very well dosed.

The songwrtiing is top notch: accessible, but very intricated tunes, lots of shifting moods and time changes, strong themes, beautiful melodies, inspired and tasteful arrangements. Quite surprising music and not a single boring minute. The lyrics are much into cristian beliefs but that does not bother me at all, they were well done too.

Conclusion: I found the overall result here better than the originals and justifies all the trouble they had to rework so many parts. What was very good then became excellent now. If you´re into high caliber, melodic symphonic rock you should not miss this one. It may take a little time to get into it, but once you do, chances are you become addicted to it.

Final rating: something between 4,5 and 5 stars. Highly recommended!

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |

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