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Shalash Band - Kabyokh CD (album) cover


Shalash Band


Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 3 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Despite overall having enjoyed what Shalash band had put out with their 2018 self-titled album, with the way it fused elements of progressive electronic in with its more simplistic, melodic instrumental prog sound, I still did find it to be appealing more in the sense of it being an intriguing blueprint that could lead to greater results in the future if the potential had been fulfilled. Glad to say that even though this ends up going in a pretty different direction to what I expected, it nonetheless sounds like a really engaging evolution of what was done well with the band's debut, being able to bring a set of more varied, complex compositions to the table while still undoubtedly leaning into their more immediately ear-grabbing, melodic edge that gave the debut a lot of its flavour. The big notable difference this time around is that rather than being so deeply invested in electronics and synths as the accompanying aesthetic, there's a distinct jazz element to a lot of this, something which is immediately introduced in the opening track, which a variety of brass instrumentation as its central driving force. These solos and interweaving melodies are backed nicely by the percussion giving a strong sense of uplifting energy to the whole song, which is something that quickly is established to be a vital theme to the album as a whole, this bright, hopeful sound that persists no matter what's going on.

I also appreciate the added emphasis on this atmosphere through the playful attitude that the band approaches a lot of these songs with. This doesn't just surface with the frequent switch ups or the way that the band always sounds like they're having the time of their life with the way they're playing a bit loosely while maintaining a tight grip over the direction of each song, but also with stuff like the brief deviation into a rock n roll groove on We See Them. Moments like this often come a bit out of nowhere while maintaining enough cohesion to contribute to the album's feel on the whole as well, helping to further contribute to that carefree, uplifting sound that is perpetuated. With this said, I don't fully adore this either, though I know that this is more of a personal taste thing as opposed to anything I can specifically pick out that's wrong with this album. I think that a couple more moments in the vein of Kalinka where the band would go all out with a more intense sound in places would do wonders for this to further break up the sound, or at the very least more sparingly choosing to implement everything at once to further differentiate one song from the next, but for what this is going for, I still enjoy it and think that it's a neat way to further refine an already promising set of concepts into something more full formed. Looking rather forward to seeing what happens next with Shalash band, because this was a pleasant surprise.

Kempokid | 4/5 |


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