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Shakary - The Last Summer CD (album) cover

THE LAST SUMMER

Shakary

 

Neo-Prog

4.00 | 37 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A Neo Prog Music with "powerful" compositions that would attract progressive metal fans !!!

"You've got nothing else to do than ..". That were the texts that I read at the first flip of the cardboard jewel of the CD. I continued to do the second flip and I found the continued texts " .slip into your heart .". When I spun the CD at the first time, I got the narration of that texts by a female voice. And what I got??? Oh my God . what is this? Another great offering of great Switzerland's band! (beside Circus, of course!). YOHAAAA man . this is really a great music, not only in terms of melody that usually come with neo progressive bands but also wonderful 'n' powerful composition man .!!!! In every second of music these guys play, you will find musical notes that form a nice composition - ready to KILL you!! I mean it man . I mean it! This album has so many segments with catchy melody. Wanna have some proof? Do not read this write-up, go and get this CD! You won't regret at all - regardless whatever musical taste you have: prog or not prog, you would love it!

Different Places (4:59) starts firmly with a female narration followed with ambient keyboard sounds. Suddenly the music turns into medium/heavy riffs - like prog metal riffs - that bring the music into a wonderful, fast tempo, instrumental opening with neo progressive style. It's quite funny actually for me as this band has been pigeon-holed as "neo" band but it has music riffs normally used by prog met band. I would say that this is "the neo prog band's interpretation of prog metal ..". But I tell you man, the riffs are so nice 'n' powerful that I'm sure whenever you listen to it, you wanna have it repeated! Yeah man, am sure about it! What that follow is a keyboard layers that accompany a stunning guitar solo combined with very nice vibes sound. It reminds me to Fish's "Shadow Play" of Internal Exile album. It's totally different but it shares similar nuance. It continues with a punchy organ sound that brings powerful vocal by Michael Branzino enters the music. So powerful. Only short lyrical part and it is then continued with great combination of keyboard solo with soft guitar and bass guitar riffs until the song completes nicely. I'm sure this track would attract prog metal lovers! Great song with unbeatable composition!

The Play of My Life (4:52) begins with a medium tempo music exploring piano and keyboard as main instruments followed with bit poppy vocal line. The organ sound reminds me to Procol Harum - it brings to an excellent guitar solo. The voice quality of lead singer is excellent. Right after the middle of the track, guitar solo takes the lead with high register notes augmented with keyboard sound.

Sparkles in the Dark (7:20) starts with a soundscape that depicts the train's railway sound followed with classical touch piano work to accompany low register notes voice line. Oh, what powerful voice! Melodic opening. At 2:25 there is a short organ work reminds me to seventies prog followed with stunning guitar solo. Oh man . I'm in full ecstasy with all harmonies and melodies produced by the guitar and keyboard sounds in this part. It turns into quieter passage with low tone vocals, piano and melodic keyboard solo. What surprises me is the solo by traditional instrument at the end of the track. It concludes the track beautifully.

Love Warchild of 64 (6:41) opens with soft guitar riffs (solo) and later combined with guitar rhythm and keyboard solo in weird melody but it produces excellent music harmony. It's amazing that the riffs are repeated over and over but the keyboard solo variations have made me feel involved with the music. The riffs stop when the voice line enters energetically and brings the music into another flow. Those riffs come back again in transitions before another verse of voice line returns to music.

Masks (6:44) has a melodic introduction that comprises piano solo followed with soft flute work by guest musician Gabriele Martini. The flute solo brings the voice line enters the body of the music. The music turns into quieter passage with nice piano solo and narration-like singing style. It flows gradually to the part that feture stunning guitar solo. Yeah .. it's a guitar solo that neo prog fans would love to enjoy. Very nice.

Two Days Left (5:26) begins with a cool combination of inventive and dynamic acoustic guitar work with voice line. The music suddenly turns into a louder sound with drums and catchy organ work at the back. Well, actually, I feel like disjointed by the time the music turn loud from acoustic opening because it seems like no connection at all. But when I forget about it, the music that follows is truly enjoyable, especially when guitar solo takes the lead augmented with organ sounds. The interesting thing is that the transition back into the introduction structure happens smoothly with some acoustic guitar work that brings the vocal returns back. The song ends with a piano solo. Beautifully crafted song.

Dreaming in L.A. (14:07) starts beautifully with powerful low register notes vocal accompanied by melodic clavinet sound. At the end of first lyrical verse, keyboard solo plays nice and melodic notes. When the drum enters, guitar inserts its sound nicely just before the vocal enters in higher notes. Flute plays excellent role in transition pieces, especially when the music turns into prog metal kind. The combination of guitar and piano solo is stunning. Structure-wise, this is the most complex composition compared to other tracks. But for sure, this song also produces many catchy segments during transitions and even during singing part. I do enjoy the instrumental piece at the ending part, demonstrating stunning guitar solo and keyboard solo accentuated by dynamic drumming.

SUMMARY

I'm not exaggerating when I'm saying that this album is highly recommended. Yes, there is a bit of conceptual problem especially on the smoothness of transition pieces in some tracks. But, overall it produces high quality music in the vein that is not purely neo prog because it has some exploration to progressive metal through beautiful riffs. Production is also excellent. I would rate this second album of Shakary with 4.75 out of 5 stars rating. I'm not na´ve or too generous. I might have prog ears that can fully enjoy a wide spectrum and varieties of prog music that quite often bring me to a musical ecstasy. Keep on proGGin' .!!!

BUY THIS ALBUM!

Progressively yours,

GW

Gatot | 5/5 |

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