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Yoke Shire - Masque of Shadows  CD (album) cover


Yoke Shire


Prog Folk

3.96 | 23 ratings

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3 stars From Boston, Massachusetts, comes this US band, fronted by two brothers, Craig and Brian Herlihy.It was 1993, when multi-instrumentalist Craig Herlihy came up with the idea of Yoke Shire along with his brother Brian (guitar, backing vocals).The duo enjoyed performing live with the help of session musicians and released the single ''A Foreshadowing'' in 1998.Both tracks of this single made it to the first album of the band ''Masque of Shadows'', recorded at West Sound Studios in New Hampshire and released in 1999 on Zygo Records.

A modern Psych/Folk/Heavy Progressive Rock album, ''Masque of Shadows'' by the Herlihy brothers (along with drummer Brad Dillon) proposes a unique but not always consistent blend of doomy Heavy Rock sounds, organ-driven Progressive Rock, Boogie Rock and American/Celtic Folk with often interesting results.What really spoils this effort are the mediocre vocals of the brothers, the musicianship on the other hand is mostly well-crafted.A combination of rough-edged Guitar Rock with plenty of Folk breaks, mostly based on mandolins, harmonica, flutes and dulcimers, which works well most of the time and is often mixed with prog aesthetics like synth passages, piano interludes and organ waves.The choruses are quite catchy on the opposite, trying to soften a bit the listening.A special mention for the nice mini-epic ''The Brook, the Mirror and the Maiden'', a great blend of flute-driven Acoustic Rock, synth-based Electronic Prog along with ethereal multi-vocal arrangements.

Not totally conveincing, ''Masque of Shadows'' is quite a daring step for Yoke Shire.Highly original material, which works nicely for the most of the listening but I dare to say the style needs something like a refinement.Still warmly recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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