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Shaa Khan - The World Will End On Friday CD (album) cover


Shaa Khan


Heavy Prog

3.54 | 29 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Shaa Khan's `The World Will End On Friday' could easily be listed as Neo-prog in addition to heavy prog! To me it sounds quite similar to the later neo bands like IQ, and therefore of course Genesis, with lead vocalist having a tone quite similar to IQ's Pete Nicholls in the quieter and more emotional moments. The band frequently uses majestic melodic guitar similar to that band too. There's a bit more emphasize on harder rock moments, with spacey moments similar to Pink Floyd and Eloy, in addition to other harsh vocals much like Birth Control. But they do have their own sound, and are not mere clones of those other bands in any way.

Beginning with strange electronics, gentle percussion and subtle bass, `White Room' sets up a very eerie mood similar to `Nursery Cryme' era Genesis. Whispered vocals enhance the drama, the band comes a little closer, with twins vocals from lead Klaus Grandt and Heiner Waldermann really unleashing and getting unhinged! Next up, the title track has a restrained and emotional lead vocal from Grandt, with subtle Eloy like keyboards washing the background and lovely guitar work that reminds me of the classic early Genesis albums. It also has a gorgeous choir Mellotron fuelled middle section and outro, before a really abrupt fade out. `Graveyard' begins with a majestic electric guitar melody that repeats throughout the track, reminding me of similar parts of the terrific Pentacle `La Clef Des Songes' album. The two vocalists share this piece, and there's a hard sound to their singing. A beautifully emotive guitar solo in the middle of the track, with a more wailing one nearer the end, backed by plodding bass and steady drum-work. Still seems to finish too soon, though, with another quick fadeout! More problems with that on the second side too...

The very over-the-top `Ocean' on side B is full of wild theatrical vocals and spoken word pieces in various characters, creating a very fantasy-like dream-world. There's an oddly campy quality to this piece, but I'm not sure if it was intended that way! Terrific rattling bass and rapid-fire drumming throughout, with a fiery guitar solo to go out on. `Seasons' has a very pretty melody contrasted with riff-heavy breaks. The track has several instrumental sections, with dirty bass, quirky keyboards and fuzzy hammond organ breaking through all the time. That IQ-like neo-prog sound pops up in the final minutes of this one again too, with highly dramatic and threatening vocals, before a completely stupid fadeout while the music and vocals are still going! No big finale or grand climax - it just disappears! A real error in judgment there. The band are credited to the production themselves, so I don't know what they were thinking. Being their debut album, perhaps just inexperience.

I used to unfairly dismiss this album, based on the wild expressive vocals. I'm not a massive fan of all the harsher sections, and they frequently have a really high-pitched wailing tone as if they're from a metal album! They work much better when they're toned down, where they have quite a pleading and thoughtful quality. The shared vocals do give the album a very unique and interesting sound, though.

Despite how uneven the singing is, and the fact that several of the tracks are let down by sudden and unnecessary fades, Shaa Khan are a tight band of solid musicians playing imaginative high quality progressive rock with a special harder sound. The negative elements I've mentioned on this album are outweighed constantly by the snappy playing, energetic solos and clever arrangements. It's well worth checking out if you find it at an affordable price. It's also great that, for an album released in 1978, the music is uncommercial and defiantly progressive rock.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |


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