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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.


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 naïve 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' .!!!


Progressively yours,


Report this review (#6587)
Posted Monday, March 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Please stop and listen to this CD twice and you will notice that there is nothing new that has not been heard before. Having into consideration the quality the musicans such as Scandy and Hofman that have played in groups, for example, Hofman has helped form the school of Clepsydra but we only see interventions from the guitar and keyboards that make some pieces from the CD interesting. I don't consider the vocal work good if we compare it to to the work of Clepsydra. In a nutshell, I waited something better but I only found influnces from other groups such as the Poland ABRAXAS in which there are sections from the CD very much like ABRAXAS. Sorry, be careful when you buy the CD and don't think you will find any symphony rock progressive of high quality.
Report this review (#37489)
Posted Friday, June 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars How to start this one. It's an album that needs a few spins, but that happens very often in the prog scene. It grows on you, because it is a mix of influences. a Drop of MARILLION, a slice of IQ, maybe a snif of GENESIS (P.GABRIEL). Nice clear vocals, organs. Everything you always wanted, and from Switserland. Clepsydra comes to mind, well figures, they are related at the hip. Nice album to have, just give it a chance.
Report this review (#60255)
Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars "The Last Summer" with the symbolic railroad tracks leaving the beach on the album cover hold special meaning for me, having grown up at a beach in a tourist town.The drummer on this record Walter Calloni used to drum for PFM in the eighties.

The first song "Different Places" is an ok tune opening with keys then followed with drums and guitar. I like the vocals even if they do have an accent. "The Play Of Life" is a good one ! Great piano intro, I like the melody but unfortunately it changes, although it does come back with some good guitar. "Sparkles In The Dark" is a mellower tune with lots of piano.There is an extended guitar melody as well as a choir and bagpipes of all things, then trumpet. It all sounds great.

"Love Warchild Of 64" is one of my favourites opening with some great guitar riffs and throughout most of the song. "Masks" is another highlight for me opening with flute and piano, followed by drums and vocals and a guitar solo. "Two Days Left" opens with acoustic guitar and gentle vocals for a minute, the keys come in as things speed up. There is a nice guitar solo, then were back to the melody from the beginning as the song ends with piano. "Dreaming In LA" is the longest and best song, with lots of tempo changes and mood shifts.The vocals are really good on this one.

This is a much better record in my opinion then their last one "Alya", and I thoroughly have enjoyed spinning this one many, many times. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#100892)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars To sumarise this album in one word: killer

Shakary a neo prog band coming from Switzerland and having conections with another well known neo porog from Switzerland Clepsydra , did a great job with their second release and aswell their swan song from 2002 named The last summer. Excellent release and yet very unnoticed here in PA and on other prog sites aswell, I mean 17 rating and only 4 reviews to such an extraodinary album is ahard to belive. I was taken by surprise when first listnet in 2004 and now after almost 10 years sine issue still an excellent listning to my ears. I was blown away by the vocal arrangements, realy something else like all the rest of the neo prog bunch, fabulous vocal tone, very melodic and yet very powerful, Michael Branzino is akiller vocalist just check out The play of my life, wow great stuff indeed. Now, the instrumental passages are realy awesome, more looser then on an usual neo prog band, more elaborated, composed in a smooth manner and each musician playes very easy on the instruments, quite great parts, where keybords interluded like gloves with the rest, great and profesional release. Each piece is a killer example how must sound this genre, one of my fav albums from neo prog zone, excellent made and composed from start to finish. Featuring the drumer from PFM - Walter Calloni, he gives to the music another dimension infusing some more symphonic chops in the overall neo prog mix, very elegant drumer, yet nothing very complex in beats he knew how to make some very intristing arrangements here fiting very well in Shakary concept. 4 stars without hesitation, one of the best neo prog albums ever made, yet not very popular in comparation with other names, still better then 80% of neo prog band available in this scene in last years. If you don't belive eme, try this album, is worth every second. recommended for sure, nice cover art aswell.

Report this review (#415950)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Review Permalink

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