Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography




From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shamall Turn Off album cover
3.91 | 226 ratings | 8 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD1 (79:35)
1. Shine A Light (5:02)
2. It's Been A Long Time (Pt.1) (2:51)
3. Shout It Out (5:44)
4. The Devil Never Sleeps (3:30)
5. Never Before The Demand Was Shout Out That Loud (16:56)
6. Playing For The Ashes (8:44)
7. Voices (Pt.1) (9:50)
8. Voices (Pt.2) (9:05)
9. Too Many People (Pt.1) (4:05)
10. Too Many People (Pt.2) (6:42)
11. So Much Is On The Line (7:06)

CD2 (69:35)
1. Diversion (2:17)
2. The Creeping Dead (9:25)
3. Reflective (4:31)
4. Clouds Obscure The Sun (4:42)
5. Horrible Nightmare (8:02)
6. At The End Of Time (8:00)
7. The Hidden Enemy (8:11)
8. Companion Of Fortune (8:44)
9. Wounded World (2:34)
10. Turn Off (Pt.1) (7:42)
11. Turn Off (Pt.2) (4:49)
12. In These Days (2:38)

Total Time 149:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Norbert Krüler / vocals, guitar, keyboards, organ, piano, bass, composer & arranger

- Anke Ullrich / vocals
- Matthias Mehrtens / lead guitar

Releases information

2x CD 2L Productions ‎- 2L-2021 (2013, Germany)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy SHAMALL Turn Off Music

SHAMALL Turn Off ratings distribution

(226 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

SHAMALL Turn Off reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Shamall, the desert's hot wind. Never heard of the group, even though there have been a continuous flow of albums for over 25 years! Humbled me big time, not that I have to suffer with an inflated ego anyway (I leave that lofty claim to my nerdy friends) but just another warning that prog remains an endless barrel of discoveries and to paraphrase Bryan Ferry, 'the search for perfection is one's own predilection'. This band is led by a highly successful DJ Norbert Krueler whose personal tastes are square in the prog camp, specifically in the genre of Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Tangerine Dream and Eloy.

With progstreaming dialed in, I chanced on this November 2013 release because the metallic blue cover looked really appealing and I was instantaneously floored by the incredible music within. Dense, muscular and highly spacy, it did not take long for me to go through the shop page and get this whippersnapper in the mail. Ably assisted by gifted guitarist Matthias Mehrtens and tectonic drummer Mike Bach, multi-instrumentalist Norbert sets the controls to the outer reaches of the cosmic experience by putting together a whopping 2CD extravaganza of impeccable sounds and brilliant playing. His mastery over various synthesizers, organ and mostly piano is impressive but it's the placement of the reptilian bass front and center that really is the main attraction, keeping things solidly propulsive and inspiring (''The Devil Never Sleeps'').

As befits a behemoth recording, doing a track-by track review is a non-issue for the space rock genre, as the music composed is an endless adventure anyway, each piece a natural segue into deeper realms of the sonic universe. But there are many highlights to pick from, a sensational collection of tunes. From the opening shimmer of ''Shine a Light', the journey begins with intense colorations, colossal melodies and bombastic appeal. The two discs are well constructed due to the mixture of a few mini-suites, one massive epic track and a slew of shorter tracks that each have a distinctive appeal. The overall sound is a clever mixture of krautrock groove music, sequenced synthesized crescendos a la Tangerine Dream, slight trance/dance garnishes and slivers of fiery electric guitar pulses that hanker to Ayreon style bombast. . Judiciously placed male and female (Anke Ullrich) vocals only add to the effervescent voyage.

Instead of a swarm of filler tracks, Krueler composes tunes that have instantaneous appeal, such as the raucous 'Shout it Out', a steamroller anti-war space tune that has the balls to blurt out 'a nuclear killing machine' and provide an arsenal of booming riffs in logistical support. It even includes some Gregorian chanting in the finale. The 16 minute+ epic ''Never Before' sends the listener into the deepest space, unconcerned about ceremony or pomp, just plain rocket propulsion exploration. Surprisingly, a somber piano motif kicks this arrangement forward, twirling synths and whispering effects galore, the kind of mind music you can only find in your dreams! Ayreon fans, you have been warned! Lush, boisterous, echoic, grandiloquent and sublime, the symphonics are simply beyond spectacular, Norbert also enjoys taking his synths on some perilous soloing and hinting at Manfred Mann's congenial tortured squeals.

This extravaganza is followed up by the stately ''Playing for the Ashes'', perhaps one of the finest tracks among so many, a melancholic glimmer of genius where solemn piano rules , only to be elevated by some deadly soloing again , crisp production and incredible sonic depth that ultimately leads to celestial escape. Then, with incredible audacity, Shamall presents a couple of two part mini-suites, the mammoth ''Voices I & II'' and the equally mesmerizing ''Too Many People I & II''. Both are exclamation points of the highest grade, cleverly constructed and finely laced with intrigue and delectation. The onus is on solid sounds mixed in with fleecy colorations, intrepid rhythms and screaming solos, both from the guitars and the keys. The main melody on ''Voices'' is heavenly , whilst the various arrangements always search out new tones and sound textures that stretch the envelope way beyond formulaic tendencies that often hinder the space prog genre (such as the insane female voice scat). The luxuriant second part has even more pleasure node details, particularly the ruthless bass carving a deep furrow into your mind, the female voice crying out in anguish. This is a space rock classic for all time!

A more cinematographic style is unleashed on the ''Too Many People'' suite, here led by a Roxy Music -like saxophone that has hints of ''Song for Europe'', flush with romantic sensations and wailing vocals. Its second part infuses complex shifting rhythms (as if a train rolling on twisted tracks), mountains of electric piano and echoing choirs, all profoundly mesmerizing and always deeply appreciated. Axeman Mehrtens uncorks a spiraling solo, almost on par with the slippery synth one, both homed in on the reward. The obsessive vocalizing add a powerful sense of delirium as the sax wails on. Disc 1 bows to the velvet curtain with a soothing finale, the cleverly titled ''So Much is on the Line'', a clear affirmation of the sheer quality of the music played. The Pink Floyd influence is quite evident here and I for one, find nothing wrong with that! When people actually have the nerve to claim that something is 'too influenced by', it makes me realize how little they know about music. Every single musician I know (and I have met a huge number) have stated that every single rock note combination has been done before , even all the jazz licks and Arabic half tones (semitones) have found an audience. So what is truly original, eh? For me, it's all about the holy union of entertainment and instrumental ability.

The second CD keeps the cosmic eye on the universal prize, slightly more atmospheric in ''the Creeping Dead'' (there is a you tube vid available) and it features Ullrich's corporeal voice to full effect. This is definitely a highlight selection, as it possesses all the ingredients that make Shamall a special addition to the prog community, a clear sonic backdrop for intense soloing and thrilling escapism. A couple of mood pieces are presented , the bass heavy ''Reflective' throws the Franke-Froese-Baumann light onto the stage, except for the Satriani/Vai axe assault fueled by Herr Mehrtens, while ''Clouds Obscure the Sun'' is more weighty than the majority of tracks , more like a harder-edged and graphic Enigma.

Four tracks ensue, all in the 8 minute range with each having a story to tell. The serene, harpsichord-like flavored intro to ''Horrible Nightmare' evolves into a brooding track that sounds like the forges of Vulcan clanging in the background, another absolute winning track. ''At the End of Time'' is spookier, initially lean and mean lyrically and musically, then erupting into a guitar heavy rant (Ayreon feel again) with panting rhythms and urgent vocals. Both ''The Hidden Enemy'' and the excellent bass-driven ''Companion of Fortune' are bold, upfront compositions that just confirm the talent at hand. The heavy metal drumming actually adds the needed power to make this kind of vaporous music grounded in delight. Finally, the 2 part title track closes out this dense, exhausting and utterly pleasing masterpiece of space prog. The Floydian aroma is obvious, the environmental message comes across clearly, a cause deemed important enough not to casually dismiss with meaningless words. The saxophone does great justice to this music, as it keeps things utterly grounded and organic, amid the electronic swirls, the synthesized bleeps and metallic bangs. Totaling 12 minutes, this is another highlight track that deserves repeated plays and a wider audience.

Needless to state that the production is outer worldly over the entire 150 minute or so running time , the brilliant metallic azure artwork and gate-fold packaging are intensely attractive and a great addition to any collection. Fans of challenging space rock will flock to this like Roger Dean's birds of fire.

5 spectral switches

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars SHAMALL is the project of German Norbert Krueler who is an influential DJ in his native land. We have a guest female vocalist helping out along with a drummer and guitarist. The music reminds me of the "Wish You Were Here" era of PINK FLOYD, in fact Norbert describes his music as being "German PINK FLOYD with own influences". There are lots of electronics at times bringing TANGERINE DREAM to mind as well, and i'd also mention AYREON with all the bombast. That bombast is often contrasted with the melancholic spacey sections.

SHAMALL has been around since the eighties and this particular album is a double disc with almost 2 1/2 hours of music, and yes it's a concept album and it's about the enviroment. And as i've said many times i'm not into concept albums usually or very long recordings like this. A lot of these tracks blend into each other and I also want to mention that to my ears the drums were a machine until I looked it up and saw there was an actual drummer, not a fan of his playing at all, especially the dance-like beats we get at times.

My favourite tracks are the two on the second disc, namely "The Creeping Dead" and "Clouds Obscure The Sun". The former is heavy and bass driven, and I must say if there's one thing I really like about this album it's the very upfront bass. "Turn Off Pt.I" reminds me more of "The Division Bell" especially the vocals. We get a sampled conversation on "Horrible Nightmare" which is different and on disc one's "The Devil Never Sleeps" I like the sound of blowing wind and the electronics that come and go. We also get some piano and sax on this recording at times.

I just can't get into this one at all but if you like latter day FLOYD and electronics with the bombast of AYREON you should check this project out.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars One of the most interesting aspects of joining ProgArchives is the fact that I always happen to find something different here, even if that band or artist has been around many years and has released several albums. Yes, that´s still going on even after almost a decade of being a PA member. And Shamall is definitely my most recent discovery through a review I read here. This musical project/one man band led by german multi instrumentalist. DJ and composer Norbert Krueler has an extensive discography that goes back as far as 1989. Turn Off is his latest release and the first one I own. and it was a very nice surprise indeed!

I was a little more than just skeptical about a double studio album after so many records being put out and the word "self indulgence" just screamed at me when I first heard about it. In the end, however, I found out that it was a very good buy after all. Although very long (almost 2 and a half hours) and yes, sometimes a bit repetitive in a few parts, I found this double CD to be extremely pleasant and addictive. So much so I found myself listening to this album from start to finish several times over the last few weeks. Krueler is a terrific songwriter and a very good performer.

Shamall´s sound is heavily influenced by Roger Waters-era Pink Floyd. If you want to get a glimpse of what they sound like, imagine PF with Klaus Schulze or Edgar Froese (Tangerine Dream) on keyboards instead of Rick Wright, add some heavy guitars a la Ayeron here and there, plus male and female mantra-like vocals and you´ll pretty much get most of the picture. Although labeled here as neo prog, this is clearly not the case: the music on Turn Off leans towards a mix of space rock - electronic - heavy rock, with a strong emphasis on the first two. I heard Krueler does include at least a couple of musicians on some of his albums, a guitarist and a drummer, but neither the booklet or his site mention none here. It is not clear also who sings the male vocals (Krueler himself, maybe?). The only other performer credited is female singer Anke Ullrich .

The thematic of this concept album is of that of endangered environment that might be killing our planet. As you should expect, the vocals have some strong german accent that may annoy some, but actually lends a kind of charm to the songs, at least in this case. I guess more than a few prog fans will not enjoy the electronic drums much either, but again they work nicely this genre of music. I loved the vintage sounding synths, the emotional guitar solos (should have included more of them, though) and the strong melodies and tasteful arrangements. The tracklist is very well balanced and there is no low points. Production is not outstanding, but very good and appropriate nevertheless.

Although this is certainly not for everyone, I am very glad to have found this CD. It has a very interesting mix of styles that really got me after a few spins. Now I became a fan. I am looking forward to listen to his previous works. If you like the aforementioned influences you can not miss the chance to listen to it.

Rating: four strong stars

Latest members reviews

5 stars I must admit, it's hard to categorize this album. But I will do my best. You should know that I am not a fan of that 'typical' progressive rock music with frequent meter changes, complex time signatures, static compositions made on a drafting table, buzzsaw-sounding speedy guitar soli'. Undoubte ... (read more)

Report this review (#1373426) | Posted by KayPa | Thursday, February 26, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Although musically I did not grow up in the golden Pink Floyd era, I really like each of their albums, except their latest release "The Endless River", which is a dignified tribute to Rick Wright indeed, but musically it didn't affected me. I am always looking for bands or projects, which carry the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1371839) | Posted by Eco66 | Monday, February 23, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I've tried. Really tried. Numerous times. I've given both discs between one and two dozen spins apiece. And I'm sorry but I don't see what all the fuss is about on here. The biggest thing I can say is that each time I tried listening, my mind kept wandering. There is just not a whole lot here to ... (read more)

Report this review (#1351224) | Posted by Mr. Gone | Thursday, January 22, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Shamall's "Turn Off" has blown my mind away. As a fan of everything from Pink Floyd to Camel, Steven Wilson, Ayreon to Eloy and other psychedelic stuff, I was hooked on this album from the very first moment. This is truly great prog, composed and arranged in a way that at one turn drops your jaw w ... (read more)

Report this review (#1149780) | Posted by dogprog | Tuesday, March 18, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Two months ago I hadn't heard about this german band with the catchy name Shamall. Today I ordered my 8th Shamall album and what a sad moment it turned out to be that since 1986 This group exists and I had never heard a note of them. Norbert Krueler (Project leader and Production & Mixing Wizar ... (read more)

Report this review (#1136752) | Posted by Antoine | Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of SHAMALL "Turn Off"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.