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SHAMBLEMATHS

Shamblemaths

Eclectic Prog


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Shamblemaths Shamblemaths album cover
3.86 | 128 ratings | 5 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Conglomeration (or: The Grand Pathetic Suite) (26:54) :
- a. Bloody Racket
- b. Your Silly Stare
- c. A Mockery in the Making
- d. The Different Tastes of Sick
- e. A Mockery Well Made
- f. Life Is Tough (When You're Me)
- g. Saucy Tiara Woman!
- h. Another Pear of Ice
- i. Con-girl Omen Ratio 1
- j. Overture
2. A Failing Ember (9:27) :
- a. Never Innocent Again
- b. The Winding Stair
- c. Three Flowers
- d. Deus Caritatis
3. Stalker (19:55) :
- a. Stalker Begins
- b. Bad Conscience Underneath Your Gown
- c. Persistance
- d. Stalker's Lullaby
- e. The Harrowing
- f. Inevitable Anticlimax and Fade-Out

Total Time 56:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Simen Ådnøy Elliingsen / electric, acoustic & Spanish guitars, alto, soprano & baritone saxophones, vocals, zither, jaw harp, percussion, occasional keyboards, sundry implements
- Eirik Mathias Husum / bass

With:
- Eirik Øverland Dischler / keyboards
- Halvor Lund / Hammond organ
- Jon Even Schärer / drums
- Colin Howarth / tenor saxophone solo (3c, 3d)
- Karl Yngve Lervåg & Helene Hesselberg Rendal / choir (1a, 1j)
- Marit Høye Ådnøy / vocals (3a)
- Jan Røe (member of TiaC) / guitar parts (3b)
- Eivor Ådnøy Elliingsen / baby vocals (2e)

Releases information

CD Self-released Sham001 (2016, Norway) (limited edition of 200 copies)

Digital album (2016)

Thanks to sagichim for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SHAMBLEMATHS Shamblemaths ratings distribution


3.86
(128 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

SHAMBLEMATHS Shamblemaths reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Norwegian band SHAMBLEMATHS is a direct continuation of the earlier band Fallen Fowl, which was active in the early 2000s, but went into hiatus due to certain life events following three EP and demo releases. A decade or so later, the two permanent members of that band, Ellingsen and Husum, decided to continue as Shamblemaths, and recorded their debut album under this new name with the help of a number of guest musicians. The final result was the self-titled CD "Shamblemaths", which was self-released in the spring of 2016.

Shamblemath's self-titled debut album is a joyful whirlwind of excellent, challenging and eclectic progressive rock with some distinct avant-garde leanings. I can't imagine too many people with an interest in music described in this general manner that won't be intrigued by this creation, and in addition, I suspect that a lot of people with the notion that this type of music isn't their thing will actually enjoy this album if they decide to seek it out. As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the most stunning albums I have come across in some time now, and comes with my glowing recommendations.

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. SHAMBLEMATHS is the project of Norwegian duo Simen Ellingsen and Eirik Husum plus we get about nine guests helping out. This is one of those albums that I really think has something for every Prog fan out there. This contains a lot of variety as well as excellent lyrics. We get three long suites spread out over the 56 minute length of this album. I like in the liner notes where the band thanks... "both our fans out there: we actually could have done all this without you. But thanks anyway." The vocals remind me a little bit of Roine Stolt. Yes humour and lights out playing are the bands strengths I'd say.

We start with the almost 27 minute suite "Conglomeration" which opens with piano that is promptly blown away by vocals and heaviness. Check out the avant guitar work here reminding me of GARDEN WALL. The vocals here are shockingly Zeuhl-like all the way, I mean this is Zeuhl before 2 minutes. So good. Ripping guitar follows then a sax solo. Normal vocals after 3 1/2 minutes with strummed guitar as organ and bass join in. VDGG-like sax is back as the vocals stop as we get a killer instrumental section. A PORCUPINE TREE-like calm after 7 minutes as reserved vocals join in. It turns powerful again after 8 1/2 minutes. A calm with piano only at 12 1/2 minutes then reserved vocals join in. I like when the organ floats in replacing the vocals. Vocals are back at 14 1/2 minutes. Intricate guitar with piano after 15 minutes. Great sound 16 1/2 minutes in with that mellotron. Check out the guitar after 18 minutes. Oh my! And the bass too, then back to that intricate guitar as piano follows. The organ floats in again followed by mellotron and vocals. Another change before 21 minutes as the vocals return and the tempo picks up. Killer bass with drums and mellotron before 23 1/2 minutes. It's heavy before 25 minutes but it's brief. More amazing mellotron follows. Laid back vocals, guitar and sax end it.

"A Failing Ember" is the shortest song at just under 10 minutes. Strummed guitar and relaxed vocals to start but it builds quickly. It's fairly uplifting before 2 minutes then it kicks into gear as the vocals continue. Organ to the fore 3 minutes in then we get a really good instrumental section. It's pretty intense before 5 minutes then we get a calm. A bit of a hillbilly vibe(haha) after 6 minutes. A baby can be heard before 7 1/2 minutes, mellotron too. It kicks in majestically a minute later with vocals.

"Stalker" opens with strummed guitar and vocal melodies which reminds of MORTE MACABRE. It picks up and it's quite uplifting here as vocals and piano follow. It kicks in even more before 4 minutes. Nice. Contrasts continue and I love the organ 6 1/2 minutes in and the guitar ripping it up after 7 minutes. So good! Sax follows then more guitar but it's soaring this time. How amazing does this sound 10 1/2 minutes in, especially the drumming. A calm follows reminding me of MORTE MACABRE once again. Sax and a more powerful sound after 13 1/2 minutes, nice bass too. Another great section 16 1/2 minutes in with lots of energy and outstanding playing.

Man I could bump this up to 5 stars after more listens, it's that good. Without question a contender for Album of the Year in my World.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars From Trondheim, Norway?! No way! This vocalist must be THE STRAWBS' Dave Cousins! The sax and rhythm section has the youthful vigor and sound of SEVEN IMPALE!The music has the quirky yet complex adventurous of THE TEA CLUB! As a matter of fact, this is exactly what I hear when I listen to this album: the dynamic saxophone-assisted drive of youth as in countrymen Seven Impale playing with the musical experience and breadth of diverse styles as The Tea Club with a strong foundation in the tremendous wisdom of folk traditions and impassioned messages of The Strawbs (with, of course, the voice of Dave Cousins in the lead). (*A parenthetical addendum to this last statement: It is obvious to me [and other reviewers] that the lyrical content presented herein may be intended to convey a somewhat tongue-in-cheek message--that Simen and Eirik may not, in fact, be so purely and selflessly uplifting or inspiring to the human audience as was Dave Cousins.) Nevertheless, this is truly an astonishing album--nearly flawless in composition (despite it's symphonic complexity and wide ranges of dynamics), performance and sound engineering. Three prog epics, each worthy of consideration for admission into the Prog Hall of Fame, yet each also standing alone in their own stylistic form and sound.

1. "Conglomeration (or: The Grand Pathetic Suite)" (26:54) - a. "Bloody Racket" - opens as a djenty Tech Metal song that turns into a metallic MAGMA-ish Zeuhl song with choir singing "Bloody Racket." Brilliant synthesis and pretty flawless imitation. The future direction of Zeuhl? - b. "Your Silly Stare" - feels like an attempt at a JETHRO TULL style though it turns into more of a high energy Van Der Graaf Generator sound. - c. "A Mockery in the Making" - "a broken man" section falls into the realm of THE FLOWER KINGS or even MARILLION--though the instrumental section in the eight thru tenth minutes feels more like SEVEN IMPALE. - d. "The Different Tastes of Sick" - e. "A Mockery Well Made" - f. "Life Is Tough (When You're Me)" - is simple, melodic and very funny ("I've nothing left to say but I say it anyway..." using familiar sound. - g. "Saucy Tiara Woman!" - an skillful instrumental display that is trying to be JETHRO TULL and HEART and yet becomes a little HARMONIUM-like with the soft, sustained background sax--before, that is, all hell breaks loose with shredding electric guitar solo. - h. "Another Pear of Ice" - the lines of demarcation among the final three songs (including: i. "Con-girl Omen Ratio 1" and j. "Overture") of this suite are indecipherable to me, but they continue the amped up STRAWBS/JTULL style. Lots of Mellotron, impassioned vocals, and even some djent and folk-jazz. All's well that ends well and this does end well. (9.5/10)

2. "A Failing Ember" (9:27) the album's shortest song, full of mundane and quirk, starts out with - a. "Never Innocent Again"- a three-minute acoustic guitar-based song with a very repetitious vocal melody. - b. "The Winding Stair" - starts out with an odd-tempo SEVEN IMPALE sound that gets heavier like MYRATH or ORPHANED LAND before suddenly switching off at 4:45. - c. "Three Flowers" - Two lone solo acoustic nylon-stringed guitars playing in a near-Spanish style before multiple tracked vocals enter and sing with/over. Some odd rhythms, instruments and styles filter in and out over the next part culminating in a baby's babeling over some odd organ/Mellotron sounds. - d. "Deus Caritatis" - the final 25 seconds of Latin "gregorian" chanting. (8.5/10)

3. "Stalker" (19:55) The final epic opens with some Mediterranean-sounding guitar and Burt Bacharach-soundtrack vocals (uncredited female included!) before a nicely grooving Neo prog rock jam opens up at 1:08. Then at the 2:00 mark it shifts into a more scaled back, acoustic-base for support of a vocal section. The heavier chorus section that launches at the end of the fourth minute (and again at the 5:00 mark) is reminiscent of some RIVERSIDE riffs. At 5:42 some heavier electric guitar chords and bass begin a slowly-ascending-chord interplay that results in a throbbing organ and sax--and, later--electric guitar-synth--duet at the fore. The baseline riff persists throughout the mid-section sounding a lot like RIVERSIDE's "Second Life Syndrome" while the saxophone solos. At the end of the fourteenth minute a solo nylon string acoustic guitar combining Steve Hackett's "Blood on the Rooftops" with Steve Howe's "Awaken" riff breaks down the flow. The male vocal brings us back into full band until at 15:20 saxophone and organ take us through no less than three transitory passages before we come to the Inevitable Anticlimax and Fade-out. Nice song if not as fresh or inventive as the album's first song. (9/10)

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music. The reason I've decided to rate it down to four stars hear on PA is that my interested, attention, and enjoyment of this album has waned over the many listens I've subjected myself to. The one song that continues to impress and interest me--despite its flaws--is the first and longest, the tongue-in-cheek, "Conglomeration (The Grand Pathetic Suite)."

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars When it comes to eclectic, some artists are simply more talented than others in taking myriad disparate elements of multiple musical disciplines and casting them into a cauldron which results in a ridiculously satisfying product. Well, Norwegian SHAMBLEMATHS is definitely one of those artists that succeeds in crafting a mix of a influential progressive rock into their magic blender and pours out one delicious modern day smoothie that remains respectful to the past while blazing new trails into the future.

Formed in Trondheim, this artist is basically the duo of Simen Å. Elliingsen (guitars, saxophones, vocals) and Eirik M. Husum (bass) who started out under the rather hilarious moniker Fallen Fowl but alas all good fowls must fall in in the aftermath more ambitious projects ensue. One of the more intelligent acts out there these days, it comes as no shock that Elliingsen holds two PHDs, one in quantum physics and another in political science. Add to that, a brilliant mind for juxtaposing and melding musical elements as deftly as engaging in fluid mechanics, SHAMBLEMATHS has become one of prog's most brave and bold of the new wave of 21st century prog.

While this duo has roughly been around since 2005 or so, as a unit didn't release its first self-titled debut until 2016 but it only takes a single listen to hear that perhaps these guys were spending all that time forging their little musical maestrohood into a fully fueled prog behemoth complete with two prog sprawlers, the opening 27-minute "Conglomeration" and the closing 20-minute "Stalker." That means indeed that the mere 9 1/2 middle-piece "A Falling Ember" feels like a little a mere blip in the scheme of it all. In the wake of this 56-minute debut experience, it comes as a breath of fresh air that there are still prog acts that can build upon the past and fearlessly sally forth into the future!

The opening "Conglomeration" aka "The Grand Pathetic Suite" meanders through 10 different distinct parts having mined the past with influences from all the prog greats ranging from Egg, Gong, Magma, Univers Zero, Genesis, Yes, well?. you name it! You get the whole enchilada on this one. Crazy bubbling zeuhl unearthliness, symphonic prog pastoral moments, avant-prog irreverence, heavy metal guitar blasts, down-home folky moments, crazy King Crimson style workouts. These two guys along with the eight guest musicians and vocalists conjure up a storm of prog fury on this one! Considering Elliingsen's PHD in political science focuses on terrorism and nuclear weapons, somehow i feel he's channeled the crazed minds of the world for inspiration since this opener is a brutal tour-de-force with one unapologetic transition after another!

"A Falling Ember" is the lil shorty sandwiched between the monstrosities that bookend this massive mind-blowing prog experience. While beginning with some excellent folky guitar work bordering on flamenco, the intricate passages ultimately climax in raucous guitar rock heft laced with one bombastic time signature escapade after another thus taking one from lush pastoral placidly to brutal prog banter and back. Another excellent series of seamless transitions, production magic, unexpected accoutrements and vocal dynamics. By this time if you're not all hot and bothered then something is SERIOUSLY wrong with you! Resuscitate yourself for gawd's sake! :D

The closing "Stalker" opens with a little bit of la-la-la-ing along with some acoustic splendor before jumping into a more energetic jazzy fueled guitar and bass groove stomper but things change quicker as piano rolls pop in and 6 individual suites unfold into another aural presentation of prog paradise. This one is more of a slow burner than the opener with less of an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. Instead this one features recurring themes such as the bass dominant groove that offers guitar and saxophone tradeoffs. Featuring a much more chilled vibe that periodically bursts into rock upheaval, "Stalker" delivers some magical moments but also offers a few stagnant parts as well. Not bad but not as exciting as the two preceding tracks.

Overall this is an exciting and ambitious debut from SHAMBLEMATHS which is another huge score for Norway which seems to have more than its fair share of talent lurking within its mere 5 million inhabitants! While the closing "Stalker" is somewhat of a let down after the excellent two tracks that seem divinely sent, the album as a whole is a magnificent slice of intelligently designed prog that will thrill not only thrill seekers but also those who insist on melodies and harmonies existing as major players in the music magic. The duo of Elliingsen and Husum proves to be a major powerhouse in crafting wild and crazy prog that effortlessly mixes zeuhl with avant-prog, jazz-rock with heavy prog, pastoral folk and symphonic prog. This is indeed a feast of high quality eclectic prog only kept from perfection from some of the stilted and lagging moments on the final cut. If this album doesn't make you an instant fan then you are not a prog lover!

Latest members reviews

3 stars Listening diary 13th March, 2021: Shamblemaths - s/t (progressive rock, 2016) This opens wonderfully - a flurry of Magma-influenced wizardry backed by Maudlin of the Well-style metal tones, and perhaps sets up the rest of the record unfairly. It's still a good album, but within the first minute ... (read more)

Report this review (#2675280) | Posted by Gallifrey | Saturday, January 22, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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