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SHAKARY

Neo-Prog • Switzerland


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Shakary biography
SHAKARY blends neo prog ideas with a full prog sound. The result is not neo prog but prog with featured vocals and tasteful and interesting arrangements. Their music should appeal to a wide range of prog fans. Such serious groups, whose fiery GENESIS-like neo progressive is inspired by the best present day musicians, are hard to find.
"Alya" is a concept double album with strong melodic material and grand moments and gestures that many prog lovers are sure to like. The story is based on themes from the bible, sound and artwork are done on a very professional level. The sound is very similar with CLEPSYDRA, the reason for this is not only the guitar work but also the lead vocals done by CLEPSYDRA's lead singer Aluisio Maggini. The songs are very melodic, a little bit more complex than CLEPSYDRA and the use of violin and trumpet varies the whole thing. It is a very good 70's style prog that hints to the 80's. PFM could have made this record in the 80's! Neo prog at his best.

The main merit of "The Last Summer" is the continuous activity of instrumental arrangements, which is quite a rare case within the framework of Neo Progressive.

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AlyaAlya
Double CD · Import
Shakary Records
Audio CD$34.99
20062006
Double CD · Import
Shakary Records
Audio CD$29.99
The Last SummerThe Last Summer
Import
Shakary Records
Audio CD$24.99
$21.95 (used)
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SHAKARY discography


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SHAKARY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 29 ratings
Alya
2000
4.02 | 31 ratings
The Last Summer
2002

SHAKARY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SHAKARY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SHAKARY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 22 ratings
Shakary 2006
2006

SHAKARY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SHAKARY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Last Summer by SHAKARY album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.02 | 31 ratings

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The Last Summer
Shakary Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Shakary 2006 by SHAKARY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.88 | 22 ratings

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Shakary 2006
Shakary Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Shakary was a kind of personal project by ex Clepsydra guitarrist Lele Hofmann, bassist Scandy and Sandor Kwiatkowski (lyrics and artwork), plus assorted musicians. Their sound was a delightful mix of symphonic and neo prog (influences detected were the usual suspects: Yes, Gabriel era Genesis, Camel, Pink Floyd and early Marillionm, but not copying any of them). They released two excellent works: Alya (2000) and The Last Summer (2004). Shakary 2006 .is a partial re-recording, and total remixing and remastering of those two CDs in a double album. I was not really sure if I should buy this ´new´CD since I had both orginal works and I liked them very much (for some reason I can´t explain why I did not review neither of them!).

But after listening to it just for some seconds I knew i had to have it. Shakay 2006´s production is at least five times better than both early recordings. Besides, the music here is not simply a copy of the two aforementioned works. It contains much reworked parts and most fat was left out. Alya, for instance, was a double CD I always thought that could easily be reduced to a single one for its own benefit. Although its new recording includes only 9 tracks instead of the 16 original ones, its essence remains much the same. The Last Summer contains basicly the original numbers, but this time the tracklist order and some instrumental parts were altered.

The vocals were totally revamped, singer Noel McCalla (Manfred Mann´s Earth Band and Mike Rutherford) taking the place of Clepsydra´s Aloisio Maggini (who had sang on Alya only). His voice is very good and worked very well on both works. McCalla´s delivering is very emotional, he has a fine technique and never overdoes it. Great choice of pipes! The music itself remains more or less the same: brilliant guitar work by Hofmann (a little heavier than what he did on Clepsydra, but not much), lots of wonderful, retro sounding keyboards runs, a very consistent and versatile rhythm section. The use of a few extra musicians providing some violin, flute, trumpet, flugelhorn and bagpipes is very well dosed.

The songwrtiing is top notch: accessible, but very intricated tunes, lots of shifting moods and time changes, strong themes, beautiful melodies, inspired and tasteful arrangements. Quite surprising music and not a single boring minute. The lyrics are much into cristian beliefs but that does not bother me at all, they were well done too.

Conclusion: I found the overall result here better than the originals and justifies all the trouble they had to rework so many parts. What was very good then became excellent now. If you´re into high caliber, melodic symphonic rock you should not miss this one. It may take a little time to get into it, but once you do, chances are you become addicted to it.

Final rating: something between 4,5 and 5 stars. Highly recommended!

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 Alya by SHAKARY album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.41 | 29 ratings

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Alya
Shakary Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars I'm not very impressed by SHAKARY's first releasy, especially when two of the members of the band were former parts of the legendary neo prog act CLEPSYDRA...

Of course there are a lot of similarities with CLEPSYDRA such as the grandiose keyboard atmosphere and the melodic guitar lines, which were a trademark of CLEPSYDRA's sound...But there are a lot of differences too...CLEPSYDRA were flirting with AOR without never getting too close but big part of the tracks here are almost pure AOR reminding of WHITESNAKE or ROB TEPPER,a big big disappointment...The sound of the guitar is much much heavier than in CLEPSYDRA's work, I could say almost metal,and -in my opinion- doesn't fit in the neo prog style in general...But there is also some light at the end of the tunnell,as the most songs' structure is more complex and the often use of the violin adds an extra prog flavor to the band's sound...

I would recommend this album mostly to those who haven't ever heard any of CLEPSYDRA's album, this one could be a really good addition to their collection...For fans of CLEPSYDRA (and I'm one of them too) this should come rather as a disappointment as all of CLEPSYDRA's albums stand higher this one...That doesn't mean that this is a bad disc but I would recommend you to give it a listen first before buying...I'm looking forward to listen to their next effort for safer conclusions...Up to 3 stars for now...

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 Alya by SHAKARY album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.41 | 29 ratings

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Alya
Shakary Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars With Lele Hofmann on guitars and Aluisio Maggini hired to perform vocal duties, Shakary sounds more than a little like Clepsydra, but at least their debut is weaker than any of the 4 Clepsydra albums for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the most minimal trimming of excess would have shrunk it to a single CD, which is almost always a good idea. Secondly, the theme is overreaching to say the least, whereas those of Clepsydra tended to be more warmly human and emotional. Thirdly, with a few exceptions the additional complexity appears mostly in the form of a few instruments used more as window dressing, such as some trumpet and violin. This contributes to but does not compensate for a fourth weakness, that being in the melodies or general lack thereof. Since this was one of Clepsydra's greatest assets, it is where I find Shakary to falter the most.

Some of the opening, shorter, and more ambient tracks are of little interest, in particular "Sunset", "Pain", and "Dark Kingdom", but I suspect they will appeal to some who like less structured and more free form approaches. I just don't feel it plays to their strengths very well. The initially promising "Time Trap", sound more like Marillion than Clepsydra ever did, and this is to their detriment. At other times, such as "The First Inquisition", Shakary seems to be channelling 70s Eloy, but not very well.

Luckily, there are many great moments in which Hoffman demonstrates the benefits he brought to Clepsydra and the loss to the group when he pursued this project. Several tracks are reminiscent of what the Swiss-Italian group produced on their excellent "More Grains of Sand", such as the crisp acoustic instrumental "Starless Nights", the lengthy "Seals" with its shifting themes and moods, and "Sentence", where Maggini weaves his plaintive magic especially in the closing sections, supported by Hoffman as well as some hypnotic keyboards. Ditto for "Babylon". The two title cuts are slices of delightful pop-prog.

A good yet flawed effort by established artists of the Swiss-Italian scene, Alya shows some potential for future improvements, but I am not sure I am sufficiently interested in tracking the rest of their career, especially given that future recordings lack Aluisio Maggini's distinctive and sensitive voice.

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 Alya by SHAKARY album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.41 | 29 ratings

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Alya
Shakary Neo-Prog

Review by Andis

4 stars Neoprogressive album with Marillion carboned-copy music with heavy accented vocals is absolutely nothing for me.....so I thought.

I was never gonna trust the delar who recommended this album to me again after first the first listen. Since I payed money for it I tried the album a second time, this time things opened up a bit more and I started to like some of the songs. By the third time I was hooked.

This album turned out to be one of my favourite albums, yes the vocals are heavy accented but the singer is also very good. I always prefer when bands sing in their native language, if so, this would have been fantastic.

The songs are very strong and its rare to hear a double albums that holds your interest for two whole CDs. Recommended for the average proglistener. Highly recommended for neoprog fans.

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 Shakary 2006 by SHAKARY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.88 | 22 ratings

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Shakary 2006
Shakary Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars At last: Shakary ! At least, that was what I thought when I recently got hold of this CD. Quite some years ago someone had told me that Shakary sounded a lot like Clepsydra, one of my all time favourite bands. So I thought: let's add it to the collection. But Shakary wasn't really in the stores in Holland. So lately I read in our reviewssite that Shakary 2006 was actually the two albums combined only in a better production quality. That was exactly what I wanted but I still had no idea how good Shakary was.

First conclusion: Shakary is no Clepsydra ! Biggest difference is the vocal aspect. Noel mcCalla's voice is very dominant and is in the case of the Shakary-sound more than 50% which is unusual to me. On itself nothing wrong with that apart from the fact that vocals aren't too significant to me in general, but that's a very personal thing. I'm more interested in the instrumental aspect. And that's not an easy thing with dominant vocals. So in fact that's almost ruining the pleasure for me. The compositions and the instrumental aspect are both ok with Shakary but because of the before-mentioned it's not enough for me to get a good feeling about this (double)album. Noel mcCalla has a good strong voice, I'm not suggesting there's something wrong with it, it's just my personal problem with it.

But it overshadows all the other aspects of this bands music so much that it's all I have to say about it. And because of which I will have to cut it down to three stars. What a pity !

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 Shakary 2006 by SHAKARY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.88 | 22 ratings

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Shakary 2006
Shakary Neo-Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars

I liked this album a lot, but it didn't touch me emotionally. Vocals tend to be very serious and professional, lacking that intimavy and sincerety Neo-Prog MUST have in it very ground! The songs, rather short, are too complex for the genre. Then, you can say, this is probably a Symphonic Prog CD. No, I'll answer, this is still Neo - but bordering Symphoni in many aspects. One can even notice a violin's (a programmed one I believe) solos, very tasty and well-fit here. Unfortunately, the band doesn't concentrates on melodical and catchy moments Neo has always been proud with, and frequently rushes into long complex jams almost a-la DREAM THEATER or related contemporary bands. Not much MARILLION here, as I've been told. Anyway, this compilation definetely DESERVES TO BE HEARD !!! Recommended for all Neo/Sympho devotees - I hope, you'll like it more than me ;)

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 Shakary 2006 by SHAKARY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.88 | 22 ratings

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Shakary 2006
Shakary Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Swiss group Shakary hasn't had a high profile, at least is search results on the internet says something of a bands profile. Which is too bad. This double CD, containing remixed/rerecorded tracks from the bands first two releases, is excellent.

The band seems to be influenced by groups like Marillion, Eloy and Camel - and similar sounding bands. Lots of keyboards everywhere here, floating above, twirling in the middle and setting the mood in the back of the soundscapes. Sometimes restrained, but most often filling up every nook and cranny of the soundscape.

Add to the synths excellent musicianship from drums, bass and guitar , and the soulfull emotional vocals of Noel McCalla as well, and you've got a brilliant sounding release.

No masterpiece, but a strong release without any obvious weaknesses - as long as you like keyboard and synth dominated progressive rock.

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 The Last Summer by SHAKARY album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.02 | 31 ratings

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The Last Summer
Shakary Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Alya by SHAKARY album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.41 | 29 ratings

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Alya
Shakary Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A concept album based on the Revelation as seen by John from the Bible. I really think they improved in just about all aspects on the next release "The Last Summer". This one seems to bog down at times and the vocalist has quite a heavy accent. That normally doesn't bother me too much, but the tone of his voice in conjunction with the accent is a distraction.

The album opens with violin that is eventually replaced with keyboards and drums. Some nice mellotron graces this song as well.The monologue in "Lost Angels" and throughout this project has it's place I know, but is a negative. "Starless Night" is a highlight with the sampling of rain and the Steve Howe-like acoustic guitar playing. "Seals" is another good one, more mellotron !

The second disc is a little darker as other reviewers have mentioned. Opening with "Pain" that begins with trumpet and some experimental keys or samplings. "Sentence" is dark with some great guitar. More mellotron on "The Dark Kingdom". "The Last Drink" features some heavy guitar and a violin solo."Babylon" is another favourite, soaring guitar and mellotron, great combination.

Yes this is a good record, just not an excellent one in my opinion.

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