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Shamall biography
Norbert Krüler - Born 06.12.1957 in Emsdetten, Germany

SHAMALL is the moniker used by German composer and multi-instrumentalist Norbert Krueler, a highly influential DJ in Germany by trade and a passionate part-time musician to boot.

His first artistic creations came to be in 1986, at that time heavily tinged by various forms of mainstream electronic music. His first ventures were rather successful from a commercial point of view, but Krueler's artistic aspirations weren't totally satisfied by these first creations. As a long time fan of bands like Pink Floyd, Marillion as well as the Krautrock of his native Germany, his works slowly but steadily started incorporating more and more of these influences in his musical endeavours - with a particular emphasis on Pink Floyd.

In the last few years a somewhat stronger emphasis on acoustic instruments have been added to his musical palette, along with the inclusion of Krautrock -inspired musical elements.

SHAMALL Videos (YouTube and more)

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Is This Human BehaviorIs This Human Behavior
CD Baby 2010
$13.75 (used)
Ambiguous Points of ViewAmbiguous Points of View
CD Baby 2007
$23.07 (used)
Turn Off 2 CDTurn Off 2 CD
CD Baby 2013
$23.07 (used)
Continuation by SHAMALLContinuation by SHAMALL
Feeling Like a Stranger (The Whole Trip) by Shamall (2012-01-24)Feeling Like a Stranger (The Whole Trip) by Shamall (2012-01-24)
CD Baby
Turn Off 2 CD by Shamall (2013-11-20)Turn Off 2 CD by Shamall (2013-11-20)
CD Baby
History BookHistory Book
CD Baby 2016
$23.67 (used)
Moments of Illusion by Shamall (2013-05-04)Moments of Illusion by Shamall (2013-05-04)
CD Baby
Mirror to Eternity by Shamall (2013-05-04)Mirror to Eternity by Shamall (2013-05-04)
CD Baby
$17.92 (used)
Influences by Shamall (2013-05-04)Influences by Shamall (2013-05-04)
CD Baby
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Questions Of Life - Shamall (CD Used Very Good) USD $20.12 Buy It Now
Shamall - Questions of Life [New CD] USD $22.12 Buy It Now 3h 54m
Who Do They Think They Are - Shamall (CD Used Very Good) USD $21.39 Buy It Now 11h 42m
Turn Off Shamall Audio CD USD $38.78 Buy It Now 5 days
Turn Off [Digipak] * by Shamall (CD , Nov-2013 , 2 Discs, 2L) New USD $19.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Shamall - Feeling Like a Stranger (The Whole Trip) [New CD] USD $17.74 Buy It Now 8 days
Shamall - Feeling Like a Stranger (The Whole Trip) [New CD] USD $16.66 Buy It Now 8 days
Shamall - Who Do They Think They Are [New CD] USD $21.10 Buy It Now 9 days
Shamall - Influences (Re-Issue) [New CD] USD $20.78 Buy It Now 9 days
Shamall - This Island Earth [New CD] USD $15.69 Buy It Now 9 days
Shamall - Ambiguous Points of View [New CD] USD $23.32 Buy It Now 9 days
Shamall - Turn Off 2 CD [New CD] USD $23.02 Buy It Now 9 days
Collector's Items (1986-93) - Shamall (CD New) Lmtd ED. USD $18.60 Buy It Now 10 days
SHAMALL - INFLUENCES [re-issue 1998] with bonus tracks 2 CD (2011) NEW + SEALED! USD $11.95 Buy It Now 10 days
SHAMALL - MIRROR TO ETERNITY (1993) melodic electronic psychedelic synth space USD $9.95 Buy It Now 10 days
Shamall - Mirror to Eternity [New CD] USD $16.83 Buy It Now 13 days
Shamall - Mirror to Eternity [New CD] USD $17.74 Buy It Now 14 days
Shamall - Ambiguous Points of View [New CD] USD $29.56 Buy It Now 15 days
Shamall/Influences (FMS 2083) 2xCD ALBUM USD $44.17 Buy It Now 16 days
SHAMALL - FEELING LIKE A STRANGER CD - THE WHOLE TRIP (2nd release from 1988) USD $8.95 Buy It Now 18 days
SHAMALL - JOURNEY TO A NIGHTMARE 1989 first album! fans of tangerine dream eloy USD $9.95 Buy It Now 18 days
SHAMALL - IN SEARCH OF PRECISION CD (1994) electronic psychedelic space music USD $9.95 Buy It Now 18 days
SHAMALL - QUESTIONS OF LIFE CD digipak (2008) NEW + SEALED! FANS OF ELOY ! USD $10.95 Buy It Now 18 days
This Island Earth - Shamall (CD Used Very Good) USD $18.32 Buy It Now 19 days
Shamall - Turn Off 2 CD [New CD] USD $23.40 Buy It Now 19 days
Shamall ?- Journey To A Nightmare CD 1989 USD $7.94 Buy It Now 20 days
Shamall - Who Do They Think They Are [New CD] USD $23.39 Buy It Now 20 days
Shamall - Influences (Re-Issue) [New CD] USD $23.39 Buy It Now 20 days
SHAMALL - TURN OFF 2 CD digipak (2013) NEW + SEALED - MELODIC PROG ROCK USD $14.95 Buy It Now 21 days
SHAMALL - AMBIGUOUS POINTS OF VIEW 2 CD digibook 2006 NEW + SEALED! JPF Finalist USD $13.95 Buy It Now 21 days
Shamall-Influences (Re-Issue) CD NEW USD $23.40 Buy It Now 21 days
Shamall-Who Do They Think They Are 2CD CD NEW USD $23.40 Buy It Now 21 days
Mirror To Eternity - Shamall (CD Used Very Good) USD $15.74 Buy It Now 23 days
SHAMALL - COLLECTORS ITEMS (1986-1993) first single my dream caligula 2009 synth USD $9.95 Buy It Now 24 days
SHAMALL - In Search Of Precision - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $26.95 Buy It Now 25 days
Shamall - This Island Earth [New CD] USD $19.99 Buy It Now 25 days
Shamall - Journey to a Nightmare [New CD] USD $19.99 Buy It Now 25 days
Shamall - Questions of Life [New CD] USD $21.21 Buy It Now 26 days
5 CD Box SHAMALL - HISTORY BOOK (30 Years Anniversary Edition) incl CONTINUATION USD $25.95 Buy It Now 26 days
SHAMALL - WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE 2 CD (2003) NEW + SEALED! USD $11.95 Buy It Now 26 days
SHAMALL - THIS ISLAND EARTH 1997 Electronic Synth Melodic USD $9.95 Buy It Now 26 days
SHAMALL - CONTINUATION digipak (2016) NEW + SEALED Melodic Progressive Rock USD $12.95 Buy It Now 26 days
Shamall-Mirror to Eternity CD NEW USD $17.75 Buy It Now 26 days
Shamall-Turn Off 2 CD CD NEW USD $25.68 Buy It Now 26 days
Shamall-QUESTIONS OF LIFE CD NEW USD $22.13 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall-Feeling Like a Stranger (The Whole Trip) CD NEW USD $17.75 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall - Collector's Items (1986-93) [New CD] USD $21.37 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall-The Book Genesis 2CD CD NEW USD $23.40 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall-This Island Earth CD NEW USD $20.76 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall-This Island Earth CD NEW USD $18.44 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall-Ambiguous Points Of View 2CD Special Edition CD NEW USD $27.34 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall - Ambiguous Points Of View (CD Used Like New) Special ED. USD $27.56 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall-History Book CD NEW USD $36.19 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall-Is this human behavior 2 CD CD NEW USD $25.68 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall - Turn Off 2 Cd (CD Used Like New) USD $23.67 Buy It Now 27 days
Shamall - Influences (Re-Issue) (CD Used Like New) USD $21.39 Buy It Now 29 days
Shamall-Ambiguous Points Of View 2CD Special Edition CD NEW USD $30.54 Buy It Now 29 days

More places to buy SHAMALL music online Buy SHAMALL & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

SHAMALL discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.42 | 48 ratings
Journey To A Nightmare
2.74 | 39 ratings
Moments Of Illusion
2.15 | 40 ratings
Mirror To Eternity
2.75 | 43 ratings
In Search Of Precision
2.49 | 42 ratings
This Island Earth
2.98 | 44 ratings
3.54 | 63 ratings
The Book Genesis
4.06 | 67 ratings
Who Do They Think They Are
4.05 | 98 ratings
Ambiguous Points Of View
3.99 | 86 ratings
Questions Of Life
4.01 | 114 ratings
Is This Human Behavior
3.91 | 207 ratings
Turn Off
3.82 | 62 ratings

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

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

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

1.73 | 14 ratings
Collector's item (1986-1993)
3.86 | 7 ratings
Timeless Journey Vol. I
3.71 | 7 ratings
Timeless Journey Vol. II
3.80 | 5 ratings
Timeless Journey Vol. III
3.80 | 5 ratings
Timeless Journey Vol. IV
3.56 | 9 ratings
Feeling Like A Stranger ~ The Whole Trip ~

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

2.25 | 4 ratings
My Dream
2.50 | 4 ratings
Feeling Like a Stranger


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Turn Off by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 207 ratings

Turn Off
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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

 Turn Off by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 207 ratings

Turn Off
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Turn Off by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 207 ratings

Turn Off
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by KayPa

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'. Undoubtedly, that kind of work is made and played by highly crafted, very talented individuals. But after turning off the player, each time I feel discomforting and unbalanced because that music leaves no traces, there is nothing to think off or to feel afterward. I got really mad listening to the highly acclaimed releases of supergroups. Why do I'm writing this? Before I will lose some words about Shamall's 'Turn Off', I would give the chance to every progrock-nerd or clock-counter to leave the stage right now.

Everyone else, who is still here and will have an open-minded heart, will enjoy 'Turn Off' as a completely rounded rock album with psychedelic, symphonic and electronic elements. Chill-out phases alternate with memorable guitar and keyboard soli. Lots of instruments with occasional male and female vocals build the works. The whole thing is a natural flow between heavy guitar passages, extended instrumental parts and ambient soundscapes. There is no special 'song' to emphasize (except 'the creeping dead' maybe), because you have to listen to this album in its entirety to gather its full potential. Music and art work are as great as its message. The sound on my old huge stereo speakers is just unbelievable.

I still love the good old classic rock like Marillion, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Supertramp, Pink Floyd of course, some progressive rock like Ayreon, Riverside, Lunatic Soul, Karnivool and most of the recent stuff from rock bands like Pop Evil, Nothing More, Five Finger Death Punch or Starset. But 'Turn Off' really hit me when I listened to it everytime.

Of course this is no new milestone, but definitely one of the best releases in the last years. 4 and a half stars!

 Turn Off by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 207 ratings

Turn Off
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by Eco66

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 ghost of Pink Floyd's music to the current century.

Shamall's latest release "Turn Off" is really worth to mention in this context. I bought this double album in November 2013, when it's came out, but since that time it found the way back into my player a thousand times, because the overall spirit, sound, melodies and soli of "turn off" cast a spell over me anytime.

Think about all the breathing room those exceptional 70s albums have, lay back and are transported... this albums definitely does that. From Gilmore-like guitar licks, the memorable synth soli of Rick Wright to the overwhelming "spacy" soundstage, you feel the spirit. But despite the obvious influences, Shamall do their own thing.

Some people, especially tszirmay reviewed this fantastic album with all its details, so I won't repeat that, because it's all said.

But if you like Pink Floyd or a little bit "spacy" music, you owe it to yourself. All in all, it's a fantastic mélange of neo progressive music, psychedelic and space prog that should be in everyone's collection.

 Turn Off by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 207 ratings

Turn Off
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by Mr. Gone

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 hold my attention. Whatever embellishments they put on the different songs and movements on here, it always comes back to the same four (or so) themes with some different instrumentation or soloing over them. And, to be brutally honest, those same basic themes just aren't all that interesting. The drum machine patterns sound overly repetitive, the overall instrumentation feels cold and sterile, the lyrics are clunky, awkward and lack variety, and the general feel just is mechanical, uninspiring and indistinct. It feels like being assaulted by an arctic blast in a dreary, abandoned concrete shipyard without anything to hold your interest amid the discomfort.

If the bloat of these two discs could be pared down to a single disc (given the paucity of true variance of ideas on here, that could be easily done), it might not feel quite as tedious. I still say that the overall ideas don't grab my attention, so even that probably wouldn't salvage the rating, but it wouldn't feel like such a slog trying to pay attention for so long.

I can appreciate the effort that was put into making this material and what they were trying to achieve. But the end product is going to go back onto my shelf and I can't say as I will ever be inclined to try it again. Two extremely disappointing stars.

 This Island Earth by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.49 | 42 ratings

This Island Earth
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars It took Shamall about three years to release his seventh studio effort.The album ''This island Earth'' with the very futuristic cover came out in 1997.Norbert Krueler handles all instruments and programming, Markus Jackel, Frankie Baderm, Lutz Breden and new entry Mathias Mertens help in specific cuts, although no instruments are credited to them.

While ''This island Earth'' is by no means a trully significant record, it shows Krueler developing further his style towards a more professional and sufficient style.He still seems fairly inspired by later days-TANGERINE DREAM, but his music has obtained a strong spacious content, sometimes akin to OZRIC TENTACLES, with the New Wave influences being reduced.The thin instrumental sound of drums and some keyboards are still an issue, preventing a full enjoyment of the album.The production is decent, but the awful percussion parts and robotic effects are a hurting factor.Composingwise the German composer offers an acceptable level of spacious productions with heavy use of synthesizers and electronics.The floating soundscapes, the propelling rhythms and mechanical beats and the cosmic synthesizers are combined for an enviroment, which delivers both tapping grooves and electronic textures.Plus you get some moments with chill-out piano lines among the storm of sonic deliveries.The combination works nice and I could say that a shorter running time with the best of these moments would have resulted a pretty cool album.However, the limited natural and programmed instruments related to a very long album surfaces again the similarity between many of Krueler's ideas.

Same formula but a bit of better ideas by Shamall.Not actually the improvement that could lift this work to a recommended level, but fans of rhythmic electronics will propably find this one pretty decent...2.5 stars.

 Is This Human Behavior by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.01 | 114 ratings

Is This Human Behavior
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Sounding for all the world like a full band effort, Shamall's Is This Human Behaviour? is in fact the product of one man - multi-instrumentalist Norbert Krueler. Krueler isn't so hot when it comes to vocals, which prove to be his Achilles heel on this recording which prevents it from aspiring to the absolute highest ratings, but at the same time it's a suitable match for the Eloy-like neo-prog space rock you get here (since I've always thought Eloy were never especially brilliant on the vocals front and his performance here does sound rather Eloy-ish). It's a long, epic album and risks outstaying its welcome at points, but if you particularly like Eloy's Planets-era style you might dig it.
 Turn Off by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 207 ratings

Turn Off
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by dogprog

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 with unimaginable complexity, swells your heart with enlightened melody and harmony in the next, and on rare occasions churns both together in a perfect alchemy of left/right brain ecstasy. This is "Turn Off" from Shamall - an absolutely devious ocean of sound from a band that surprises me with any release again.

We like to draw comparisons for the sake of explaining something new, but while I might say "What happens if you cross Ayreon with Pink Floyd?" or "Manfred Mann with Alan Parsons"? These descriptions take away from the cohesive sound and vision that Shamall has crafted here. While you can certainly imagine any number of influences - Shamall stands alone. Shamall is an impressive "confluence of influence" which is drawing from such a diverse history yet is immediately and directly identifiable as unique.

In an epic year like 2013 that included "The Raven That Refused to Sing" from Steven Wilson, Lucassen's "Theory of everything", Riverside's "Shrine of new generation slaves" or Haken's "The Mountain", the fact that "Turn Off" is consistently in my player is another proof for its quality.

Turn Off is a neo-progressive journey meant to be listened to from the beginning. In this case "Shine a Light" which is a soft key track which reminds me of the famous playing of Rick Wright on the PF album "Wish you were here" that prepares you for the wonders to follow. The guitar part here is repeated periodically during the album's course. It's almost hymn-like. This tune leads into the emotional track "It's been a long time" which is a song with female vocals that soulfully introduce the theme of the album. The following song "Shout it out" is a straight and powerful "4/4 measure" rock track with a most impressive bassline.

During the course of "The devil never sleeps", "Never before and "Playing for the ashes" Shamall shows numerous opportunities which provide the connections between electronic music and multi-facetted progressive rock, but are under control 100% of the time as they shift styles.

Early in this album it became apparent that Shamall places heavy emphasis on smooth changes between guitar attacks and synthesizer atmospheres with long faraway keyboard solos. The melodies they come up with through their instruments are as jaw dropping as the guitar riffs and the off-the-wall keyboards. But if you think you've figured out Shamall through these previous tracks, you are mistaken, as they follow up with the spaced-out songs "Voices part I and Voices part II" This particular tracks are lyrically all about anti-nuclear energy and musically Shamall aren't afraid to test the patience of anyone without an open mind. Again with the layered vocal attack to start, the song becomes partly "floydish" with dark psychedelic elements, a sensitive female voice, a crazy bridge section, another vocal part and ends with an incredible guitar-solo. An 18 minutes track in two parts. Essential listening.

From there, Shamall aren't done showing you what they're capable of. "Too many People" is a very soulful shorter track with a beautiful saxophone solo as introduction and very emotional female vocals followed by another great floydish keyboard solo in "Too many People Part II". "So much is on the line" is the last track on the first disc of this double album which underlines Shamall's versatility and offers a lot of moments full of goosebumps.

"Diversion", "The Creeping Dead", "Reflective", "Clouds obscure the sun" and "Horrible nightmare" are an indivisible unit and definitely my favourite tracks. I love the vocals, especially the female voice in "The Creeping Dead". These tracks are completely mind-blowing and the off-the-wall work of every instrument is awesome. An absolute ingenious opus. "At the end of Time" and "The hidden enemy" show one more time again how easy it seems to be for Shamall to create uplifting songs. Starting with infernal Effects "At the end of Time" turns into an immortal tune. "The hidden enemy" has one more keyboard-solo which gets under the skin.

Close your eyes and listen to "Companion of Fortune": A firework of keys and guitars will blow your mind away once again. Rarely I've heard a thrilling guitar-solo like the one in this track. "Wounded World" seems to be the suffering sung "Outro" of "Companion of Fortune". Last but not least the title tracks "Turn Off" and "In these days" finalize this awesome double-album.

In the end, plenty of ear candy for the prog fan community, lots of sounds to discover with repeated listens, but also huge ear-worms that you will hum all day, even after listening to other albums. I can't recommend this album enough to any prog rock/neoprog or spacerock fan. This album is at the top of the heap for my alltime favs.

 Turn Off by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 207 ratings

Turn Off
Shamall Neo-Prog

Review by Antoine

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 Wizard) not only played on it, wrote it, produced & mixed it, he recorded it at his own Studio in Germany. And now it's in my current top 10. The musical style of Shamall changed different times over the years. Shamall growed over the years from starting as a spacey electronic music project in the mid 80's, evolving to a band who is able to create tons of ambient dreamscapes and intense psychedelic rock, often with a progressive feel and floydish atmospheres,. By the way, it takes courage and conviction for an artist to try new ideas at the risk of losing his initial audience.

Today I listen to their current release "Turn Off", scrub that, I experienced it: A sonic marvel !!!. There is a bit of all phases of Shamall's musical evolution on this new Double-CD as well. A prevailing mixture of neo-progressive rock and electronic prog enriched with sad lyrical themes guarantee an exciting journey. This music is an overall haunting work. This performance is not made for the quick dollar. - it's only to done to space out. !! Songs like "The Creeping Dead", "Shine A Light" or "Horrible Nightmare" are only a few examples for the diversity of this release. "Shout It Out" put an electronic/progressive emphasis on rock elements. Very well done !! "Voices part I" and "Voices part II" are an epic great experience on multiple levels, sounding always interesting and challenging at the same time. In a similar vein "Playing for the Ashes" continues a long line of instrumental tracks, borrowing from the electronic music side of Shamall. In this case using the silky synthesizer sounds of the Bob Moog era.. The synthesizer solo sounds of this part remind me of Manfred Mann's Earthband or Camel at their highest level. The more extended songs like "Companion of Fortune" and "Never Before" are variations on a theme, so to say based all the way back to the whole "Turn Off" topic. These songs are more structured but still give the feel of earlier, loosely constructed music. "Turn Off" is an excellent album that shows maturity, diversity and progression in a band that sometimes prefers not being considered progressive. It is sad that some listeners get fixated on conventions of certain music genres or specific areas from previous artist's albums expecting them to infinitely repeat the past while complaining that more conventional music is horrible because it's the same recycled garbage. These same listeners equate accessibility with bad music. For my personal taste any Shamall album has great moments, you really can't go wrong from "The Book Genesis" onward to "Turn Off". Even though Shamall sounds very different in comparison to other bands. There is an essence of their own unique style on every album, no matter how loosely played or tightly constructed. It should also be noted that every album Shamall has released, has presented major changes and leaps in sonic, compositional and songwriting quality. On the new album Shamall enriched the music with a most impressive female singer.

The whole production itself is brilliant, energetic and forceful. The artwork is sophisticated designed and convenient to the overall theme of "Turn Off".

Take time to enjoy this treasure. It's far away from being a kind of a cookie cutter "product"

 Turn Off by SHAMALL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 207 ratings

Turn Off
Shamall Neo-Prog

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

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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