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SHAMBLEMATHS

Eclectic Prog • Norway


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Shamblemaths biography
SHAMBLEMATHS is the new project by Norwegian duo Simen Å. ELLNGSEN and Eirik M. HUSUM. This band is actually a direct contiuation of their first collaboration as a duo formed in their student days in 2004 under the name Fallen Fowl. That collaboration actually started as a side project to the band TiaC that was active in the early 2000, the song "Stalker" from the new album is actually a TiaC song that was never recorded. A couple of demos and an EP were recorded under Fallen Fowl before a hiatus ensued when ELLINGSEN moved to London to complete his studies.

Now they've returned as SHAMBLEMATHS with an edgier sound and approach, adding more influences from Magma, Univers Zero and Egg. The band plays an eclectic mix of countless styles and the music is pretty much all over the place, exploring both melodic and quirky areas. Their self titled album was released in the spring of 2016 featuring guests musicians, most prominently Eirik Øverland Dischler on keyboards and Jon Even Schärer on drums. HUSUM is playing bass and ELLINGSEN is playing guitars, saxophones and also handles the vocals.

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SHAMBLEMATHS discography


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

3.86 | 128 ratings
Shamblemaths
2016
4.32 | 153 ratings
Shamblemaths 2
2021

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

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

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

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Fallen Fowl: Do They Love You Now?
2006

SHAMBLEMATHS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Shamblemaths 2 by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.32 | 153 ratings

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Shamblemaths 2
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by WJA-K

4 stars Shamblemaths. I never would have discovered them if it weren't for Progarchives. Their second album is absolutely great, taking what we know from prog and making it their own.

Knucklecog - starts slowly, but has many dynamic shifts. With many references to King Crimson. I recognize snippets of Starless in the guitar, drumming and sax. Especially in the loud parts and the climax. But the track as a whole sounds like it took inspiration from different eras of King Crimson. From the first album (20th-century schizoid man) to the 2000s. That said, it has enough uniqueness to not be a shameless copy. Rather, it is a feat of standing on the shoulders of giants to create their own unique sound. 8.5/10

D.S.C.H. - I love this proggy take on Shostakovich's motif. Very interesting and entertaining and has a lot of drive. 8/10

Lat kvar jordisk skapning teia 1-4 - Starting off with a soft voice, this track is an exercise in dynamics too. These change in dynamics again have many similarities with the best work of King Crimson. 8/10

Lat kvar jordisk skapning teia 5 - nice jazzy piece, reminiscent of what happened on this front early seventies. But with some punch and not a lot of needless noodling. 8/10

Lat kvar jordisk skapning teia 6-8 - We enter King Crimson-eske territory again. Everything we hear is heavily inspired by them, with touches of jazz and classic music. Shamblemaths doesn't worry that much about genres. And creates a great unique mix. 8/10

Lat kvar jordisk skapning teia 9 - Nice outro of the 9 part suite. I have some issues with the uneven voice of the kid singingr. I would have preferred the female voices of before. I type this without knowing what actually is sung. 7/10

Been and Gone - nice little interlude. Nothing shocking compared to the rest of the album. Perhaps the lowlight. 7/10

This River - Starts very restrained. Which I love. The sax solo is beautifully mellow too. Around the midpoint, the track picks up speed in a mellotron heavy part. Again reminiscent of King Crimson. We reach the climax at about 6 minutes. And then ending in a mellow way, fitting for the album. 8.5/10

I think this is a strong album. It takes inspiration from the greats, especially Crimson, but with its own voice. In contrast to other artists like Wobbler. I love it. I recommend it. This is why I rate it 4 stars. As an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

 Shamblemaths by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.86 | 128 ratings

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Shamblemaths
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by Gallifrey

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 minutes I had in mind a mindboggling piece of zeuhl revival, whereas this is just a solid, albeit meandering, throwback prog rock album. For a one-man project, this is quite an achievement, given that the jazziness of Magma's zeuhl is so reliant on instrumental interplay. But it does end a bit tamely with some more standard revival prog-isms, meaning I did lose a bit of interest come the end, but perhaps further listens will reveal more. Highly recommended for fans of jazzy throwback prog though.

5.7 (1st listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog - www.facebook.com/TheExoskeletalJunction

 Shamblemaths 2 by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.32 | 153 ratings

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Shamblemaths 2
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by JohnProg

3 stars After several listens I can say that I do not share the enthusiasm that this album has aroused and that, according to its reviews, it would seem like a must listen. Perhaps this is due to the odious but inevitable comparisons that this album arouses from the first minutes (mainly King Crimson and All Traps On Earth) and that hinder listening when the music does not reach the level of said bands. Only when the band -always in an experimental way- moves away from musical histrionics almost close to free jazz does it manage to develop its best moments (listen to the first minutes of "Lat Kvar Jordisk Skapning Teia Pt. 5") and not when, deliberately and a little clever, try to imitate the frenetic musical forms of All traps on earth.
 Shamblemaths 2 by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.32 | 153 ratings

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Shamblemaths 2
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I must admit I get intimidated reviewing certain albums like this one and so I keep holding off the review plus I want to keep it in my play list for as long as I can. SHAMBLEMATHS is the project of Norwegian Simen A Ellingsen who is a multi- instrumentalist and composer. I gave his debut 4.5 stars and I feel that this is just slightly better and enough to hit that magical 5 star rating. Man I love the retro sound here with the mellotron then add Simen's adventerous sax work and compositions and man this is my album of the year right here. I was reminded of ANGLAGARD and that Swedish sound and it doesn't hurt that the liner notes contain some cool pictures of the "woods" in Norway which ANGLAGARD liked to do showing off those Swedish forests. There just seems to be a connection between the land and the music. This is often dark, mysterious and romantic.

Simen has a new musical partner who is a drummer plus we get many guests adding a variety of vocals, keyboards and bass. There's really only six tracks here spread over 47 minutes as that long track at 18 minutes translated "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" is divided into 4 separate tracks. That title reminds me of a combination of Zechariah 2:13 "Be still before the Lord all mankind because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling" and Habakkuk 2:20 "But the Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth be silent before him".

Speaking of mysterious how about that short 1 minute opener called "Maneskygge" where we get that melancholic alto sax with the double bass helping out. "Knucklecog" is my least favourite only because of the bombast which isn't my thing but that's just a part of this 10 minute piece. Love those psychedelic calms as the keys echo. Jazzy drums and and picked guitar as well. Vocals arrive with mellotron in tow. It kicks in again as sax joins that beautiful atmosphere. Complex is the word 4 minutes in. Check out that sounds after 5 1/2 minutes! A calm follows as themes continue to be repeated then some female vocals after 7 minutes with sax, atmosphere and jazzy drums before kicking back in.

I am blown away by the remainder of this album beginning with the 6 1/2 minute "D.S.C.H." which starts with baritone sax before we are hit with power. Some nasty organ and man SINKADUS comes to mind, this is so good. It settles again quickly with some soprano recorder but that organ is nasty that comes and goes boiling away. Some mellotron as soprano female vocals arrive and other sounds that come and go. It kicks in after 3 minutes with the guitar out front. Soon it's a stampede! The sax is great here and the tempo continues to shift. So much going on at 5 minutes then a calm with piano only. Again it's brief as it kicks back in.

Next is that monster 18 minute piece called "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence"and it opens with solo female vocals before mellotron then some depth kicks in as vocals continue. Oh my! Check out those heavy outbursts. Jarring and powerful. She will step aside as the sax takes the lead in a powerful setting. Some beautiful keyboard sounds after 4 minutes as it has settled followed by mellotron at 5 1/2 minutes. It's building bringing ANGLAGARD to mind before we get another calm.

The next section is dark with sparse sounds. The piano echoes as we hear cymbals and atmosphere. So good! It turns fuller around 2 1/2 minutes. Man this section ends so amazingly with those nasty keyboards, mellotron, sax and heaviness. Come on! Mellotron storms in to end it as we get the next section that begins with female vocals then heaviness with sax. Complex. Love that electric piano and intricate sounds as we get a calm. Picked guitar and xylophone too. Bassoon! Mellotron is ravaging the soundscape 2 minutes in then check out the sound after 3 minutes! The final section opens with a child singing in a reserved way in atmosphere.

"Been And Gone" is a short 2 minute track that is haunting and dark like those woods in Norway. Double bass with experimental sounds along with some mellotron and whispers. "This River" ends it with Simen's understated vocals with piano. I am surprisingly drawn to this. We do get some mellotron, bass and female vocals joining in. Sax will follow as it gets a little fuller and check out that mellotron before 4 minutes. It ends with dual vocals and piano.

What a ride or should I say adventure. I need to do a retro list of my favourite albums I just love this style of music. So many great ideas on this album. I wasn't expecting the mellotron and Simen told me he thought I would like this new direction he went in given my penchant for Rio as he put it.

 Shamblemaths 2 by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.32 | 153 ratings

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Shamblemaths 2
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars First of all thanks to every mate who has recommended this great album to me. "Shamblemaths 2" was released as the second full-length album by a Norwegian rock duo SHAMBLEMATHS in October 2021. This is my first Shamblemath album actually and a quick listen to "2" has notified me why this album is appreciated by lots of progressive rock fans. Very complex, very diverse, but very optimistic and very suggestive ... we could mention this creation as such.

After the prologue entitled "Måneskygge" featuring Simen's refined saxophone sounds, the real departure (and one of their masterpieces) "Knucklecog" possessing energetic sarcastic musical explosions goes forward with incredible rhythmic dissection and melodic distortion. Their intensely enthusiastic dissonance suddenly grabs our heart in a beyond-recovery manner. The sound formation may be sometimes called avantgarde, sometimes heavy, and sometimes jazzy. Such a diversity getting over the subgenre categories is also fascinating. The following "D.S.C.H. (8th String Quartet in Cm, Op. 110, mvts 1 & 2)" (I have had a listen to these quirky mysterious melody lines and found this is an opus by Shostakovich!) is superbly arranged and stabilized by the duo filled with deep strong eccentric rock essence, like "Starbird" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Yeah additionally SCH's tough and sensitive feelings can be expressed so badly. The last song "This RIver" is the grand finale featuring all of their heavy fuzzy dizzy instruments especially drastic saxophone, critical synthesizer, and fantastic female vocals. Earthy grassy flavour like a river on a mountainside or in a deep forest is awesome really.

"Lat Kvar Jordisk Skapning Teia" Suite is the piece de resistance. Melodic weirdness, quietness, harmonization and synchronization are coming out one after another. Dark ambience produced by wind instruments and cynical rhythmic nations is very impressive. Kind of fantasy is that silky-touched sensitive melodic texture is popping out immediately after the darkness. Their complicated melody lines are not common nor rational but two Shamblers' powerful sound launching should make us feel that they are theoretical. The former part of "Part 5" reminds me of the similar vein to French RIO jazz project Red Noise plus heavy metallic innovation. Various soundscape based upon their musical background heard here there everywhere should be enchanting and uncopyable. The following part has perverted deathcore-ish attachments amongst delicate quiet ambient intervals. And 6-year-old Elvor's pretty charming singing can relax us completely in the last "Part 9". Such an unimaginable combination should be cherished in a large scale.

Good work. In a good sense, I love such a 'wonderfully messy sound-polluted' creation indeed.

 Shamblemaths 2 by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.32 | 153 ratings

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Shamblemaths 2
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by Michael919

5 stars What a freaking ride!

What's in the Scandinavian water? Seriously, I think the majority of my favourite prog acts from the past 20 years are from Norway and Sweden. Here's another.

Wow! What an album this is. It has a winning combination of elements and moods that deliver exactly what I want in this style of prog.

Others have made some good comparisons for describing this music: King Crimson, Seven Impale, Anglagard, etc. I'll add Anekdoten to those already mentioned. None of that is to say they aren't original. It's just to describe what it's like. It's their own through their own blend.

Just listen to it once or twice and be sure to go right to the end each time. The finale, This River is an epic, confident and climactic conclusion to a great album.

 Shamblemaths 2 by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.32 | 153 ratings

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Shamblemaths 2
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by Isaac Peretz

5 stars A modern progressive rock masterpiece. Shamblemaths utilizes influence from King Crimson in a very musically mature way. Whether it is the use of saxophone for both bombastic instrumentation and atmospheric sections, or the blend of male and female vocals, this record manages to perform amazingly in many aspects, allowing for a non-repetitive and immersive experience all-along.

The songs vary in purpose, whether it is the opener's atmospheric calm-before-the-storm-esque ambience to prepare the listener to the heavy Knucklecog. Or Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence's use of overlapped vocals and a cappella combined with King Crimson inspired jams. Or This River's amazing sense of build up and tension released as a final climax in the album.

This record is very accessible for anyone who's a fan of progressive rock, and I highly recommend it to anyone. *****

 Shamblemaths 2 by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.32 | 153 ratings

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Shamblemaths 2
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Due to a cascade of euphoric reports on the Internet I decided to listen to this new Norwegian project. Well, to me it sounds like a blend of Anglagard (more experimental second album), King Crimson (avant-garde inspired early Seventies) and Il Balletto Di Bronzo (album Ys, a Classic Italian Prog gem). The compositions are very adventurous, daring and captivating, but also pretty complex and quirky, or even mighty close to cacophonic. Room for vintage keyboards, from sumptuous Hammond organ eruptions to majestic Mellotron choir layers. And more for brass/woodwind, often in the avant-garde style, not my cup of tea. At some moments I am blown away by this music, but in general it is too nerveracking for me.

Anyway, this Norwegian formation delivers interesting music, to say the least, only the vocals sound mediocre. I am not planning to buy their albums after my listening sessions, but thumbs up for these creative and adventurous minds, going their own way in the amazing world of prog.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Shamblemaths 2 by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.32 | 153 ratings

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Shamblemaths 2
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by Maw The Void

5 stars Shamblemaths - Shamblemaths II

This album truly left me speechless! Easily my album of the year, and I'm definitely excited for anything this duo does next. This album borrows heavily from King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator. There's heavy use of saxophone, and female vocals appear momentarily in certain sections.

The standout for me is Knucklecog, which is dynamic yet balanced, energetic yet mysterious. It also features a Dream Theater-like section in the middle. Lat Kvar Jordisk Skapning Teia is a very well made epic. This River has an amazing build-up around the middle.

Super solid and really good, definitely giving it the five stars. Recommended to any prog fan really.

 Shamblemaths 2 by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.32 | 153 ratings

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Shamblemaths 2
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars SHAMBLEMATHS exhilarated the prog world with its ambitious retro meets modern day prog attack self-titled debut which was released in 2016, a mere twelve years after the act officially gestated in its Norwegian homeland. Led by the intelligent and ambitious Simen Ådnøy Ellingsen who serves not only as main songwriter, band leader and multi-instrumentalist, SHAMBLEMATHS reemerges five years later with its second coming simply titled SHAMBLEMATHS 2. While utterly and unthinkably uncreative in the titular department, this brilliant concoction of cultured and curated prog attacks showcases an act that is firing on all cylinders and once again rousing the progheads of the world into a feverish frenzy!

For this sophomore release, SHAMBLEMATHS hosts a completely new set of characters delivering a plethora of progginess and finds bassist Eirik Mathias Husum from the first album jumping ship and replaced by drummer / xylophonist Ingvald A. Vassbø joining as the newest half of the dynamic Norwegian duo. In addition is a star studded guest roster of 12 performing on a host of extra instrumentation and vocals. Most notably is Paola Botta known as the keyboardist from Yugen as well as his stage name Ske. Unlike SHAMBLEMATHS 1, #2 does not take prog to the stratosphere with 20-minute plus tracks but rather keeps things on the shorter side but make no doubt about it, this second offering is chock full of frothy whipped prog in doses so dense and delicious that you may risk certain gluttony if you indulge too much!

Clocking in at only 47 minutes, #2 features nine tracks that are more direct than the debut. Likewise the music casts a darker shadow with heavier guitar workouts, starker contrasts and a much richer assemblage of harmonious vocal performances. The addition of several female vocalists adds a dramatic divine feminine touch which contrasts beautifully with the loose-wire masculine freneticism of the instrumentation which is much more chaotic and complex than the debut as a whole displayed. While album #1 featured every kind of retro influence from the avant-prog of Univers Zero to the zeuhl of Magma, #2 takes on a heavier King Crimson approach with heavier passages evoking the "Red" era whereas the jazzy softer parts reminding of "Islands." Due to the heavinesss bands like Anekdoten and other 90s prog revivalists come to mind as well.

The Ske influences are obvious as well as the avant-prog leanings of the debut are ramped up into near-Yugen adroitness with a huge range of moods generated through myriad tones, textures, timbres and splendiferous motifs. Oft herky jerky and zolo-esque, SHAMBLEMATHS delivers breathtaking prog workouts that evoke the best of the best of prog adventurists reminding of classics like Il Balleto di Bronzo's "Ys" or Birds And Building's most adventurous moments. This winding stampede of progginess is what prog dreams are made of and unlike the debut doesn't waste any time dillydallying with repetitive loops that can derail a fixed attention span. The guitar and bass workouts are a few notches above the last album as well with crazy hairpin turns, dangerous deviations from any expectations and drop of a pin transitions back into soft lush folky pastoral pastiches.

The four part "Lat Kvar Jordisk Skapning Tela" really does evoke dreams of prog paradise with pretty much everything you could want from a modern prog band. Connections to the classic prog traditions only amplified and taken to the next level or two and then polished like a fine gemstone with a gorgeous production that allows all of the sounds to find their proper role in the scheme of things. While "Parts 1-4" are turbulent and tumultuous as a tossed vessel on stormy seas, "Part 5" oft reminds of "Dark Side of the Moon" with jazzy prog rock accompanied by soulful feminine vocal charm. "Parts 6-8" get all wild and woolly again with quick hairpin turn changes of ethnic folk, avant-prog, metal bombast and KC dexterity. This part particularly mines some complexity from Ske and Yugen's twisted world. The closing "Part 9" tones things down a bit in order to catch your breath and is basically 2-minute ethnic avant-folk down time.

"Been And Gone" on the other hand is sort of an atmospheric 2-minute intro for the closing "This River" which at 9-minutes is the second lengthiest track. Starting with a soft piano and some intimate vocal performances, this track slowly percolates into a jazz-fueled mid-tempo rocker and features a rare return to the bubbling zeuhl rhythms more prevalent on the debut. The classic bass stomps and Teutonic march style is softened by the sultry sax squawks and gentleness of the female vocal parts. No stentorian choirs or vocal bombast on this one. This last track sorta comes off as a 9-minute come down from the frenetic nature of the rest of the album. This track seems like a sonic representation of a reflecting pool where you can process the craziness that you just endured up to this point.

All i can say is - WOW! This is definitely one of those albums that has the key to the dopamine receptors! Contrast is the name of the game here. Brutal bombast, sensual pianissimo, chaotic frenzy and calculated harmonious glory. It's all here where much is familiar but even more is not. This is one of those roller coaster rides where you get off the ride and want to jump right back in and do it all over again. One excellent album is no big deal these days as there are many talented musicians lurking about but SHAMBLEMATHS has proven beyond a doubt that this is a talent that hasn't reached its apex, in fact it's only just begun! Well worth the five year wait as there are no disappointing moments on this one. All hail the giant red eye radiating stripes for all! In a very fruitful year of excellent prog releases, SHAMBLEMATHS 2 sits high on the perch of best albums of the year! Woohoo!!!

Thanks to sagichim for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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