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*Shels - Sea Of The Dying Dhow CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.12 | 40 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT,BRILLIANT! My favorite of 2007! This fresh-out-of-the-box band is one of the greatest post rock/metal bands to date. The music ranges from ambient spacey, to hardcore screaming, and everything in between. At first, I was thinking "what kind of band name has an astrict at the begging", but after two or three listens, I knew that this album was a gem. Dominated by acoustic guitars, the album is very mellow and atmospheric, with sparse clean vocals (that sound very much like Phil Collins'), and sometimes the songs build to some bone crushing chords and even rarer screams.

The album starts with the typical trippy lead line that defines post metal, but with a smooth drum beat and acoustic guitar to destroy any illusion of heaviness. After a couple of lines of overdubbed singing, everything drops out except the lead, and acoustic guitar... then hell erupts with the ever so powerful post metal riffing. I know, so far I sound like I'm describing just any post metal song, but there is an atmosphere that swallows the the entire albums music, no sludgyness, and squeaky clean recording is what, I think, gives *shels it's atmospherical edge. Anyways, the mood drops down to acoustics again, but there is a feeling of something coming in the song. A trumpet is introduced, giving a more Mexican/Spanish kind of feel, then the second eruption of the song, with ever climbing power chords, and the trumpet just wailing (usually I'm not a horn fan, this is an exception). After this slightly more colossal climax the song quickly gives way to the ending. The music does more than just give a atmospheric feel. Even without lyrics, the sounds actually creates landscapes, or soundscapes if you will, directing the music to an even higher affinity. Most of the tracks are around four minutes long, some just ambient atmospherical, some the climactic progpower song, and there is even a popish song, which also sounds great. Every song is well structured, well balanced, and well placed throughout the album.

It's actually, very hard to sum up this album, it flies from spectrum to spectrum, whether it be acoustic, or super heavy riffing, everything about the songs are almost perfect. I'd have to say, the first (the conference of the birds) and last (in the dead palm fields) songs are the best, but really it does not matter none of the songs are below average. After each listen you feel you heard something you've missed, and want to hear it over and over. I proudly award this album 5 stars.

Dim | 5/5 |


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