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Gong - Shamal CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.82 | 340 ratings

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3 stars Gong's Shamal is the beginning of Pierre Moerlen's Gong. There are no silly hippi vocals, almost no Canterbury or space sounds and no Gilli Smith vocals. Still present are some inventing compositions with a bit of humour, wind instruments and the great drums and percussions of Pierre Moerlen. Though I can say I would have enjoyed another Radio Gnome album with Daevid Allen, it just ain't the case. It was great but time changes everything.

The absence of a good vocalist is one my main problems with this release. Mike Howlett does a good try, but his predecessor just had a voice that was more fun and not as serious. The main style of the album is jazz rock/fusion with some Canterbury echoes of their past. If you listen the music with the cover in front of you, you can drift away in this gentle smooth world of the new Gong. Compositions are good, I only dislike the last song 'Shamal'. I think it is boring with no progression in the song, it just sticks to where it started. Other songs are smooth and sometimes adventurous..

The production is the best Gong ever had, the beautiful sound of this album and it's gentle approach on atmospheric fusion is still very interesting for most progressive rock fans. Another aspect that I like about this album is the fact that one can hear Gong searching of direction, which is an interesting process.

I don't know how to rate this, three of four stars. For now I will give three stars and those who like fusion can add a fourth star for themselves. I like it, but it doesn't provide me the magic of the classic Gong era.

friso | 3/5 |


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