Thursday, June 27, 2013
Shinin' Shade - Sat-Urn
There's an enormous upswing in 70's inspired occult rock at the moment. Some bands fall of the trail because they can't up momentum while others are still going at it pioneering a trippy and damned good genre. Italy's Shinin' Shade is a new aquaintence to me but they have been active since 2005 when Allen Kramer, guitars and mellotron, and Roger Davis, bass guitar got the band together. They honed their craft and their line-up until everything fell into place when Jane Esther-Collins joined as lead vocalist in 2011. Mek Jeffrey, guitars and vocals, and Mike De Chirico, drums, had already been in Shinin' Shade for a while. At the time of writing this review I have yet to check out their early stuff so I can't obviously see the progression they have made. However, that really doesn't matter in a way since I'm here to talk about their latest release the magical Sat-Urn.
Opener Our Space And Time is a mind expanding mix of classic Black Sabbath riffs, Candlemass-esque doom and psychedelia. And it's very heavy amid Jane's beautifully haunted and desperate voice. To some it might sound as if this eclectic amalgamation won't work but it truly does and then some. This is only the beginning of their journey into dark and desolate places. Gearing down to almost funeral doom tempo on Keyhole/Inner Saturn, it is a space trip as well with the band jamming out pretty good. Over-Sea Nightmares lives up to it's name real well. Using their music Shinin' Shade conjures nautical feelings kind of like being stuck on a dead sea with ungodly terrors catching up on you. Guitarists Kramer and Jeffrey are the chief orchestrators as their twin axe interplay creates dark images and emotions.
Albeit slightly doomy in parts Through The Wires Of Your Mind is modern-day 60's psychedelia at it's extremely very best. The band has cast all shackles and are going full force into space on this one with Jane's exquisite voice drawing out the turmoil from a demented person's mind. This continues on Nowhere Dimension where they portrait the world where a truly demented person really is at. That's my interpretation of the song although it could be about complacent people who will not step out of their bubble and expand as individuals. You know, they prefer to stay in the same spot doing the same things, thinking the same thoughts day in, day out.
Opting for a heavy and trippy head fuck of an ending. Denied Lovers brings back the Candlemass and funeral doom influences with a pinch of early-days Black Sabbath added for extra flavouring. It has a slow creepy feeling of impending doom before hitting outer space. It segues into closer Epic Talking where the band goes all Pink Floyd on us at their very best. Apart from the feeling of being in the middle of a shroom trip in all it's transcendency the song is a punishing build up towards the end where riffs and solos jointly simply blows me to pieces.
I love it when albums like this ends up in my mailbox. They are by bands I have never heard so I really have no preconceived ideas of them of but right from the start they have me hooked and there's no turning back. It can't barely get better than that folks. Any genre that gets a slight increase in popularity seem to be stuck in an avalanche all of a sudden with countless numbers of bands popping up playing the same stuff but that's natural I guess. The music Shinin' Shade plays is in the shopping window right now so, to me, it takes something really special to stand out in a good way. And these Italians are something else. I love how they can take their influences and find the perfect balance with their own ideas with such ease, that's very pleasing to hear as a listener. As a reviewer I will always look for reference points however when you're handed an album like Sat-Urn of course other bands will be mentioned. But to hear them create their own style is so refreshing and uplifting, especially when the band's collective musical talent is so good. Check them out...now!!!
Molte bene signora e signori! Mille grazie per questo ottimo album.