AWESOME! OK, review over…Nah, only joking. Joking about the review being over – this band are AWESOME and have produced probably my favourite album of the year (apart from Armored Saint).
A new band in age (formed in 2014), this is a set of serious musos, with chops that your local butcher would envy (maybe too British a reference, but I hope you all get the idea). I was blown away from the “A New Revolution” opener to the closing sighs of “Numbers“. If you like the axis of Rush–Genesis-King Crimson, Shumaun is a must for you.
This album bleeds conviction and squeezes emotion over intricate patterns of music sorcery. This sorcery starts with a vocalist (Farhad Hossain) whose voice catches tears and sweat and drains away colours from rainbows and spits them out as new world anthems for Generation Xbox. Hossain sounds a bit like Peter Gabriel at times and Geddy Lee at others, yet retains his own vision and character. This sorcery continues with the rest of the band, who can play some and then some more! Aided by a production so clear and modern and yet so warm, this opus is magnum in every sense of the word.
A futurist cover of some entity sending out powerful rays onto a city wraps up a great concept. The songs are long in the main, but pack punches of pure power in their ability to engage the listener and make you a fan on Shumaun‘s musical journey.
High points of this long player include the opener “A New Revolution“, a fast-paced hooky hard-hitter with fabulous keyboards and new age guitar goodness. Another favourite is the Eastern-flavoured swirl of the instrumental “Sunrise at Midnight“, which is festooned with amazing guitar and keyboard kick outs.
The lyrics are also pretty amazing as well. “Breaking down every paradigm/Defining our existence/Miracles of yesterday will bring me back to earth,” is a fantastic lyrical antidote to singing about just being in love. This record shares this kind of unique world view and it only makes me appreciate it more.
The two standout tunes on this cascade of innovation are “Floods” and the 13-minute epic “The Dream of the Sleeper“. The former track completely showcases the talents of bassist Jose Mora. The latter is led by Hossain‘s vocals and guitar work from Tyler Kim that slides into Sitar and is absolutely astounding. The drumming by Tanvir Tomal is also a standout.
Well, it is not hard to fall for this masterpiece and Shumaun has just acquired a new fan. A must have album for any open-minded rock enthusiast. Quality, absolute quality…Now, how about some UK dates?