SHUMAUN – The Band
The dark days are upon us. The world is in crisis and our lives make us yearn for something better. Then, you catch a glimpse of dawn in the corner of your eye and your mind passes to a higher plain of consciousness. Shumaun have made a record for today’s new dawn. A shift in the usual paradigm of sophomore slumps and missed opportunities. They have sent the ball out of the park for a home run at rock history.
Hyperbolic? Yeah, but many know how much this band means to me. Their debut album was my second review for Decibel Geek and I have always watched and listened when they have produced new art. Hell, I even get a mention on the inside sleeve of the CD for One Day Closer to Yesterday, which I will be forever proud of.
The band is lead by the enigmatic and super nice Farhad “Zink” Hossain (vocals/guitar/keyboards).The talented Jose Mora is on bass. The equally talented Tyler Kim adds guitars and the amazing Tanvir Tomal provides the drums. Hailing from the Virginia/DC area, they have been around since 2015 and have one super album (now two) to their name.
One Day Closer to Yesterday
You may have thought my comments about dawn earlier were just random musings, but this album is like a 24 hour period in someone’s life. It is like a stream of consciousness, calling out into the universe. The dawn here is the song “Sensus Divinitus” that opens the record. It reminds me of “Pseudo Silk Kimono” from Marillion‘s Misplaced Childhood. The keyboards warmly surround you, as Zink emotes and the collection wakes up listeners with its soft musings.
The caffeine jolt is then provided with “The Writing’s On The Wall“. This is one of my favorite tracks, as it pulsates and primes your senses with its fabulous guitar solos and busy basslines. “The stars will tell the tale” makes the song’s spiritual intentions plain. Jose Mora is one of the best new bass players around and he works exceptionally well on this track.
My favorite song on the album saunters out next with the beautiful “Fear Is“. The whole album is understated, yet epic. This song is a microcosm of the album, with its complexity and musical accents. Its ancestory is from the lineage of 1970’s/80’s Prog, but is uniquely Shumaun.
I have long wondered what makes this band so special to me. It is their identity. They sound unlike any other bands, although they show their influences in clear sight. Zink’s singing and playing, melded with really talented colleagues is a force of nature. He hits highs and lows, yet never far away is a vulnerability that makes him so likeable. The band has a positive energy that makes them a rare beast in these dark times.
Another highlight of the album is “Central Station” which is hugely cinematic. The song flutters in the sonic heavens with guitar work that shimmers like a hummingbird picking golden pollen from the air.
Likewise, “Remember Me and I Will Remember You” is epic and etherial.
However, the absolute grand finale is the title track that includes a coda of the melody that kicked off the album. It is a musical tour de force that accelerates the emotion and breaks out the power.
I am drained from this release. It varies from the spectacular debut by dent of its warmth and sophisticated charm. I’m not sure if it is some form of concept album, but it seems to have a recurring melody that haunts moments throughout the grooves. It is as good, if not better than the first record. It is a collection of tunes that move and make you think and is definitely a great start to 2019. Check it out and stick with it – it’s a grower that rewards repeated listens! Breathtaking.