Taking the listener on an evocative and intensive journey of heavy lumbering riffs, bulging rhythmic resonance, and a fire of melodic rock ridden by quite compelling vocals, Sat-urn the new album from Italian band Shinin’ Shade is a masterful triumph which thrusts the band into a certain spotlight. Creating a riveting fusion of progressive and stoner rock with the dark shadowed intensity of doom and searing psychedelic blazes, the release even without the band yet arguably finding their true unique voice, offers a classy irresistible persuasion which cannot be dismissed. The seven track beast leaves the listener exhausted, enthralled, and most of all richly satisfied with the thrilling offerings laid before the ear.
Formed in 2005 by Allen Kramer (guitar, mellotron) and Roger Davis (bass), the Parma based band first made a mark with their self-titled demo in 2009 which was followed immediately by Mike De Chirico replacing the departing original drummer to join the pair and Mek Jefrey (guitar, vocals). The following year saw Shinin’ Shade release their debut also self-titled album via Italian label Moonlight Records like the demo and subsequent releases, to strong responses. Then in 2011 vocalist Jane Esther-Collins joined the band and as their Slowmosheen EP showed upon release in in January 2012, the band found it’s most potent and formidable presence. Draped in strong acclaim the release was backed up by impressive performances across festivals and shows in Italy and Europe. The new album Sat–Urn is their most accomplished release to date, a powerful and imagination capturing journey alongside a burial procession through dark and desolated landscapes into the deep, sacred desert of Wiriguta.
The adventure starts with Our Time And Space, thick plunging bass grabs spearing lumbering fiery riffs and concussive rhythms before the track elevates all aspects into a sweltering furnace of sonic declaration. There is heavy treacle like ambience soaking the breath of the song with guitars and bass crawling intensely over the senses whilst the cracks of drum maliciousness attach themselves to bone and emotions. Once the wonderful vocals of Esther-Collins walk all over the encounter with pure majesty the track rises to a pinnacle which instantly sparks up a form of hungry rapture. Brewing a blend of beauty and intimidation with her stunning voice and delivery, her presence has the strength to bring the best out of song, sounds, and the passions in the same way that Jess does for Jess and the Ancient Ones, the songs impressive pieces of craft but the vocals turning them into a different terrific experiences. The track itself almost stalks thoughts and feelings, its evolving gait and intent unveiling dark corners and invasive shadows within perpetually changing aural scenery.
From the scintillating start the release ventures through Keyhole/Inner Saturn and Over-Sea Nightmares, two tracks which bring stunning ports of call in the overall emotive trek of the album, the first a track enriched with stoner grooves and seductive melodic temptation within a rapaciously encroaching atmosphere and labouring enveloping energy, the seamlessly almost toxic move from energetic flames to white hot smouldering sonic malcontent as impressive as it is corrosively invigorating. The second of the pair immediately slaps Sabbath like riffs to the ear before the guitars fire up another contagious dance of sonic alchemy and melodic acidity for a continued expressive satisfaction to the extensively pleasing release.
The following Through the Wires of Your Mind initially sways in front of the listener with a fascination of progressive/psychedelic elegance wrapped in an almost wanton invitation before stretching it into an exotic flame of delicious temptation further expanded into a part caustic part golden allurement energetic wash. As with all the tracks there is no obvious prime direction, the song moving through numerous avenues of light and dark as well as emotive climaxes which is as compelling as the sounds sculpting their narration.
Before coming to the end of its quest, Sat-urn unleashes more impressive and creative enterprise with the excellent Nowhere Dimension and closing song Epic Talk but sandwiched within them both is the best song on the album. Denied Lovers has a carnivorous voice and texture to the drums and bass especially, which incites the predatory instinct of the guitars as they expose the senses to a scorching fire of sonic consumption. Within the tempest though Esther-Collins tempers the heat with her exceptional voice, its forceful and harmonic fusion demanding its own slice of the passions and thoughts to steer alongside inventive guitar craft a thoroughly entrancing victory.
Though the release shows that Shinin’ Shade is still in the process of developing its own unique voice, and it is not that far away on the evidence of the album, Sat-urn sets the band up as one of the brightest beacons in the rapidly expanding genre of doom/progressive rock. With elements fans of the likes of Blood Ceremony, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Pentagram, and Electric Wizard to name a few, will devour this band is set to rise to a very potent destiny for them and us.
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