Sunday, May 26, 2013

... BLAAK HEAT SHUJAA "The Edge Of An Era" (Album Review)

Exiled Parisians BLAAK HEAT SHUJAA open „The Edge Of An Era“, the full-length successor to their EP, on a rather brazen note when they have Ron Whitehead cite from his own poem „Closing Time“, which claims America to be an illusion. Under the aegis of producer Scott Reeer, bass player in the Obsessed, The L.A.-based trio combines epic Stoner Rock with an oriental flair and the sonic scope of film scores.

Consequently, this happens at times without vocals, yet remarkable melodies turn almost each (the too lengthy noodling "Land Of The Freaks" in the end being the exception) of the five mostly long tracks into a dusty gem. The band has a relatively condensed smasher in the shape of the passionately mellow "Pelham Blue" while "Obscurantist Fiend" lives off its drive towards an imaginary sunrise, just before "Shadows", which is meant to continue the opening track, amounts to a psychedelic mantra. Thomas Bellier has an unassuming, yet indeed charismatic voice that makes BLAAK HEAT SHUJAA the more valuable.

A somewhat conspirational ambience like on this album is something you do not hear all to frequently in the genre, so taking the substantial musical material into account makes for an altogether above-par album. The fact that the group is keen on stylistic diversity, adding progressive tinges here and there, is also positive, so you can put them right next to brothers in mind such as Naam and New Keepers Of The Water Towers, who are both just as interesting in their unblinkered approach ... With Fatso Jetson's guitarist and singer Mario Lalli, the album features an unexpected guest, by the way. (AS)

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