|Reviews - 2007|
During the past years, this ethereal Dark Rock act has been rising patiently. Founded back in 2000 and back in the days often falsely depicted as Mika Tauriainens (Entwine) side project, the band has undeniably gained a lot of respect all over Europe for the original soundscapes they created and captured on the albums "Empty World Excursion" (2003) and "Someplace Else" (2005). Still, up to now they remained kind of an underground act and insider tip that couldn't achieve that much of popularity. These guys never gave a fuck about trends nor did they ever seriously approach a certain musical movement or certain music scene. On the contrary: they used to distance themselves from fashionable Gothrock sounds and remained always loyal to themselves and their music.
As a consequence, ShamRain's music could hardly be categorized and appeared quite far from every other band on Finland's musical map. Of course one could since the early days clearly sense influences from bands like The Cure and Anathema but especially Mika's incomparable and original voice gave ShamRain's music even a stronger own identity. Whereas the first album was simply a solid and atmospheric one without evoking too much enthusiasm "Someplace Else" turned out to be the band's hit album with countless great melodies and catchy songs.
"Goodbye To All That", ShamRain's current album, shows a band that has artistically grown and doesn't even slightly copy its own work. The Pop approach isn't that much of a strong trademark as it was on "SomeplaceElse". The new album works much better as an entitity, as a collection of songs that all serve one big overall atmosphere. Too say it clearly: there are partly much more complex arrangements on "Goodbye To All That" that remind rather of new Katatonia than of a catchy melodycombo like Entwine. There are still total Pop songs to be found in here, namely "Raindrops" and "Passing Shadows", but the main focus lies elsewhere than on obvious catchiness.
The epic track "Ghosts I See" represents ShamRain maybe best in its essence and present variety and dynamics. Right next to it, gloomy Rock songs like "Shallow Delusion" and "Silent Lullaby" give space to the more energetic side of the music - even though it's still quite far away from often-heard "standard"-rockiness. The album's most meditative parts appear within the songs "Stars Will Fall" that has an incredibly outbursting end part and the euthanasia-ballad "Evangeline".
It is melancholy in all facets that is carried out by this record and its most cineastic moments, it is a meditative timelessness that is created. "Goodbye To All That" opens up a hazy, dark yet somewhat peaceful dimension that can be seen as a soundtrack to the hidden emotions that each of us has and that are maybe the deepest ones. This album is a little treasure and it should be treated as one. It shows clearly that music isn't necessarily a simple good to be consumed once in a while, but a powerful source of emotions and dreams.
Even though "Goodbye To All That" lacks at times the old catchiness, it surely is ShamRain's best album so far - since it doesn't copy succesful patterns that can be found everywhere out there but points out the art within the music. ShamRain, took a huge step towards the top of the most original Rock music of our time. Welcome right next to Porcupine Tree and Katatonia!
9,5 / 10
Hendrik Behnisch - 31.10.2007
Last Updated (Monday, 28 September 2009 21:54)
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