New Shamall double album „out now“

New Shamall album after almost 6 years

Shamall took almost 6 years to release a sequel to his successful album „TURN OFF“ (2013) incl. „CONTINUATION“.

Why this long time without release? The composer and multi-instrumentalist Norbert Krüler and his fellow musicians Matthias Mehrtens and Anke Ullrich certainly didn’t lack inventiveness. For the self-critical artist, however, even after almost 35 years it is still the greatest challenge to create a worthy follow-up album to the respective predecessor that meets Krüler’s high demands on his own works. One that gives him goose bumps. The artist knows what he owes to his loyal fans of many years: A musical continuation of his previous albums in the styles of Spaceprog, Hardrock, Progmetal and Artrock, which he enriches with new inspirations, but never submits to the zeitgeist and certainly no collection of fixed, freaked out ideas.

Under these circumstances Shamall created it’s newest double album „Schizophrenia“, which indeed has a lot to offer. Even the opener and title song clarify what’s going on: guitars and vocals are much harder and more threatening, but at the same time more sensitive than those of their predecessors. Very well thought-out arrangements, which present an energetic change between lovingly engaging yet demanding vocals and infinitely playful keyboard and guitar solos, accompanied by atmospheric sounds and dramatic classical interludes. Some synthesizers were replaced by guitars, which doesn’t mean that Krüler doesn’t work on the keys again passionately and produces one memorable solo after the other. Besides hard riffs and fast-paced passages, fantastic atmospheric pads provide pleasant moments of relaxation, before guitars, drums and synthesizers resume their speed, sometimes skilfully accompanied by discreetly woven-in classical orchestras. In a few words: A hard rock prog pop ballad album with an impressive atmosphere and bombastic sound. And in fact it is also a journey through the most different music styles. For Krüler it’s as self-evident as if there were no pigeonhole thinking. After all, he himself comes from a time when there were only two pigeonholes: good or any other music.

His long-standing fellow musicians – guitarist Matthias Mehrtens and singer Anke Ullrich, who can now be heard on the third album with her passionate voice and somehow reminds of Kate Bush – help Krüler to put his personal view of music into practice. Matthias Mehrtens‘ guitar playing gives this work a very personal touch again, especially as he is a bit more aggressive and playful in some passages. The many turns and facets of his performance as well as the progmetallic riffs surprise again and again and lend the whole work a tremendous dynamic. As usual, Krüler is responsible for the beautiful, catchy melodies – so goose bumps all the way are guaranteed. And of course this album with its about 150 minutes is no easy task. But once you get involved, it guarantees an insatiable addiction factor. Like its predecessors of the last 15 years, „Schizophrenia“ also includes a socio-critical message. Krüler deals with the ignorance of the human species towards the current social and ecological problems – according to the motto: „We all know what’s going wrong and just don’t do anything“ – this is what he finds schizophrenic. It seems as if he wants the hippie times of the 70s back and seems to think of Che GueVara.

To make a long story short: The album has a dynamic and a freshness you wouldn’t have expected after almost 35 years of Shamall. The artist has succeeded here in bringing together the most diverse musical styles of the last 50 years with new music. If you are familiar with all the Shamall albums and bring them together, you feel as if you are reading a thick book, which simply becomes more and more exciting in the later course. „Schizophrenia“ is definitely for fans a further improvement on its predecessors.

The opener of this album @ Youtube:

Track list:
Part One:
1. Schizophrenia 18:55
2. Thoughts p.I 04:09
3. All the Answers 09:07
4. The Inconvenient Truth p.I 07:26
5. Frightened 02:43
6. On the Run 04:27
7. Foolin‘ Myself 04:45
8. Yearning Moments 06:20
9. Supernatural Dream 10:08
10. It Leads to Nothing 03:31
11. Thoughts p. II 05:38

Part Two:
1. World of Emotions 11:47
2. Meet me by the Water 03:53
3. Man in the Mirror 07:11
4. The Inconvenient Truth p.II 08:45
5. The Shape of Things to Come 08:34
6. We are all in the Same Boat 04:02
7. Voices from Yonder 07:16
8. Always Livin‘ in a Lie 04:57
9. Despair Grows to Anger 06:47
10. Eyes Of A Stranger 07:42
11. Happy but Unhappy 02:36

New double album „Schizophrenia“ is scheduled for October, 28th.

August, 25th 2019
What lasts long will finally be good.
It took a really long time. But now FINALLY I am very happy to say that the double album is almost finished!
And now – before I would go to the „make it worse“, I just say „Finish – that’s it now – That’s how it stays“ – I am very satisfied with the final result.
I hope of course that we’ll also hit your musical nerve again this time.
I’ll say that much: the album rocks, – sometimes even quite hard for Shamall. It’s balladesque and is of course experimental again. And as always the short songs are in the minority.

Here is the first draft of the „Schizophrenia“ album!

If everything goes on like this, music and artwork of this will be finished within the next 14 days. So it is expected to be released on October 28th.
As with most of the previous albums, this will be of course a double album again ?

And finally a short personal not: With the „growing up“ nothing will be spared. Before the album will come out I have to go to hospital for a small respiratory surgery and will be „Out Of Order“ for a few days.
Hence the later date.

Have a good week, my friends!

JPF Music Award 2017: Shamall is nominated 3 times AGAIN !

„Music, that moves….“
JPF Music Award – 3
nominations for Shamall album „TURN OFF“!!

Just Plain Folks Music Awards started in 1999 as a simple way to recognize the best music submitted by members. JPF Founder Brian Austin Whitney felt the music made by the „other 98%“ of the music world often ignored by the mainstream televised music awards shows deserved its own recognition.

For the JPF Music Award of 2017 artists from all over the world submitted more than 17.400 music albums and 240K+ songs. No easy job for the jury, who have to nominee the best albums and songs.The judging criteria is based around one basic concept: Does the music move you? Shamall seems to move AGAIN – the double Album „TURN OFF“ is nominated 3 times in two categories (Alternative Album Nominees, Alternative Song Nominees and Modern Pop/Rock Song Nominees).

JPF Awards 2017 Album Nominee

Song Nominee Alternative & Modern Pop / Rock



Review of „Continuation“ from Progwereld

(free translated from Dutch language)

Once in a while I’ll find that I’ve been sleeping and a band / musician remained completely under the radar. That was the case with Shamall. Shamall is the project of the German musician Norbert Krueler which is active for about thirty years and already released fifteen different studio albums in that period. „Continuation“ is their latest release and is also an integral part of the compilation „History Book“ along with four other CDs which provide an overview of thirty years Shamall.

Krueler is a multi-instrumentalist and does a lot himself, including the production, but also works frequently with guest musicians like Matthias Mehrtens (guitar). This is the the case on „Continuation“. There is also a singer from the party (Anke Ulrich), but overall the emphasis is focussed on the instrumental level. „Continuation“ takes 79 minutes and contains mostly compositions that no longer fit on the previous release „Turn Off“, because it had already reached its maximum playing time.

As well as „Turn Off“ is „Continuation“ an indictment of nuclear power with the Fukushima disaster as the main source of inspiration. „Oh dear“, I can hear you, dear reader prog, all the thinking: „This is a musical „atomic power – no thanks“ – happening“…? Will depart the musicality of the message? I assure you that this is not the case. The message is of course justified, judging by the nuclear disasters, but nowhere the music is subordinated to the message. In fact, I rarely had owned a socially committed album that led to such great compositions.

According to Wiki the musical style of Shamall is best described as a mixture of Alan Parsons and Pink Floyd. The following names came to my mind when listening: (indeed) David Gilmour (Random Walker), Lee Abraham (Fragments P. IV) Enigma (Linolenic Acid), Peter Baumann’s early solo work and even Manfred Mann (Floating Subatomic Particles and Solitary Life). Multi-variant, merged into a style in which the listener can drift on a sonic trip that holds the attention without interruption for seventy-nine minutes and let the listener enjoy.

The whole is produced „German at it’s Best“: wonderful spaciousness, balance and definition in full harmony; the ears are spoiled. To make it short: this album is a must for electro prog fans in the corner of Tangerine Dream / Loom, Ashra and F. D. Project.

c/o Clemens Leunisse, Progwereld 2016

Rome wasn’t built in a day – Interview with Norbert Krüler and the newspaper publisher “Aller-Weser-Verlag

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” says Norbert Krüler and settles back.
The internationally known musician has obviously taken this wisdom (for the last 30 years) to survive with Shamall in the fiercely contested and fast-moving music market for three decades.

Editor: „The music production has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. There has been a rapid technical development. Did the things become easier for you?”

Norbert Krüler: „When I started 30 years ago, it was much easier.“

Editor: „Why?“

Norbert Krüler: „Because I had to manage with less. The less you have, the more you have to force your mental activity. In the past I built certain sounds in my head. But the technical capabilites were limited. So I needed several days to realize a sound like that one in my head by combining the output of different synthesizers.
Today I power on a box and press a key. Then there are so many sounds that superimpose the whole thing, that I don’t know how many sounds I have to mute, to get the output I want… “

Editor: „So you spend a lot of time by limiting and muting sounds?”

Norbert Krüler: „Yes, I am more concerned with turning off than with turning on. Because I would also like to leave more room for other instruments. I find it rather disturbing, when I press just one key and get a whole orchestra including arpeggios, timpani, brass and strings….all that stuff, you know..?.“

Editor: „How would you describe your own music style? Is it Neo-Prog rock with a touch of space rock? “

Norbert Krüler: „Music magazines always like to pigeonhole music to give their readers an understanding of new artists and unheard music. My inspiring example still is and remains Pink Floyd. This is the kind of music I create, but with a personal note. The music of Pink Floyd is a pretty good inspiration and  foundation for my own work. I think it’s a good idea to keep their music alive in modern way, because the band does no longer exist in their original line-up.“

Editor: „What do you do to make your music more popular?“

Norbert Krüler: „Progressive music has a very special fanfare. Most of them are true collectors of discs and vinyl with lavish artwork and packaging, because they simply perceive progressive music as a kind of art. They don’t own illegal downloads or pirate copies, because they want to support their bands.
When you have a new recording, you will post some news or maybe a trailer in forums with music enthusiasts, spread the word within the social media, then the music will go it’s way – assuming that the music on the record is good. Shamall is lucky to be more known after 30 years. Retrospectively, it was a good decision to change the musical style different times.“

Editor: „Who do you make music for?“

Norbert Krüler: „First and foremost for myself. When I make music, I do not think of money, not even a second. When you put pressure on yourself, you won’t produce any creative output. Rather you can expect, that your music will get better if you break free from these constraints. You should be less concerned with the daily grind and just take care of making music. When I get goose bumps from my own playing, then I know, that I have done everything right.
Sometimes I leave the studio and go to bed with goose bumps of my new composition, but sometimes I am annoyed with my daily work. But always I know, another “goosebumps day” will come – and this is my personal motivation for making music. My creative work should be authentic. 90 percent of those who listen to Shamall, listen to the complete works and their main concern is that the music should be authentic.“

Editor: „Have you ever thought of remastering your old tracks completely?“

Norbert Krüler: „No, because my earlier works are at a different technical level, if I would remaster them, they would loose their original retro charm. The fans of these old tracks have special memories with the titles in their original sound. Most of them are simply fused with the original. With remastering “their” tracks, I would take something away from people instead of giving them something. Because those songs reflect their youth.“

Editor: „In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Shamall, the 5 CD-Box “History Book“ has been published a few weeks ago. Did you have to edit your older tracks a little bit?“

Norbert Krüler: „That’s right. I did some very subtle modifications on the tracks because I didn’t want to destroy the “zeitgeist”. I was focussed on a balanced volume, because the albums from the nineties were recorded with different volumes. But in a compilation this issue would be fatal for the listener. He constantly has to change the volume.“

Editor: „A total of 18 albums has been released in 30 years. From your point of view – how much time may pass between the releases?“

Norbert Krüler: „Each album needs a certain time to develop. If you make a record every year, one could say quickly, that’s assembly line work, that’s too commercial. But the time-lag between two releases must not be too big – otherwise you run the risk to be forgotten. I think I’ve done everything right so far with Shamall.
I published the 5 CD-Box „History Book“ to say a big „Thank You“ for the longtime loyalty of my fans. The fifth CD „Continuation“ contains new tracks combined with unpublished material of the 2013 album „Turn off“. „Continuation“ is also available as a single CD.“

Editor: „Why?“
Norbert Krüler: „I had corresponded to the request of some fans. They had written to me that they had already collected all other Shamall albums and that the new album „Continuation“ would be the only one, that would be missing. That’s why „Continuation“ is also available as a single CD.“

Editor: „When will you publish the next new Shamall album?“

Norbert Krüler: „The next CD is scheduled for the end of next year. Because after finishing an album it’s always before the next album to come….and Rome wasn’t built in a day.“

Band Shamall around the musician and producer Norbert Krüler exists for 30 years / Always further developed „Would do it all again“

© Marius Merle 15.10.2016 – free translation from German language

Langwedel-Etelsen. From zero to one hundred, so the start of the band Shamall could be described 30 years ago. In 1986 the first single went directly into the top ten of the German charts. Bandleader at that time: Norbert Krüler. And the musician, who has been living in Langwedel, Lower Saxony since 1994, continues the project for a long time as a lone fighter. Norbert published more than a dozen recordings by changing his musical style  several times. After a bumpy start, Shamall is now celebrating its 30th anniversary – which nobody would expect retrospectively.

Center of creation: Norbert Krüler, Head of Shamall, in his studio. © FOCKE STRANGMANN

Center of creation: Norbert Krüler, Head of Shamall, in his studio. © FOCKE STRANGMANN

Norbert Krüler, who already played guitar on major stages in the North Rhine-Westphalian homeland back in the day, started his DJ career in the Aladin-Music-Hall in Bremen in the mid-1970s. „At that time the biggest rock club in Germany with later one of the largest laser systems in Europe“, he underlines the particular importance of this music hall. At the beginning, over a number of years he set up the pieces of other musicians before he began to make his own music again. So his first compositions were „special, effective, dynamic and pulsating music“. Norbert’s compositions went down well with his audience with the result that „shortly afterwards I got attendance from a record company in the music hall“. And then everything went quickly.

From out of nowhere into the top 10
Under the band name Shamall, Krüler produced with two other musicians the first single „My Dream“ in 1986. But first of all there was still a problem to solve. „The record company wanted songs with vocals, but nobody from us wanted to sing. So we pulled matches and the choice fell to me ultimately“ remembers Krüler. Just like the first single the second release „Feeling like a stranger“ succeeded a good chart placement. „My dream“  went through the ceiling and hundred thousands copies were sold worldwide. But financially the group had bad luck with contracts – so „nothing remained“. Also the music sequence of the first single „my dream“ was used for the console game „Katakis“, which was sold more than a million times – as Norbert would have known many years later. „There simply someone else has turned out to be the composer,“ says Krüler. So he didn’t receive any money from his first hit single.

Besides the setback that the success did not bring the expected money, Krüler had also other concerns. „After the second hit single, we were hard on the border to get a stamp as a disco project“ he explains. So he wanted to meet new challenges and left the way of „music for the masses“. Norbert decided to go new ways – again without singing and alone, because meanwhile his two initial collaborators had left Shamall. „I started to make music, which I liked and which I could test in the Aladin Music Hall – a perfect way to find out the quality of the music“ explains Krüler the advantages of his DJ-job. For his first album CD, entitled „Journey to a Nightmare“, he didn’t find a record company at first, but later, in 1989, he was able to publish it on an independent label. Musically, this album was  classified as electronic music with classical, psychedelic and krautrock elements.

Even one year later the following album „Moments of Illusion“ appeared, that was Shamall’s most successful album of the electronic era. The song „Physical Visions“ was  used for some international TV commercials, such as from Telekom. Five other albums were following in the style of electronic music – meanwhile with his own record company.  Krüler felt again, that it’s time for another musical change. Now more guitars and vocals should build the musical base. The first CD in this style „The Book: Genesis“ was released in 2001. In the meantime Matthias Mehrtens joined the band, and Shamall made a definite change to the Neo-Progressive Rock genre. Krüler had always taken up critical themes with his lyrics, starting with the double album „Who do they think they are“ (2003) – a conceptional album about the Gulf War.

Until now Shamall continues this musical path and CDs are published regularly. The band become established in this musical genre of neo progressive rock with many fans around the world. „Russia, Japan, France, United States, Canada“, Norbert cites only a few countries in which the albums always find good sales – as well as the five-CD box with songs of three decades that came to the market on Shamall’s 30th anniversary. Meanwhile, Anke Ullrich also has become a singer of Shamall.

But what does the bandname actually mean? It is derived from the desert wind shamal. „The name sounds good and is timeless,“ explains Krüler, who loves to look back on the previous 30 years. „I would do it all again,“ he emphasizes. „It is also necessary to make mistakes and learn from them“, says Krüler – alluding to the commercially successful start-up period, from which one could hardly make any financial profit. „But I think if everything had gone smoothly, Shamall would not exist any more,“ says the 58-year-old, who is simply happy to be able to work at his age in this job. „Of course, I also know that I am making music for a dying generation,“ adds Krüler. But still, the musical path of Shamall is not yet at an end even after three decades.