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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0Y52OwaDsA
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
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