Years and years in the making, «Shamblemaths» sees the light of day, and the light of day runs screaming.
54 minutes of music and only three tracks? Yes, it's probably prog. Yet don't expect any overlong wishy-washy; each minute is filled to bursting with musical ideas. Analysis of all the bits and bobs that went into this album is certain to form the basis of many a thesis in generations to come.
The music combines elements of rock (some of it heavy, all of it quirky), jazz and the neo-classical, with lots for the brain and some for the heart, too. Thundering bass grooves over odd chops support fiddly guitar work and saxophones, with some vocals thrown in for good measure with lyrics worth savouring. That's a viable description of Shamblemath's music, yet the opposite probably is as well.
Opening track «Conglomeration» is, as the title indicates, comprised of a number of parts. But listen carefully, and you will discover recurring themes and motifs throughout its 27 minute duration. Rampant anglophilia is evident in the quirky lyrics which, perhaps ill-advisedly, are not above a pun or two.
Second cut «A Failing Ember» is, with its mere 9-and-a-bit minutes, of positively pop-esque duration, yet is guaranteed to evade all and every hit chart the world over. Thematically more serious, «Ember» is still pompous, self-important and dissonant enough to repel the masses, leaving room for the few (if any) remaining listeners to let the arms flail (should they wish to do such a thing).
«Stalker» is the 19 minute finale whose composition has been ongoing for more than a decade. Themes weave in and out in a composition perhaps slightly less frantic than the previous two, carrying and conveying a teeth gnashing story of guilt trips and unrequited obsession. The persevering listener can finally enjoy some much desired silence as the album ebbs out to the sound Stalker's own anticlimax and fade-out.
Fans of Shamblemaths are so numerous they wouldn't all fit comfortably in the same phone booth, and yet this new album is virtually guaranteed to swell that number to one whose counting will require every single finger you've got on at least one hand.
Shamblemaths was formerly known (to very few) as Fallen Fowl.
(1) Conglomeration (or: The Grand Pathetic Suite) (26:54)
(2) A Failing Ember (9:26)
(3) Stalker (19:52)
Simen Ådnøy Ellingsen: Electric, acoustic and Spanish guitar, alto, soprano and baritone* saxophones, vocals, zither, jaw harp, percussion, occasional keyboards, sundry implements.
Eirik Mathias Husum: Bass guitar
Eirik Øverland Dischler: Keyboards
Jon Even Schärer: Drums
Halvor Lund: Hammond organ
Colin Howarth: Tenor sax solo on 3c & 3d.
Karl Yngve Lervåg & Helene Hesselberg Rendal: Choir on 1a (and 1j).
Marit Høye Ådnøy: Vocals on 3a.
Jan Røe: guitar parts on 3b (member of TiaC)
Eivor Ådnøy Ellingsen: Baby vocals on 2e.
CD release info:
Produced by Simen Å. Ellingsen. Recorded in Eigenstudio October 2011 to October 2015. Bass recorded in the Room of Mystery and Magic. Drums recorded in Røffsound Studio, Oslo, engineered by Vegard Liverød. Tenor sax recorded at Colin's place, Raufoss. Mixed by SÅE.
Additional mixing and mastering by Stein Bratland at Skansen Lydstudio.
All tracks written by SÅE, except 1f & 2b by SÅE and E. Ø. Dischler. 3c originally by TiaC (SÅE, J. Røe, EMH, S. Gjelten Bakken, M. Tvedt), re-worked by SÅE with EØD and EMH. Lyrics by SÅE except 2d by H. Ibsen, translated by SÅE. "Saucy Tiara Woman!" contains musical quotes from a song by Ian Anderson of a curiously similar name. "Life Is Tough" is to K. Pietersen and the England cricket team of 2012.
Recorded with support from Trondheim Kommune.
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