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Shumaun initially started as a solo project by Farhad Hossain (vocals, guitars, keyboards). After recording a few demos, he decided to recruit a few friends to help build the project into a full-fledged collaborative band.They have had one or two line-up challenges, even during the recording of the 2015 debut album, which has now settled with Farhad being joined by Jose Mora (bass), Tyler Kim (guitars) and Tanvir Tomal (drums) and they are back with their second. This album has an underlying concept of love gone wrong. The album begins with two souls in a state of pre-existence bonded by love and continues after they are both assigned bodies on Earth. All attempts at a blissful reunion are complicated, as only one of them can recall their state together prior to birth… and yet their connection is undeniable. The album touches on the many real struggles, conflicts, and experiences that romantic relationships might go through… the good, bad, spiritual, and terrestrial. Musically here we have a band who have been heavily influenced by Porcupine Tree, then bringing the ‘Signify’ era into a more prog metal state, with the drums especially being incredibly effective. But although there are a great many riffs, loads of technical changes, strong vocals and hooks, for me there is something missing which negates a lot of the good work. It’s not that the band are working to a formula, but for some reason I just can’t get into this at all, which is quite different to most of the reviews I have seen who are raving over this album as if it is one of the best things they have ever come across. It is clinical, it is clever, but it feels as if there is no soul within it which is incredibly strange given the subject matter. There are some fairly dramatic changes, such as on “Central Station” with acoustic guitar and emotional vocals, but it just doesn’t work for me. Not a bad album, but to my ears certainly not essential. This is one I highly suggest you listen to before purchase.
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