CD Title: One Day Closer to Yesterday
Label: Independent Release (2019)
Rating: Heavy Prog that hints at something Much Greater
Shumaun is yet another band whose musical inspiration owes much to the work of Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree. That said those influences have been pretty well incorporated into a uniquely original musical vision. This sophomore release is entitled One Day Closer to Yesterday and by their own admission was intended to be somewhat heavier than their first release and that gets no argument from me. At times the heavy-vibes hold the progginess back somewhat, making for more of a heavy rock sound and I admit the band loses me at those points. On the plus side there are some very nice compositions that balance the up-front guitar a little better by putting it a little further back in the mix. Then I only had to contend with the drums. Shumaun are a band with a lot to say and there is no denying the their musical prowess – they’re really good players, but I couldn’t help but feel all their abilities ended up being buried by songs and arrangements that were too full of notes. Too often the tunes reverted to connected segments of heavy rock. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but the best parts for me were where they took a breath and allowed the instrumental performance to clearly stand out. The music of Shumaun will certainly find an easy audience among those who love Prog-Metal and perhaps want to take a little breather from the intensity of that genre but still hear pounding drums and crunchy guitar a little. At the risk of falling into the trap of “reviewing what’s not there,” I would have preferred a little less of that and a little more emphasis on the dynamic range of these compositions. Still this is far from a weak album, it has more than enough aggressive guitar riffs and melodic elements to keep the fan of heavy prog entranced. Hopefully next time they dial back the heaviness and allow the real magic to come through. In the meantime I’ll let One Day Closer to Yesterday continue to grow on me.