Dusted Reviews

Shora - Malval

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Shora

Album: Malval

Label: Conspiracy

Review date: Apr. 9, 2006

Swiss four-piece Shora seem to be one of those bands that constantly reinvents itself. The all-instrumental group began as a kind of post-Dillinger mathcore unit, and went on from there to dive headfirst into the black waters of noise with none other than Merzbow. They’ve reemerged with a new set of methods that fuse shimmering Reich-ian intricacies, post-Neurosis dynamics, and Mogwai/Mono textures. It sounds like a delightful mix and brings together the sort of influences that usually satisfy me. But, while the record is a pleasing one, some crucial bit seems to be missing here.

With lo-fi drum programming supplementing the actual percussion, a big bank of keyboards, vibrato-laden guitar mixed 10 ways to Sunday, these four pieces conjure up a band like Gospel (without the vocals) or Grails (with a different instrumentation). All the players are fairly resourceful (and only the drummer occasionally grates, as he relies heavily on the same patterns throughout, ending up a bit heavy-handed for music this delicate). These elements are brought together in tunes whose building dynamics are very familiar to fans of this kind of post-Godspeed music and, while they aren’t handled as expertly as some, are generally pretty pleasing. The intensity, as you might already have guessed, comes not through stomp boxes and blast beats but through an insistent repetition and focus (garlanded by multiple electronic textures). And it’s these textures that are most memorable, with the conclusion of “Parhelion” howling like some metal version of Meddle.

After the opening title track (about a third of the record), the tunes seem to blend together, as if each was an appendage or extension of the previous. While it works as a whole, the problem is that it gets a bit repetitive and the power of individual elements is therefore a bit compromised. Guitar and keyboard clangor grow denser and ever more intertwined before things distort and melody explodes from a thick electronic haze. Only on “Siphrodias” do things begin to truly shift, as a Bitches Brew-era Rhodes announces a darkening landscape (although another wee shift occurs in the cloud-drift of “Klarheit,” which includes a brief concluding snippet of female vocals for variety).

I’m not entirely sure that Shora have effectively transitioned from their metalcore past into their atmospheric and ethereal present. But I’d bet that, even though this album is only partly satisfying, they have what it takes to deliver the goods next time around.

By Jason Bivins

Read More

View all articles by Jason Bivins

Find out more about Conspiracy

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.