Saturday 16 March 2013

Blaak Heat Shujaa - The Edge Of An Era - Review

Blaak Heat Shujaa

The Edge Of An Era

Tee Pee

9 April 2013

The band:

Thomas Bellier - vocals, guitar
Antoine Morel-Vulliez - bass guitar
Mike Amster - drums

Track listing:

1. Closing Time, Last Exit
2. The Obscurantist Fiend(The Beast Pt.1)
3. Shadows(The Beast Pt.2)
4. Society Of Barricades 
5. Pelham Blue
6. Land Of Freaks, Home Of The Brave

I had the great honour of reviewing Blaak Heat Shujaa's stunning EP, The Storm Generation, recently and now their new full-length, The Edge Of An Era, has been assigned to me. Could I be more stoked? Hmmm only if the mighty Philip Lynott returned from rock'n'roll heaven!

As with The Storm Generation Blaak Heat Shujaa hired Scott Reeder to supervise the making of The Edge Of An Era which again took place at his desert ranch studio. And it's the perfect and logical continuation of their EP. There's perhaps even more Middle Eastern influences mixed with surf-rock than before although trippiness and psychedelic jamming is their main focus.

Thomas Bellier - vocals, guitars - still resembles Snake of Voivod, however he is starting to really come into his own which also allows Blaak Heat Shujaa to morph even more into their own identity.

A trippier and more spaced out intro than I have ever heard before ignites The Edge Of An Era where the band's collaborator, gonzo poet Ron Whitehead goes on a rampage with Closing Time, Last Exit. This swiftly leads into The Obscurantist Fiend(The Beast Pt.1) a 10 minute head trip indeed. Amster and Morel-Vulliez keeps a hypnotic groove going throughout the entire track while Bellier takes us to the Middle East with his magic carpet-ride guitar. I get visions of the band playing amidst the smoky haze of a Turkish hookah bar. This is further enhanced as the song morphs into Shadows(The Beast Pt.2). Here the band slow things down a tad but opens the psychedelic faucet fully showering me in full-on trippiness. Antoine's bass-line is extremely hypnotic allowing Thomas free reign on his six-stringer...and together the trio floors me, time and time again.

Apart from being such talented and inspiring musicians, the way they conjure awesome imagery with their music allowing me the freedom to take off wherever I want to is fantastic. And with each listen to The Edge Of An Era the destination changes. Not only this but the band's free-flowing and open-spirited nature of their songs has a great calming and soothing effect on me if I'm frustrated. And it gets me going if I want to rock out. Excellent!

If you are willing to dive head-first into uncharted territory Blaak Heat Shujaa is the perfect guide and The Edge Of An Era is the best travel companion you could ask for. Prepare yourself to be immersed in super psychedelic desert rock drenched in Middle Eastern sounds, surf rock and spaghetti westerns. Let their sounds absorb you and fly away! I already have and in the process I found a great band who are bound for greatness....oh did I mentioned that Mario Lalli appears on here? No well I did now....and get a copy of The Edge Of An Era while you're at it!

Håkan Nyman

A great review by Håkan and one I totally agree with. This record is one of the best psych rock releases I have heard this year. Tee Pee Records have another winner on their hands. Awesome Stuff.

You can buy The Edge Of An Era from Tee Pee Records from April 9th 2013. Thanks to Carl from Action PR for sending us a copy to review.

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