Blaak Heat Shujaa

The Edge of an Era

Written by: BV on 13/05/2013 16:13:35

Blaak Heat Shujaa is a relatively new discovery for me, and their latest album ”The Edge of An Era” is quite possibly one of the most middle-eastern influenced psych albums I have come across as of late. Their vast soundscapes filled with alluring drones and Arabic-sounding guitar leads has rather quickly gotten a hold on me and it is therefore quite a joy to sit here and review it.

The album kicks off slowly with the 50-second intro “Closing Time, Last Exit” that bodes the coming of the 5 highly psychedelic and rather long pieces that will inevitably follow. As the soundscape of “The Obscurantist Fiend (The Beast pt. I)” envelops the listener in the many textual layers of sound it is becoming increasingly evident, to me at least, that Blaak Heat Shujaa has their focus on the mind-bending journeys of psych – rather than the shorter, more concise areas of psychedelic rock. The drumming on “The Obscurantist…” is highly intriguing in the sense that it is rather sophisticated – no unnecessary drum fills are evident and the drummer seems adamant on preserving the tightness of the band even as they delve into the depths of psychedelia.

With “Land of the Freaks, Home of the Brave” Blaak Heat Shujaa continues to envelop the listener in a tightly packed shell of enthralling guitar leads and heavily hypnotic, droning bass lines. The chanting of the vocals is particularly soothing and serves great to support the track as whole, as the band slowly, yet steadily works their way through a soundscape that is without a doubt inspired by a heavy trip gone bad. The shifting structures of the song and the cascading fuzzy leads that fumble around to no end convey the reminiscence of a paranoid psychotic rant, where all illusions are shattered and there is only the foreboding bad trip.

The musical journeys of Blaak Heat Shujaa are as intriguing as they are long, yet somehow I feel that they could benefit from maintaining a few shorter tracks on the album, to serve as breathers before the coming sonic onslaught of yet another long runner. Nonetheless, Blaak Heat Shujaa has maintained a solid hold of my attention throughout 10+ listens and I always seem to find a new element of the tracks that I have previously overheard. They’ve done well on “The Edge of an Era” and I can’t wait to hear if they can live up to the promise and potential they have shown on this release. Time will tell.

Download: The Obscurantist Fiend (The Beast pt. I), Pelham Blue, Land of the Freaks, Home of the Brave
For The Fans Of: Electric Moon, Siena Root, Telstar Sound Drone

Release Date 09.04.2013
TeePee Records

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