Shurakay - Overseas Tales

(2CD 2021, 44:30/ 48:44, Private Release)

The tracks:
CD 1 :
  1- Akhenaton(3:56)
  2- New Age(8:55)
  3- The Book Of Nises(14:02)
  4- Prince Dagnarus(2:37)
  5- Suite Part 1: Interlude(3:52)
  6- Suite Part 2: 4Th Quartet Moon(4:09)
  7- Suite Part 3: Waning Moon(2:20)
  8- Suite Part 4: Eclipse(4:29)
CD 2 :
  1- Pimaninicuit(8:04)
  2- Cignus Neck(9:53)
  3- Andromeda(12:08)
  4- Shurakay(11:35)
  5- Universe´s Eyes(6:20)

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Shurakay is a four piece Spanish formation that was created in 2008, as a result of the chemistry that emerged between Santi Bertran (drums) and Oriol Nebleza (keyboard player) who were developing the embryonal Shurakay compositions, through hours of improvisation together (between 2008 and 2013). Shortly afterwards bass player Xavi "Stanley" Sánchez joined the project, then Shurakay finally consolidated as a quartet with Dani Payá on guitar, in this line-up Shurakay recorded their album Overseas Tales, in 2021, after all those years of jam sessions and concerts. The four musicians are well trained and experienced, with a broad musical horizon, from rock and fusion to acid-jazz and electronic.

Not many bands present a debut album as a '2-CD featuring instrumental progressive rock', a pretty daring musical effort! According to the band “Overseas Tales is a conceptual double album in which each song tells a story through music, we call them 'musical tales' and that's why we have named the album like that, Overseas Tales, as a storybook, the stories are about fantasy, myths and popular legends, full of signs and symbols hidden in the melodies and structures, both rhythmic and harmonic.”

Most of the 9 tracks (between 3 and 15 minutes) contain dynamic, heavy and bombastic atmospheres with lots of shifting moods, changing rhythms and surprising breaks, a kind of Power Prog, in the vein of Rush and Dream Theater but more with a 'fusion feel'. The music is performed by a very tight, experienced and inspired unit, with awesome interplay and lots of exciting musical ideas. My highlights.

Akhenaton is a short hypnotizing, sultry sounding piece with a sumptuous climate, a propulsive beat, a sitar-like keyboard and fiery guitar runs, a promising start, what a powerful and captivating sound.

The Book Of Nises starts with a funny catchy beat (Zorba's Dance comes to my mind), then a mellow part with piano, and long fiery guitar solo. In the end the music becomes very compelling, evoking Red-era King Crimson, with that dark and aggressive undertone.

The epic Prince Dagnarus + Suite (close to 18 minutes) is a varied and dynamic composition, embellished with sparkling piano work, fiery guitar runs and a powerful rhythm-section.

Pimaninicuit contains cascades of exciting soli on guitar and synthesizer, including a biting wah-wah guitar, fuelled by a heavy and dynamic rhythm-section.

Cignus Neck alternates between a dreamy intro with orchestral keyboard sound and a spectacular Heavy Prog atmosphere, loaded with sensational work on guitar (including the Eddie Van Halen tapping) and keyboards, and a Dream Theater-like bombastic final part with thunderous drums.

Andromeda also delivers exciting Heavy Prog with fat synthesizer flights, fiery guitar leads, fuelled by a powerful rhythm-section. The conclusion is surprising with tender piano play.

Shurakay shifts between mellow and bombastic, including wah-wah guitar, and a super swinging second part with a spectacular synthesizer solo (like a funky Jan Hammer), the interplay is amazing, wow!

The final tracks is Universe´s Eyes, starts with an electronic music atmosphere (like Vangelis), then a slow rhythm featuring a moving guitar sound (with some metal outbursts), and powerful drum beats. Finally the music returns to a spacey keyboard sound.

If you are in to dynamic instrumental prog with lots of heavy, bombastic and fusion climates, embellished with spectacular work on keyboards, harder-edged guitar and a powerful rhythm-section, this is an interesting album.

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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