Sit back and think about it, we all love certain genres of music especially when it comes to writing album reviews about them and generally our knowledge of certain genres is far more expansive than others. However being tested and sitting very much outside the comfort zone is what I crave in extreme music. No offence against death, thrash, grind, black or whatever metal you choose I can write those reviews with relative ease but once in a while you get a massive challenge and Denmark’s The Shaking Sensations has been mine in quite some time. This second album follows an EP and the debut full length released a couple of years ago and is some of the best goddamn music I’ve heard in many years (I stole part of that line from a film, which one?) Sitting very much shivering in my uncomfortable zone the moment “Start Stop Worrying” opens up I relaxed and was drawn into a heady and fuzz laden meditative instrumental rock album that had me totally engrossed.
Starting with the beautiful guitar melody of “Rocket Summer” and gentle bass strum the song delves headlong into the instrumental style of someone like Pelican to me. There is a heaviness in the guitar sound that is penetrating yet has a deft of touch it makes your heart skip a beat. Added to the mix has been some synth effects and piano by the producer Matt Bayles with astounding results. The opening song is ten minutes long and during that captivating time the listener is taken on a psychedelic, nonchalant but enthralling musical journey. Purely instrumental bands have a way of drawing the listener into their music with amaranthine charm and undying creative fortitude.
After the first ten minutes the slightly shorter “We Ourselves Alone” starts like modern day Anathema with backing keyboards and exquisite guitar work that makes you want to cry. In fact this album brought me to tears on a number of occasions and I’m not afraid to admit it. With a gentle cymbal tap the pace picks up and in some respects the softer side of The Ocean comes to mind as a soothing snare roll comes through and by now it is very apparent that the drum work on here is rather special making much more sense when I realised there are two drummers in this band. There is a texture to this that is indescribable; the music washes over you in waves as each note touches some form of emotion whilst listening to it. Each note leaves a permanent impression on your mind that it is tempting to replay many parts as they are that infectious to listen to.
I totally adore “Gild The Lily” and I sincerely hope that one day I will hear this song live as I think I will burst into tears when I do, the guitar work is so sublime it’s like being anaesthetised with music. Sitting back and absorbing every facet of this song is something I rarely do but here the brilliance shines through like our own sun going supernova. It really is a fantastic piece of music and is followed by “Ravelin” another highly seductive and charismatic song that I imagined myself at a hot summer festival zoned out on alcohol but in a hazy fuzzed out trippy way having no care for anything or anyone. Again there is definitely Anathema but the heaviness in the guitar work also has splashes of Long Distance Calling on their purely instrumental work.
Once again I do need to emphasise the percussive work on this album, and notice I said percussive not drums, there is so much to hear from the drummers that your ears seem to dart everywhere pinpointing each little magisterial touch here and there, which alongside the shimmering and effulgent guitar work this album is very special indeed and I strongly urge you to give The Shaking Sensations a try.
(9.5/10 Martin Harris)