Shaumaun is a melding of progressive and modern hard rock, which will be out just a few days after this review has been posted. It’s not the heaviest thing in the world, but you’ve definitely got to hear it. It’s a solo project of Farhad Hossain (former Iris Divine) who performs the incredibly melodic leads as well as the extremely passionate and ridiculously catchy (you’ll have these songs in your head for days) vocal approach that I’d consider the ebb and flow of the album. There are some metallic sections, but I’d more or less consider Shaumaun an extremely good rock album. Why? Because it’s a disc that I can remember easily. I can tell you for certain that I love “You and I Will Change The World” (4:35), “The Drop” (9:02) and “Ambrosia” (4:14) beyond measure. Let’s just add “Floods” (4:14) to that for the exact same reason. The record actually begins with a very Tool-ish number called “A New Revolution” (6:21) and they’re using one of the more commercial pieces (Miracles Of Yesterday) as a single, which should really show this record in a positive light. I don’t know if it’s Hossain’s vocals, his leads, or perhaps Jose Mora’s melodic bass licks and even Tyler Kim’s fretwork, (not to mention Darkest Hour/Periphery drummer Tanvir Tomal’s steady and precise drum taps) but something here really sets it off for me. There’s a decidedly middle-eastern flair to the sound and atmosphere, but it also seems channeled through that of acts like Tool, Dream Theater/James Labrie and the more atmospheric work of Stabbing Westward/The Dreaming which I found unusual and profoundly interesting. I would have never expected to draw a Stabbing Westward/The Dreaming influence from a prog record like this, especially since there are no electronics to be found. Some of these songs as you can see are quite lengthy, yet they’re marvels in not only accessibility, but sheer craftsmanship. There’s even an instrumental called “Sunrise At Midnight” (4:11) that’s an earth shattering mix of world music and prog. I don’t want to go revealing the entire disc to you, but if you’re looking for a modern rock sound that is extremely melodic and quite atmospheric, you’re going to find it on Shumaun. Hossain’s vocals are simply beautiful and they’ll work to guide you through the disc. He does shout a couple of times, but there’s nothing in the vein of frantic screaming, which leaves the record an air of class about it – something we wouldn’t expect from such a commercial sound.
Keep in mind, I’m not trying to market this to you. That’s not my job. I’m here to give you my honest opinion on records, which is just what I’m doing here. I want the band to know that too, as these guys obviously spent a ton of man-hours on this thing. It definitely needs to be recognized in the rock world and should be playing on the same radio stations that we’re playing acts like Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Disturbed and Five Finger Death Punch on. It’s rock music with a lot of replay value, and some strong messages at heart. Shumaun is REAL music with REAL effort and REAL values put behind it. There’s a definite positivity here, and it comes off as a rather heartfelt and passionate moment that I’m thankful to have been able to recommend your way. Again, there’s a time when we post heavy and grim things, but then again there’s a time when we post simply beautiful works of art like those that you’ll experience here. Shumaun make music that should make a splash, and I really hope that it does. This is coming out around the same time as Justin Bieber’s new record and just a week before the new Adelle drops, which is projected to make millions. Let’s show how much we like real music, and make this thing top even higher than even the Beebs. Let’s show the world that rock music isn’t dead. Grab a copy of Shumaun the day it drops and you too will experience beauty flowing right from your stereo. This is great stuff, and it’s undoubtedly one of my favorite rock albums of the year.
(12 Tracks, 70:00)