Epic waves of noise.
This epic length 8 track EP from the former Mahumodo, Eden Maine and Fireapple Red members is a worthy follow up to the brilliant 2006 debut album "Sea Of The Dying Dhow"; although it features a combination of old and new it flows nicely throughout, combining quiet moments with moving crescendos of noise.
The EP starts with 'Atoll' a haunting 20 second recording of front man Mehdi Safa's grandfather before breaking into a version of 'Water' previously found on their debut album, but this time being released unedited; it's an uplifting, multi layered, sweeping tune with sweet vocals that fades near the end to a gentle melody with acoustic guitars.
'Water' is followed by three new tracks: 'The Ghost Writer' has a beautifully measured build up, trancelike and yet urgent, culminating in a heavy burst of fuzzy guitar noise and echoey half hidden vocals; 'City Of The Swan' sends shivers up your spine; it moves in sections evoking different emotions as it unfolds; the strings and bells of the beginning are lovely and yet sinister and it builds to a genuinely eerie rumbling that sounds like something from the soundtrack to Alien before letting rip with heavy riffs then dropping again into a warm and comforting little melody for the end. 'Lights In The Laurentian' is instrumental and employs a memorable tune played on what sounds like a wonky piano, it sticks with you.
The final three tunes are re-mastered tracks taken from the 2004 EP "Wingsfortheirsmiles". 'Fireflystarrs' and 'Wingsfortheirsmiles' are by *Shels standards more straight forward, with quiet leading to loud and screamy and all with a melodic edge, but they still have their little quirks and 'M' is an almost out of range, melancholy, instrumental coda, it's good to hear them all with a glossier sheen.