Tesla Shamans – Electric Storm
Release Date: 17/05/2021
Running Time: 46:18
Review by Simon Black
Every once in a while, you just need a bit of Rock’n’Roll in your life.
My normal diet of Italian Metal acts for review tends strongly towards the Power and Symphonic end of the spectrum, so when something different is sent over for my delectation and delight, it’s always a pleasure. Italy would seem to be having a bit of a Rock’n’Roll renaissance at the moment, if the recent Eurovision win for Måneskin is anything to go by (the infamous did he/didn’t he snorting of broken glass clip online only fuels the fire). So, enter the Tesla Shamans, who are about as traditional Rock’n’Roll as it’s possible to get whilst still sounding relevant, which they absolutely are but who also somehow manage to fuse Symphonic, Blues and Progressive elements seamlessly into the same set of songs.
No, I didn’t quite believe it at first either, but the ears don’t lie.
The band have been around since 2018 and this is their debut, although they’ve shared the stage with some notable names and clearly have something of a following in their native Italy. Whilst this is pure Rock’n’Roll in terms of vibe and attitude, there’s a hell of a lot more going on, whilst not losing track of that essential core. Although the traditional three and half minute energy style of tracks come thick and fast at the beginning of this album, there’s also plenty of more measured, slower and subtle pieces because, let’s face it, a seven minute ballad is not normal for these sorts of bands. It’s called ‘A Way’ and is an absolutely spot on piece of song-writing, with a lengthy and epic quality that builds beautifully. They also mix it up a bit throughout, with ‘The Lady In Black’ standing out in particular as a surprisingly technical piece of music, full of time changes, symphonic keyboard/synth interplay and instrumental breaks whilst still sounding thoroughly R’n’R. Then there’s the instrumental break in ‘Prayer’ which sounds positively Progressive. No, I can’t believe I am writing the words ‘Progressive’ and ‘Rock’n’Roll’ to describe the same band either. It’s quite disconcerting – in a fantastically brilliant way.
The production pulls exactly the same trick spectacularly well too. It retains the richness of sound that the more Symphonic or Progressive genre bands utilise, without losing the rawness and edgy energy of the Rock’n’Roll side. It also has the juxtaposition of one of the most down and dirty guitar sounds, from Paul Gun, that I’ve heard in a while. Combine that with Steve Crows’ gutsy, raw and energetic vocal delivery simultaneously counterpunching with the crisp rhythm delivery, rich synth elements and fat sound all bizarrely mixed together. It’s the kind of musical potpourri that should not work, but absolutely does.
I guess this is what happens when you have really skilful and well trained musicians expressing their love for Rock’n’Roll. The fusions between the two styles works well and is uniquely Italian, since its almost certainly going to cross over into the highly popular and successful dominant Power/Symphonic market in that country. The uniqueness of the sound also means that this is likely to extend way beyond their homeland if they can get out there quickly enough, and I really hope they do. You know what to do…
‘Shamans’ (Official Video)
01. Your Shit
04. Down On The Road
05. A Way
06. The Lady In Black
10. The Lie Of The Mind
Steve Crow – Vocals
Paul Gun – Guitars
Tom – Bass
Bellix – Drums
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