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Shofar

Shofar

Review by Gary Hill

The sound these guys create is both intriguing and captivating. I've landed them under progressive rock, but their brand is modern and AOR based. There are definitely things here that make me think of vintage Blue Oyster Cult, but I still consider this prog. While you might disagree with that decision, you should check these guys out either way. Their music is unique and hard to classify. It's also very compelling.

 
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Running

Coming in mellow and understated, this works out to a powerhouse jam that's part heavy metal and part prog rock. As it drops for the vocals it lands thoroughly in the vein of modern progressive rock. There are things here that make me think of Rush a bit, but this is really all over the place.

Powerman
Melodic alternative rock sounds open this. The cut grows out with some folk music blended with a bit of a prog rock element. This is fairly complex with a lot of different sections and modes built into it. There is even a Beatlesesque section here.
Shades of Grey
Psychedelia, modern prog and more blend on this energized cut. It has a real AOR kind of sound. It's another with more Beatles-like elements.
Hands Down
Coming in with more psychedelically tinged stuff, the guitar riff that joins makes me think of Alice Cooper (the band) quite a bit. I love the balance between the mellower elements and the seriously hard rocking stuff. This is killer AOR rock that lands in the general vicinity of progressive rock, but leans toward the straight-ahead rock.
Countdown

Some cool backwards tracked stuff opens this. The cut works out from there to a dramatic modern AOR prog sound. I love the catchy chorus on this. It's classic stuff. This is one of my favorite tunes here. At times it reminds me of 1970s Blue Oyster Cult quite a bit.

The Coming
I can make out some more of that BOC thing on the mellower sections here. The balance between more sedate and powered up stuff is quite good on this piece. It's another strong cut on a disc with plenty of potent material. It's proggy but also AOR rock based.
 
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