When you’re like me and you’re constantly listening to the many forms of chaos that metal music tends to present itself in, a relief is something that can become a very welcome thing. It too can come in many different forms, and more times than not I turn to instrumental rock for that change of pace. It’s just such a good contrast from something like death metal that it refreshes my brain while presenting some new to me, and new acts are constantly coming out of nowhere to surprise me. Bands like ShiMa constantly surprise me, and it’s albums like “Vol.01” that keep me coming back.
I’ve always felt partial to instrumental rock because it almost always starts out as a blank canvas where the music, without the need of any sort of narration, takes hold of its own destiny, carving a path for the listener to have a unique experience with a unique vision. Very few other kinds of music can do such a thing, and it takes a special band to pull it off, and judging by the tastiness of their debut album, “Vol.01”, ShiMa seems to have the makings of a band worth keeping an eye on. This 47-minute debut shows that not only can ShiMa pull off a splendid take on instrumentalism that’s all but tantalizing, but they can also incorporate progressive elements alongside a hint of psychedelia to add some real flair to “Vol.01” to drive home that this Portuguese band isn’t here to record generic riffs and then call it an album. These five tracks are sprawling with an imagination that’s laced with an otherworldly sense of atmosphere that adds several layers to “Vol.01” to make it even more immersive while the trippy guitars, hypnotic bass, and rhythmic drums do fantastic work. And while “Vol.01” is far from the best of its kind that I’ve heard, I can very easily say this is one of the better albums of its kind and that if ShiMa were to really fucking go for it they could put out an album that’s not only as delicious as this one but one that’s superior in every way. You can feel that through every minute of this album, and it’s one fucking hell of a trip to experience every single time.
The scene of instrumental rock has always been rich with various acts with various takes on more or less the same kind of style, but it never ceases to amaze. ShiMa is a new and slightly standout act that can really take the scene by storm if they simply went all in like Spaceslug or Mesarthim to really put out material that’s no less than top tier. “Vol.01” gives hints that this band can do that, but all we can do now is wait. And I’m a very patient person.
LISTEN to “Vol.01” on Bandcamp here.