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Shuulak - Albedo

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 January 2019, 2:49 AM

SHUULAK is a Dutch Metal band whose otherworldly songs explore man’s obsession with things that would only destroy him. Unfettered by trends and uncompromising in its pursuit of excellence; their music stands as a testament to the undying power of heavy metal. In 2017 the band releases an EP titled ‘Nigredo’, a concept signifying the first step in the alchemist’s Magnum opus. Its songs are a collection of tales telling of humanity’s desire for greatness inevitably ending in madness and depravity. From their Bandcamp page, “eyes aglow with the fires of metal, SHUULAK fervently desire to stoke its flames. Though solid songwriting, they wish to give a voice to things that thrive amidst discordant melodies and distorted guitars. Their songs tell of man’s hunger to do great and glorious things, only to see them end in death and depravity.” They are back with a three-song EP, titled “Albedo.”

“Hunter’s Moon” leads off the album, with some dark suspense. Bastiën’s voice is rich and he is capable of singing well in many ranges. There’s a little bit of QUEENRSYCHE meets FATES WARNING here. The guitar and bass work well with each other, painting a mysterious landscape. The acoustic passage is fantastic. I love it when bands change things up like this. Bastiën laments in some nice harmonies, and then the main sound returns again. It’s a nice start to the album. “The Meek” is the next track. Following some dissonant opening guitars, a mid-tempo heavy track is established. The guitar work is just a bit to linear in this song. It does a good job with a weighted riff and holding down the bottom end, but some more exploration would be nice to hear. The semi-harsh vocals are a nice addition however.

“Albedo” is a short one-minute closer with emotional vocals and light piano. It’s hard to gain perspective on a three-track EP, so I went back to hear their previous EP, which has five tracks. I was treated to a dark affair with aggressive melodies and earnest vocals. I like the sound they have established here, and their future seems to be bright. They have all the proper musicians in place and a great frontman. I very much look forward to hearing a full-length from them and perhaps a little more experimentation, but it’s an excellent EP.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Hunter’s Moon
2. The Meek
3. Albedo
Angelo Tower – Drums
Eve Laetitia – Guitar (Lead)
Loet Braamkolk – Guitar (Rhythm)
Riccardo Terlien – Bass
Bastiën Baron – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 26 September 2020

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