Not able to fit in the perfect box of classifiable rock or blues, and maybe even hints of bluegrass, this album is definitely a concept of a band playing what they love and in the end creating great music overall.
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Picture walking into a bar. The bar is dimly lit, sweltering hot and grimy. It is packed full of patrons, however the crowd is silent. The only sound heard is a soulful, bluesy, libidinous voice; a loud, yet slow strum of a deep bass and drum beats that entrance the crowd with its sexy, swanky swagger. However as the night continues on, in the middle of the concupiscent sound, the guitars are now wailing, the song is sanguine and the swashbuckling begins.
The band is Shaman’s Harvest and the sound is their newly released album, Red Hands Black Deeds. Shaman’s Harvest have always brought a flavor of the blues into their albums, but primarily their overall sound has been eclectic with the driving force of rock. However, it is not easy to lump the band into one genre of sound. In fact, the genre of music they fit into is a popular topic question that gets brought up in many interviews. When asked what genre of music they consider themselves, Josh Hamler (guitar and vocals) explains that “The song determines what it is. The band doesn’t. The song is its own thing.”
Red Hands Black Deeds is their sixth album. Their first album, Last Call for Goose Creek was released in 1999 and had a very relevant grunge, rock sound which was fitting for the time period of the late 90’s when it was released. Cumulatively, each album has been a positive progression of sound throughout the past eighteen years with each album surpassing the previous.
The intro of the new album sounds as though a song would sound with the title of “Red Hands Black Deeds”, like the beginning of a movie about being in prison for horrible crimes committed. The song sets the stage for what is to be expected for most of the album, sultriness. From songs “Long Way from Home” to “Soul Crusher”, the message and sound is prurient. A fitting sound when referring to love, whether it is a good or bad experience, the desire is the driving force.
Not all full of sensualism, the album contains tracks “The Come Up”, “Broken Ones” and “Off the Tracks” which are upbeat, from the pulpit sermons of guidance which could have any listeners testifying. All of the tracks put a positive spin on negative experiences and in the end make you feel like you can overcome anything. These are the songs you need when you have people in your life that bring you down, whereas the lyrical content and music can pick you right back up.
Red Hands Black Deeds is out on the 28th July, 2017. It is considered a “concept album” by the band itself and this is justifiably the case. Not able to fit in the perfect box of classifiable rock or blues, and maybe even hints of bluegrass, this album is definitely a concept of a band playing what they love and in the end creating great music overall.