SHELTER - Spetsnaz

Shelter - Spetsnaz

4 songs
19:33 minutes
***** ***
Atypeek / Le Cri du Charbon


This young quintet from Lyon in France share a love for complex metal, with their record label quoting Meshuggah, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Fear Factory as common influences. Listening to Spetsnaz, the first EP by Shelter (not to be confused with the Hare Krishna hardcore band from the Nineties!), the first thing that will strike you is that they are actually not a metal band, but consider themselves a progressive math rock band.

The band consists of two guitarists, a bass player, a drummer and a trumpeter, and they perform instrumental music that combines the odd meters of math rock with the structural intricacies of progressive rock. Usually I am not that much into instrumental music, but in the case of Shelter, itís the trumpet that takes a central role and conjures visions from King Crimson to Miles Davis. The latter has left a certain acid jazz flair, while the former have provided elements from their Seventies era with staccato jazz pulses and from their Eighties era with polyrhythmic quasi-tribal beats.

Spetsnaz only contains four songs. The opener and title track is a high energy track that shows the band from its most direct side. Zoloft starts more sedately but its middle comes with an incredibly weird and distorted guitar part that shows that the guys have an ear for unpredictability. Bermudes is a quieter track that still surprises with occasional jazz eruptions. The album ends with Bielorusse, another song that shows that Shelter is not just about the trumpet, but also features tremendous guitar solos.

Fans of math rock that are not averse to jazz will find a lot to like here. Well, maybe not a lot, because the EP is only twenty minutes long, but it is a great appetiser that makes hungry for more. Hopefully soon!

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