Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Gong - Shamal CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.81 | 334 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Shamal is generally considered a transitional album between Allen's Psychedelic/Space Rock and Moerlen's Jazz Rock/Fusion incarnation of the band. Most of the The Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy band is still in place, with the exception of Daevid Allen, Tim Blake and Gilli Smyth, and they definitely manage to do a great job even without Allen's theatrics.

The album cover is very representative of the 40 minute worth of music incorporated within the album. It's basically a rare mix between psychedelic music and light jazz rock that I kind of wish that the band would continue to explore even on their later albums. This was of course not to be. I'm sure that fans of the Daevid Allen-era might have dismissed this material for the lack of space rock material but the fact is that music on Shamal has aged a lot better than anything released by the band during the early '70s.

It's a pity that Steve Hillage is only present on two of these tracks since this is the music that I enjoy the most. Wingful Of Eyes is a solid opening number but it's Bambooji where Hillage really shines with his performance. The composition starts off sounding like an oriental piece with Miquette Giraudy's smooth vocals only adding to this atmosphere. Eventually the track kicks off once Hillage adds a vital layer of his guitar sound and what we get here is just another moment of music magic! Cat In Clark's Shoes is the only piece that I consider to be out of place in comparison to the rest of the material since this is the closest that the band comes to the Jazz Rock/Fusion style that will be featured on Gazeuse and onward. The 9 minute album title-track ends the album on another highlight where the production almost sounds like something from an Alan Parsons Project record which might have something to do with the fact that Nick Mason produced this recording.

While most Gong fans seem to prefer either the album before or after Shamal, for me this represents one of their greatest achievements and it would definitely been interesting to see how this particular direction would have progressed if the band would continue even further into this psychedelic light jazz territory.

***** star songs: Bambooji (5:14)

**** star songs: Wingful Of Eyes (6:21) Chandra (7:19) Cat In Clark's Shoes (7:43) Mandrake (5:04) Shamal (9:01)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this GONG review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives