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SHAMBLEMATHS

Eclectic Prog • Norway


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Shamblemaths biography
SHAMBLEMATHS is the new project by Norwegian duo Simen Å. ELLNGSEN and Eirik M. HUSUM. This band is actually a direct contiuation of their first collaboration as a duo formed in their student days in 2004 under the name Fallen Fowl. That collaboration actually started as a side project to the band TiaC that was active in the early 2000, the song "Stalker" from the new album is actually a TiaC song that was never recorded. A couple of demos and an EP were recorded under Fallen Fowl before a hiatus ensued when ELLINGSEN moved to London to complete his studies.

Now they've returned as SHAMBLEMATHS with an edgier sound and approach, adding more influences from Magma, Univers Zero and Egg. The band plays an eclectic mix of countless styles and the music is pretty much all over the place, exploring both melodic and quirky areas. Their self titled album was released in the spring of 2016 featuring guests musicians, most prominently Eirik Øverland Dischler on keyboards and Jon Even Schärer on drums. HUSUM is playing bass and ELLINGSEN is playing guitars, saxophones and also handles the vocals.

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SHAMBLEMATHS discography


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3.97 | 78 ratings
Shamblemaths
2016

SHAMBLEMATHS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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SHAMBLEMATHS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Fallen Fowl: Do They Love You Now?
2006

SHAMBLEMATHS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Shamblemaths by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.97 | 78 ratings

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Shamblemaths
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars From Trondheim, Norway?! No way! This vocalist must be THE STRAWBS' Dave Cousins! The sax and rhythm section has the youthful vigor and sound of SEVEN IMPALE!The music has the quirky yet complex adventurous of THE TEA CLUB! As a matter of fact, this is exactly what I hear when I listen to this album: the dynamic saxophone-assisted drive of youth as in countrymen Seven Impale playing with the musical experience and breadth of diverse styles as The Tea Club with a strong foundation in the tremendous wisdom of folk traditions and impassioned messages of The Strawbs (with, of course, the voice of Dave Cousins in the lead). (*A parenthetical addendum to this last statement: It is obvious to me [and other reviewers] that the lyrical content presented herein may be intended to convey a somewhat tongue-in-cheek message--that Simen and Eirik may not, in fact, be so purely and selflessly uplifting or inspiring to the human audience as was Dave Cousins.) Nevertheless, this is truly an astonishing album--nearly flawless in composition (despite it's symphonic complexity and wide ranges of dynamics), performance and sound engineering. Three prog epics, each worthy of consideration for admission into the Prog Hall of Fame, yet each also standing alone in their own stylistic form and sound.

1. "Conglomeration (or: The Grand Pathetic Suite)" (26:54) - a. "Bloody Racket" - opens as a djenty Tech Metal song that turns into a metallic MAGMA-ish Zeuhl song with choir singing "Bloody Racket." Brilliant synthesis and pretty flawless imitation. The future direction of Zeuhl? - b. "Your Silly Stare" - feels like an attempt at a JETHRO TULL style though it turns into more of a high energy Van Der Graaf Generator sound. - c. "A Mockery in the Making" - "a broken man" section falls into the realm of THE FLOWER KINGS or even MARILLION--though the instrumental section in the eight thru tenth minutes feels more like SEVEN IMPALE. - d. "The Different Tastes of Sick" - e. "A Mockery Well Made" - f. "Life Is Tough (When You're Me)" - is simple, melodic and very funny ("I've nothing left to say but I say it anyway..." using familiar sound. - g. "Saucy Tiara Woman!" - an skillful instrumental display that is trying to be JETHRO TULL and HEART and yet becomes a little HARMONIUM-like with the soft, sustained background sax--before, that is, all hell breaks loose with shredding electric guitar solo. - h. "Another Pear of Ice" - the lines of demarcation among the final three songs (including: i. "Con-girl Omen Ratio 1" and j. "Overture") of this suite are indecipherable to me, but they continue the amped up STRAWBS/JTULL style. Lots of Mellotron, impassioned vocals, and even some djent and folk-jazz. All's well that ends well and this does end well. (9.5/10)

2. "A Failing Ember" (9:27) the album's shortest song, full of mundane and quirk, starts out with - a. "Never Innocent Again"- a three-minute acoustic guitar-based song with a very repetitious vocal melody. - b. "The Winding Stair" - starts out with an odd-tempo SEVEN IMPALE sound that gets heavier like MYRATH or ORPHANED LAND before suddenly switching off at 4:45. - c. "Three Flowers" - Two lone solo acoustic nylon-stringed guitars playing in a near-Spanish style before multiple tracked vocals enter and sing with/over. Some odd rhythms, instruments and styles filter in and out over the next part culminating in a baby's babeling over some odd organ/Mellotron sounds. - d. "Deus Caritatis" - the final 25 seconds of Latin "gregorian" chanting. (8.5/10)

3. "Stalker" (19:55) The final epic opens with some Mediterranean-sounding guitar and Burt Bacharach-soundtrack vocals (uncredited female included!) before a nicely grooving Neo prog rock jam opens up at 1:08. Then at the 2:00 mark it shifts into a more scaled back, acoustic-base for support of a vocal section. The heavier chorus section that launches at the end of the fourth minute (and again at the 5:00 mark) is reminiscent of some RIVERSIDE riffs. At 5:42 some heavier electric guitar chords and bass begin a slowly-ascending-chord interplay that results in a throbbing organ and sax--and, later--electric guitar-synth--duet at the fore. The baseline riff persists throughout the mid-section sounding a lot like RIVERSIDE's "Second Life Syndrome" while the saxophone solos. At the end of the fourteenth minute a solo nylon string acoustic guitar combining Steve Hackett's "Blood on the Rooftops" with Steve Howe's "Awaken" riff breaks down the flow. The male vocal brings us back into full band until at 15:20 saxophone and organ take us through no less than three transitory passages before we come to the Inevitable Anticlimax and Fade-out. Nice song if not as fresh or inventive as the album's first song. (9/10)

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music. The reason I've decided to rate it down to four stars hear on PA is that my interested, attention, and enjoyment of this album has waned over the many listens I've subjected myself to. The one song that continues to impress and interest me--despite its flaws--is the first and longest, the tongue-in-cheek, "Conglomeration (The Grand Pathetic Suite)."

 Shamblemaths by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.97 | 78 ratings

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Shamblemaths
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. SHAMBLEMATHS is the project of Norwegian duo Simen Ellingsen and Eirik Husum plus we get about nine guests helping out. This is one of those albums that I really think has something for every Prog fan out there. This contains a lot of variety as well as excellent lyrics. We get three long suites spread out over the 56 minute length of this album. I like in the liner notes where the band thanks... "both our fans out there: we actually could have done all this without you. But thanks anyway." The vocals remind me a little bit of Roine Stolt. Yes humour and lights out playing are the bands strengths I'd say.

We start with the almost 27 minute suite "Conglomeration" which opens with piano that is promptly blown away by vocals and heaviness. Check out the avant guitar work here reminding me of GARDEN WALL. The vocals here are shockingly Zeuhl-like all the way, I mean this is Zeuhl before 2 minutes. So good. Ripping guitar follows then a sax solo. Normal vocals after 3 1/2 minutes with strummed guitar as organ and bass join in. VDGG-like sax is back as the vocals stop as we get a killer instrumental section. A PORCUPINE TREE-like calm after 7 minutes as reserved vocals join in. It turns powerful again after 8 1/2 minutes. A calm with piano only at 12 1/2 minutes then reserved vocals join in. I like when the organ floats in replacing the vocals. Vocals are back at 14 1/2 minutes. Intricate guitar with piano after 15 minutes. Great sound 16 1/2 minutes in with that mellotron. Check out the guitar after 18 minutes. Oh my! And the bass too, then back to that intricate guitar as piano follows. The organ floats in again followed by mellotron and vocals. Another change before 21 minutes as the vocals return and the tempo picks up. Killer bass with drums and mellotron before 23 1/2 minutes. It's heavy before 25 minutes but it's brief. More amazing mellotron follows. Laid back vocals, guitar and sax end it.

"A Failing Ember" is the shortest song at just under 10 minutes. Strummed guitar and relaxed vocals to start but it builds quickly. It's fairly uplifting before 2 minutes then it kicks into gear as the vocals continue. Organ to the fore 3 minutes in then we get a really good instrumental section. It's pretty intense before 5 minutes then we get a calm. A bit of a hillbilly vibe(haha) after 6 minutes. A baby can be heard before 7 1/2 minutes, mellotron too. It kicks in majestically a minute later with vocals.

"Stalker" opens with strummed guitar and vocal melodies which reminds of MORTE MACABRE. It picks up and it's quite uplifting here as vocals and piano follow. It kicks in even more before 4 minutes. Nice. Contrasts continue and I love the organ 6 1/2 minutes in and the guitar ripping it up after 7 minutes. So good! Sax follows then more guitar but it's soaring this time. How amazing does this sound 10 1/2 minutes in, especially the drumming. A calm follows reminding me of MORTE MACABRE once again. Sax and a more powerful sound after 13 1/2 minutes, nice bass too. Another great section 16 1/2 minutes in with lots of energy and outstanding playing.

Man I could bump this up to 5 stars after more listens, it's that good. Without question a contender for Album of the Year in my World.

 Shamblemaths by SHAMBLEMATHS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.97 | 78 ratings

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Shamblemaths
Shamblemaths Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Norwegian band SHAMBLEMATHS is a direct continuation of the earlier band Fallen Fowl, which was active in the early 2000s, but went into hiatus due to certain life events following three EP and demo releases. A decade or so later, the two permanent members of that band, Ellingsen and Husum, decided to continue as Shamblemaths, and recorded their debut album under this new name with the help of a number of guest musicians. The final result was the self-titled CD "Shamblemaths", which was self-released in the spring of 2016.

Shamblemath's self-titled debut album is a joyful whirlwind of excellent, challenging and eclectic progressive rock with some distinct avant-garde leanings. I can't imagine too many people with an interest in music described in this general manner that won't be intrigued by this creation, and in addition, I suspect that a lot of people with the notion that this type of music isn't their thing will actually enjoy this album if they decide to seek it out. As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the most stunning albums I have come across in some time now, and comes with my glowing recommendations.

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