Sometimes, an album can take a few songs to find its feet; or, possibly, it takes a few songs for me to connect with what the band is doing. The sophomore release from Shumaun is exactly this sort of album. “One Day Closer to Yesterday” released on the 22nd of February, and it simply gets better with each listen.
Shumaun hails from Virginia, USA. The band consists of Farhad Hossain (Iris Divine) on vocals, guitars, keys, and programming; Jose Mora on bass, Tyler Kim on guitars, and Tanvir Tomal on drums. These players obviously have technical ability, but you will notice that they display an honorable amount of restraint, and I love that.
Musically speaking, Shumaun maintains the delicate balance between progressive metal and progressive rock. The guitar work is more lick-based rather than riff-based, and so the music feels more winding and vocally-driven than most prog metal. It does, however, have good heaviness and definitely offers something for metalheads. For some reason, I hear a weighty dose of alternative rock, especially in Farhad’s vocal delivery. The band is also quite good with adding spacey and electronic moments to add musicality and atmosphere.
“One Day Closer to Yesterday” is an album that feels split into two halves. The first half is solid with some very good songs, like the spacey and emotional “Sensus Divinitatis”, the illustrious “The Writing’s on the Wall”, the very alt-rockesque “Nafsi Ammara”, and the short but very sweet “City of Gold”. The first half, again, is rock solid, but almost feels like the band is finding their way somewhat. The second half is where the fireworks truly begin, however.
The second part of the album begins with two very good songs, “Central Station” and “Prove Yourself”. Both of these songs seem to embrace the alternative side of the band. They are raw and emotional and energetic, and I absolutely love that. Part of this is the fact that Farhad’s voice reminds me so much of Pauly “Jett” Weiner of defunct nu-metal band From Zero. That’s a huge compliment from me because I’ve always loved Jett’s voice. There is one other alternative rock singer in the mix here, too, but I can’t narrow it down. Regardless, these songs are like a hit of nostalgia for me.
The last three songs on the album, however, are the best by a significant amount. In fact, I have heard very few song trios this year that can beat “Go”, “Remember Me and I Will Remember You”, and the epic title track”. “Go” has lots of vocally driven portions to it, and I absolutely love the chorus. “Remember Me and I Will Remember You” is probably my favorite song on the album. It reminds me of the early 00s something fierce; between the heaviness of the guitars, the blunted melancholy of the verses, and the razor-bladed chorus. The title track ends the album with a 15 minute song of dark waves of emotion, fantastic vocal lines, and wonderful transitions. The last half gets even better with some absolutely stunning moments, including the beautiful finale.
Shumaun are putting their potential on display with this album. This album has some immense moments that will make music fans stand up and pay attention. There is an instant likeability to their overall sound, too, that is a great boost for them. If you looking for an album with energy and lots of great vocals, look no further.