If you know me, then you already know my stance on this album from Australian band Hashshashin. TL;DR: it’s absolutely magnificent and you should stop whatever you’re doing right now to come in and listen to it in its entirety right here! If you need a little more arguments, it’s a drony psychedelic progressive rock trio led by a bouzouki.
A bouzouki is a traditional Greek instrument resembling a mandolin that can have 6 or 8 strings. The one Lachlan Dale uses here is a tetrachordo, the 8-stringed one. It’s usually tuned C-F-A-D, with doubled strings that are one octave higher, but maybe Mr. Dale wanted to experiment with the tunings a little; I can’t tell. The unusual instrument is amplified and lush with effects: reverb, overdrive, chorus, you name it. However, reducing the band to a single instrument would be a gross disservice to you and he band itself.
Accompanying Lachlan are Cameron MacDonald on bass and Evan McGregor playing percussions, drums, and didgeridoo. Yes, you could count that as a second uncommon instrument, although I think most of us have been acquainted with the Aboriginal aerophone through various well-known musical acts, such as ‘Loser’ from Ayreon’s The Human Equation, and Kate Bush’s album ‘The Dreaming’. The compositions on nihsahshsaH – which I’m uncertain how to pronounce: the literal /knee-sash-saw/ or the pronounced opposite /ni-shawsh-shah/ – go from the progressive, groovy, almost funky ‘Immolation’ to the atmospheric, ritualistic, meditative ‘Disintegration’. ‘The Ascetic’ is the headbanger and ‘Levitation’ is the stoner. There’s a healthy dose of diversity within the 43 minutes of the confusingly-named album.
Hashshashin’s debut album is a journey that will make you travel through deserts and oases, mountain ranges and death valleys with a Middle-Eastern aura of mysticism only enhancing the experience. You can pre-order the album for a simple dollarydoo right now. I would recommend any prog lover this album.
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