Review Summary: Infected Mushroom craft something mighty tasty.
Food and music share a very distinct, powerful ability that connects us as human beings. Race,color,creed need not apply because art has no discrimination. Everybody listens to music and eats no matter who they are. Not all food and music is of equal quality although. Take Soulja Boy's last album and big macs for example, both are cheaply made and have been bought in mass quantities for consumption. Neither of which have the heart or soul which is found in mom's kitchen or in the lyrics of a rapper so beaten down by poverty his/her's only way up is music. Infected Mushroom's album Legend Of the Black Shawarma is that of a band wishing to share their idea of quality dance music and just a little bit of the food that they have enjoyed throughout their years of touring.
For those unfamiliar with Infected Mushroom, they are a psytrance/progressive electronica duo from Israel, and Legend of the Black Shawarma is their seventh studio album. This album was originally going to be a concept album with each song being named after a favorite restaurant the band had been to on tour over the years. The idea eventually gave way to just a collection of songs. The songs Poquito Mas and Sa'eed are the only two songs that are part of the original concept. As well as the album titled named after a sharwama (middle eastern equivalent to a gyro.) dubbed legendary by the duo from a restaurant Shawarma Hazan in Israel.. With the concept stripped Infected make one hell of a solid album.
The duo has been said to be metal aficionados , and this is immediately apparent on this album. The guitar-work from vicious delicious has been brought back tenfold, with only one song lacking guitar riffs. These riffs range from ridiculously overdubbed triplets to some beautiful acoustic melodies, both could be found on an Opeth album. The growls are missing but Duvdev's voice proves that he is plenty capable of producing chills without straining his vocal chords. Especially with the very well chosen effects that are used. Those who crave another song like heavyweight, will be satisfied with every song here. Infected Mushroom has said this is their heaviest work yet and even impressed Paul Oakenfold, the producer of Legend. This may worry some people that Infected is treading far into industrial territory, and are not staying original. While some songs are industrial influenced, this is still very much a trance album and the guitars only add an extra kick to the already unmatched sound. With this album their sound is perfected and they are just having fun with it. Unfortunately though the eclectic feel of vicious delicious and converting vegetarians second half is only present in spurts throughout the album.
The two singles, Smashing the Opponent, and Killing Time, featuring Jonathan Davis of Korn, and Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction respectively, are by far the two worst songs on the album. Both songs are still quite enjoyable, but only seem to serve the purpose of getting radio play and mainstream appeal for their short length and famous vocalists. The push for mainstream stops there though, with all other songs being well over three minutes. Duvdev and I.zen made this album for their fans, and even tested each song in multiple clubs before selecting it for the CD.
It does have one major problem stopping it from being their magnum opus,and that is innovation. Don't get me wrong their progression as a band has resulted in this album being a retrospective of sorts with them perfecting their sound and having fun while doing it. In doing so they failed to break new ground for trance or electronic music. Regardless,this album isn't boring and repetitive but actually engaging, something the dance club scene seems to overlook. Legend contains some of Infected Mushroom's best work, Project 100 could possibly be the best trance song ever. Taking the listener on an aural journey with bits of goth, industrial, disco, and classical music. The songs Sa'eed and Legend of the Black Shawarma may give Daft Punk and Justice a run for their money, both being catchy, danceable albeit harder songs. (Sa'eed even has a very well placed and well played guitar solo). I would go as far to say this record has no bad songs. Fans of heavy music, dance music, or any music that is unique will find something tasty in this album.
Too bad a trip Israel is so damn expensive because the black sharwama does sound quite legendary.