Review Summary: Psychedelically dark.
What intrigues me is how the dark, deep-root, psychedelic rock is still heavily effective on listeners of today’s world. Psychedelic rock had a huge effect on the lifestyle of people all over the world when it first became prominent in the late 1960s. It was all simply speaking basic and easy to play and listen along to. Ever since, it has become perhaps one of the most versatile genres, evolving into a variety of even more successful genres later in the 70s, the 80s, and so forth. Perhaps one of most profound sides of psychedelia is the dark, metal-type side. An example of a band that got to a good start with it is Blaak Heat Shujaa in their debut album, The Edge of an Era.
Upon listening to this album, the superb mix of genres, moods, and musical elements is what most shines in The Edge of an Era. The Blaak Heat Shujaa throws some progressive overtones in parts of song and shady, deep, dark psychedelic stabs in other areas with subtlety and ambiguity, and it garners great feedback in return. The group also shows its influences with a few signs of pride. They display the force of early Black Sabbath, the complexity of Tool’s Aenima and Lateralus, the ambiance of GY!BE, and the heavy distortion of King Crimson. These infusions of influences, prog, and dark psychedelia create something instrumentally interesting.
When taking a closer look at each of the members, the framework of the group's Thomas Bellier, Antoine Morel-Vulliez, and Mike Amster works almost perfectly. However, their chemistry is still rusty and needs more polishing specifically with Bellier. He needs to put work into creating edgier riffs and a greater variety of musical selection. That is not the only problem. In The Edge of An Era, the songs can sometimes become a little too consistant and drag on after listening to them usually after about one minute away from the end. What Blaak Heat Shujaa could do to improve on that is add a few more musical structures without the emphasis of musical soloists; this would allow for more creativity. Other than those problems, the members of the band seemed to be working off each other’s ideas, creating a beautiful scheme of artwork; a musical mosaic…even so, there is still a missing piece. Bellier, also being the vocalist, sometimes sings a little rougher in particular sections of The Edge of an Era, causing there in one spot to be a missing piece: tone down on the heavy vocalism. However, the vocalist is also alluding to his influences; in this case it’s a benefactor. He has the heaviness of Tool’s Keenan and does well at creating impulsiveness and mysteriousness, right in your face. While there’s a few mistakes made in The Edge of an Era, it shouldn’t cost the group too much.
Overall, Blaak Heat Shujaa is making good progress in their first album, exploring new boundaries and incorporating them with old ones. They also settled already with mildly impressive team chemistry, and thus cooperation pulls them through. The may be a few flaws, but in the long run, and for the first album, The Edge of An Era has yielded mostly positive results through the method of expressing psychedelic rock, pulling a deep, dark layer of sound over the first time mistakes. There is a hope that the group can continue to strive further in the direction of deeper and darker psychedelic rock and continue the road towards progress.