Shakary - Shakary 2006 (English version)

Kev Rowland

ImageWhat we have here is a double album, featuring the two Shakary albums ‘Alya’ and ‘The Last Summer’. However, there has been extensive re-recording and mixing with Noel McCalla (Mike Rutherford, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) re-recording all of the vocal parts (he didn’t feature at all on the originals), plus Giovanni Galfetti re-recorded some of the keyboard tracks and there have also been alternate takes used at other points. Not knowing the original two albums I don’t know why this task has been undertaken, unless the band was really unhappy with the originals (which only came out in 2000 and 2002 respectively). It is certainly unusual, but I can’t find comment on either their website or the label site to say why they felt the need to do this. They also took the opportunity to ask Steve Rothery and Arjen Lucassen to guest on one number.

I have always felt that Noel is a tremendously under-rated singer, and here he has the opportunity to show off his breadth of range and power within a symphonic prog setting that contains powerful guitars and keyboards being driven along by the drums. The band themselves are saying that this is a new album which owners of the two albums still ought to go and get, but not having heard them I am unable to compare. What I do know is that there is some very strong material on these two albums, and with Noel being such a strong vocalist the result is something that progheads need to try and hear at the very least.

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