Feast of Silence

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Feast of Silence is the fourth album from world fusion duo Vas (vocalist Azam Ali and percussionist Greg Ellis). The range of instrumentation as well as vocal technique have been expanded thoroughly since their previous albums. On the vocal end, the first things one will notice are the new use of English lyrics here and there, and more importantly, a sudden reliance on Eastern European stylings. The polyphony is decidedly Bulgarian through portions of most of the songs, alternating with a collection of other styles. Indian and Middle Eastern sounds flow easily and beautifully from Ali, often with some pattering accompaniment on what sounds like an udu or a ghatam, perhaps. Touches of guitar and bass are also new to the sound of the duo, but stay largely in the background, giving Ellis the ability to stand at the forefront with an array of percussion. African drums can be heard from time to time, but the bulk of his work appears to be in the Middle East and the subcontinent, with some cymbals heard here and there. While there's a wealth of sounds here, the palette is almost overused at times, running dangerously close to falling into pure new age, rather than ambient world fusion. Regardless, it's an enjoyable listen, just be careful for Ali's long notes.

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