Kultur Shock


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Instead of playing the punk Balkan card again, this time around Kultur Shock turn more toward metal, and do it with the perfect producer -- Jack Endino. He brings out not only their musicality, but also the crunch of guitars and the wail of vocals, especially on "Tutti Frutti" and the almost circus-like "Horse Thief," a song that goes through many moods, including a quieter interlude with stunning fiddle. That they've improved as a band is quite apparent. Everything has gelled, and the sense of risk-taking is palpable and exciting. They've also expanded their colors, venturing into the Middle East for "Hashishi," for example, and doing it very effectively. There's plenty of melody in with the metal, apparent in the themes from "Kamarage" and "Mustafa," which are quite lyrical. They're a band of quirks and forays off the normal, even the Balkan normal, and they've learned how to put the elements together most effectively, while still keeping the power of metal under it all. A record for both metalheads and world music fans.

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