Hailing from the metal hot-spot of Germany, Shakhtyor break out of our stereos with a very modern sounding but ultimately very true-to-their-own progressive metal style. A missing piece that will definitively differentiate Shakhtyor from other bands is the total absence of all vocals. I wouldn’t even consider it a missing piece, as I cannot picture the sound they produce collaborated with any style of vocals. Simply put, this is a perfect instrumental band.
The first track entitled “E. Jasper” kicks things off with a very paced The Sword style lead guitar with a huge bass line that shadows everything. Everything progressively loudens into a near-thrash section with bass drums smashing and symbols crashing, laden with a hypnotic lead guitar all blended together with the perfect amount of distortion. The song begins to unwind halfway through, calming itself down and ending with a heavy repetitive riff with a very prominent bass in the background. “Handschuhmann”, the albums second track starts off with an extremely memorable drum line that builds up and joins forces with a slow and steady lead guitar to form a hypnotic near-black metal intro. Things begin to spiral out of control as the track begins to darken and become a totally evil sludgy beast of a song as a protrusive bass line enters the mix, adding to the unraveling madness.
The albums third and longest track has an almost painfully slow start yet it leaves you craving for the awakening of the next transition. There is a very strong Gojira style influence in this song with its endless build up. I picture this song as an anthem to the end of the world, the song finishes very strong with all instruments mixed together perfectly with a quick upbeat riff at the end to top it all off. The fourth and final track “K.I.”, begins with hypnotic drumming that doesn't change for nearly the first 2 minutes as the bass and guitar lines slowly pour in to this bountiful mixing pot of metalness. Each riff in this song goes on for what seems an eternity and I can only picture myself driving down a dark a highway blasting this without any care in the world, almost exiting from existence as the subliminal hypnotism of each instrument takes hold of my mind. I really wouldn't want it any other way, it is a feeling like no other, beauty in its rawest form.
Shakhtyor load this album up with a very distinct bass throughout yet separate the first two songs from the last; the first as a shorter, approachable, more understandable style of progressive metal whereas the final two songs drag on for lifetimes with an aura of eerie mystery about them. They offer a very nice salad of metal that I’m sure any fan would like a taste of