HamaSaari: Ineffable: Album Out NOW On Klonosphere Records

HamaSaari: Ineffable: Album Out NOW On Klonosphere Records

Behind The Name And Title

HamaSaari are a French progressive rock band that used to be known as Shuffle who seem to have 2 albums out in Upon The Hill and WontTheyFade?.

From research it seems that 4 of the old band are in this new band, those being Jordan Jupin: Vocals /Guitars; Sullivane Albertini: Keyboards; Antoine Alric: Guitars and Jonathan Jupin: Bass.

The new member if I have the information correct is the drummer Élie Chéron. The other 4 have been together since 2009, but decided recently to start up afresh with a new name and from what I can hear a slightly different sound to their old band. The name of the band comes from the name of a town in Finland which seems odd. Perhaps they visited there and liked it so much, or they just saw it mentioned and thought it looked or sounded good. As for the album title Ineffable, the dictionary says the meaning can be “causing so much emotion, especially pleasure, that it can’t be described” which technically makes this a difficult album to review… or does it?  

How To Build Tension

The opening song “Different Time” sets the scene taking around a minute and a half to fully come in. Like a number of songs, this is a mix of Porcupine Tree and even more so Riverside. There is no hurry to get to the main part of a song, the journey is part of the enjoyment. When of course it kicks into the heaviest section, the riff is suitably in what seems to be a weird time sig (failed musician here). It is fun to attempt to headbang to. There is a particularly meaty riff near the end of the track which I would happily have heard them play a little bit longer.

Crumbs” starts very gently, just guitar and plaintive vocal until both the bass and drums come in, slowly, deliberately with haunting touches on the keys adding some extra flavour. Again as is a main feature here, the band are in no hurry to hit you with a riff, that takes at least a couple of minutes. The build-up of tension and then the release is timed nicely. When it drops back down I felt the music was almost religious or at least music to meditate to. Quite lovely and engaging.

HamaSaari: The Band

HamaSaari: The Band

The Production Is Impressive

The guitar work on “Lords” in places reminded me a little of early Genesis, just the guitar though. This has some drums which are played like Mick Fleetwood ala “Albatross“, and the background vocals and harmonies are excellent on the ear. The clarity of instrumentation is something else to enjoy, nothing is drowned out, each instrument having its moment in the limelight but never to the detriment of anything else.

Bleak” is how you would expect. Gentle, folky prog with quite high-pitched vocals. When it gets heavier it becomes even more dark or mournful and the vocals (especially) start to be reminiscent of Alice In Chains. The false ending leading to the riff kicking back in works really well. “White Pinnacles” heads into Opeth territory, so much so it could easily fit onto “Ghost Reveries“. They even incorporate some harsh vocals on this. The drummer earns his corn here playing out of his skin.

Reflective Pieces

The last 2 tracks never get quite as heavy as what has come before, both are more reflective with “Old Memories” being the more electric of the 2 songs. There is a deceptive simpleness to the song and is almost pop in places, the sort of song that Steven Wilson writes when aiming for the straight-ahead. The latter “Prognosis” is based mostly around acoustic (I think) with echo effects added. This is such a beautiful piece, so mellow and sedate. With hushed vocals that have more “oooohhhs” and “aaaaahhhs” than words it doesn’t say much but says a lot, which is a very strange but clever effect.

A Fine Debut

As it says above this is a fine debut from a band who are looking to alter course and perhaps play music that just blends more with their tastes. The bands already mentioned (Porcupine TreeRiversideOpeth) are definitely in there as are artists like Pink Floyd and Anathema to name but 2. This is music to chill to in the main, soft, gentle lilting but with bursts of heaviness to rouse you from that ease. This is a band that you can tell have been working together for a while as for a “debut” it is remarkably well written and the interplay of the musicians is so tight throughout. It helps that the production is crystal clear, nothing seems out of place. I am already interested to see what and where they will go next and that is credit to them for making such a good album.

Out now on Klonosphere Records.

Purchase Album HERE

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Check out my other articles and reviews here. Tom.