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Kashmyr > Kashmyr > Reviews > Napero
Kashmyr - Kashmyr

Soft but delightful... and a decade too late - 73%

Napero, September 4th, 2009

Kashmyr's only album, the self-titled full-length, is a delightfully old-fashioned piece of work. Despite the mid-90s release date, the album has an 80s feel to it, and the mild power/prog metal ingredients in the mix are polite enough not to disturb the listener. While the album does not really strive too hard to be a metal album, it fills the definition, and perhaps could serve another purpose... the purpose of keeping those guilty pleasures hidden from the rest of the world.

The band's soft treading on a road with a foundation of soft-sounding but rather powerful bass almost hides the heavy metal riffing. The songs themselves walk the fine line between traditional heavy metal and hard rock, and with a different set of riffs, many of them could well be off a second tier Whitesnake album. The riffs save the band from that fate, however, and the result is indeed a 1996 vintage model of 80s metal, perhaps with a bit of curly hair and the upper lip of one of the members crudely smudged with lipstick; there is a hint of glam stylings in the music. But there are a few moments of something that resembles power metal, too, and the production, with the prominent bass, resembles a cross-breed of 80s hard rock and many modern power-prog metal bands.

Perhaps the band sacrifices too much anger and aggression by including plenty of sections with just gentle drumming, bass, and vocals. Either that, or the production with its tendency to bring the clean bass and vocals to the front at the expense of the guitars and the drums causes the music to appear much softer than what the riffs would suggest on paper. In any case, Kashmyr is a timid, inoffensive creature.

The worst offence the relatively harmless album commits is the cover of Prince's "Purple Rain" in the very end, and that's not so much an offence as an embarrassing moment of admitting what the band is all about. The 80s pop song is translated into a pseudo-metallic or mildly hard rockish format by a band that actually sounds like it should have disbanded in 1988, four years before it was formed. The pale spectre of Guns'n Roses laughs in the background while the lead guitar runs its course that bears an uncanny resemblance to Joe Satriani's most peaceful works.

Kashmyr fits the moments when a metalhead feels a craving for old-fashioned hard rock or something close to it, but can't quite bring himself to go to the gas station and pick up an album by Whitesnake or Magnum for the fear of being seen by one of his friends. It's better to get a fix of something rather obscure and officially metallic that does not strike the eye of a mundane mainstreamer when hidden among the other CDs on the shelf, and enjoy the same mellow atmosphere without letting anyone know. Kashmyr is a good album, it just doesn't really try to be from the 90s, or even metal, and it happily camps on the hard rock borderline, politely inviting the passers-by to sit down for a moment and have a cup of hot chocolate and roast a marshmallow on the campfire before continuing the taxing work in the heavy metal ore mines.

For those private moments. And, perhaps... just perhaps... for those rare moments with female company.