Shels - Sea of the Dying Dhow
So, what is Shels exactly? In my opinion it is one of the finest attempts to incorporate metalcore aesthetics into a progressive rock setting. Basically, they succeed where other bands have failed. They are able to be progressive without being overtly cheesy (like, say, Between the Buried and Me's "Alaska"), and they are able to be progressive without entering realms of unnecessary pretension (like the middle of Pax Cecilia's "Blessed are the Bonds"). Sure, I could throw out a list of comparisons to groups like Kayo Dot or Isis in hopes that some of their fans might streamline through this review and check them out, but Shels really doesn't embrace the arty atmosphere of either band. Everything on this album is meticulously arranged, but is also grounded in a solid base genre of metalcore. Essentially, I guess it is the best of both worlds; complete originality and full blown clichés. Whatever is the key to Shels successful formula, it works and "Sea of the Dying Dhow" effortlessly proves that.