Shekinah - The Wind Lost Its Breath And The Sea Became As Smooth As Glass
Record Label: The Motherland Collective
Release Date: April 14, 2010
I find it really difficult to describe instrumental or post-rock bands, and New Mexico’s Shekinah is no exception. This album goes through many highs and lows, like most instrumental music I have listened, but what sets Shekinah apart is really the ability to convey emotion throughout their music. The album progresses through a series of different tones and moods, and it really feels like the listener is on a journey. Shekinah has a skill for showing emotion without having to use vocals or lyrics. When actively listening, feelings of hope, joy, confusion, wandering, loss, anger, desperation, and many others can be heard in their music.
Musically, the album is very solid. No one member stands out as being stronger than the others, they all blend together very well to be a strong cohesive unit. The drummer is very adept at setting the tone for each change in the song tempo, which happens quiet frequently. The guitarists can change from very technical to more subdued, as well as uplifting to calming and ambient, and they always mesh very together. Shekinah knows what they are doing musically, and they do it very well. The ending of the last track may be the most impressive performance from the guitarists, and though clearly more of a demo, and in a different style from the concept of this album, it is a nice way to end the journey of the album. Its pretty much the victory lap of the album.
Upon first listen, my only problem with this album was the quality. It didn’t really take anything away from the music, but I felt like a little higher quality of recordings would have improved the overall product. After a few more listens, I’m no longer sure if that’s the case. The music sound very raw, and I believe that’s what the band wanted to go for. It’s hard to describe how passionate a piece of music is, but it really feels like the members of Shekinah put a lot of passion into this album.
Beginning with a period of distress, and through all the wandering, the last track before the hidden track is one of the most positive and uplifting, showing that the journey has ended in a place of happiness. This is most evident through a "Whoo!" place in this song, the album only instance of vocals.
After multiple listens I actually looked up the band, and discovered them to be Christian. I had no idea from just listening to the music, but I am not surprised at all. The journey the band creates could easily be interpreted as a religious experience, yet can still be experienced outside of a religious perspective, and the music stands well on its own. All in all, Shekinah have created a well-crafted emotional journey of an album, that is musically and strong and full of passion.