This new CD from Paranoise might just be one of the most unique yet bizarre releases in quite some time. An equal combination of world music and progressive rock, ISHQ features a myriad of Middle Eastern stringed instruments and various forms of percussion to create a very different sound that we are used to today.
Band leader Jim Matus has taken the style that Peter Gabriel made so famous a few years back, fusing rock and world music, and taken it a step further. There is a lot going on here, from the varied instrumentation to the multiple male/female lead vocals, backing chants, and choirs. Matus has used some traditional songs from Afghanistan, Morocco, Bulgaria, and Kenya, souped them up a bit, and made them his own. You will hear lots of guitars, tablas, violin, cello, tambourines, and all sorts of varied vocal styles. The end result is a very demanding listen, and an almost multi-cultural experience.
Those wanting to hear ultra-complex prog rock or the heaviest of metal should be warned, as this is not either of these styles. It is however a unique sound experience that deserves credit for its originality.