Salim Ghazi Saeedi, NamoWoman, 2012

salim ghazi saeedi - namowomanFirst thing of note from this album, is that the artist hails from Iran. And to put it mildly, that is not exactly a (progressive) rock minded habitat. Salim describes this himself as “empty spaces filled with occasional wild electric guitars and expressive melodies while having oriental dance elements undercover”. And when you listen to the music, that line comes to mind pretty often. It is indeed a microtonal approach towards prog rock / metal.

So what does that say? Well on first plays it actually sounds as if all instruments are playing for themselves, without listening to the others. Harmonic interplay seems rare, and melodies are hard to come by. And for me that makes it tough to sit through again and again. But remaining open minded is important in my book, so the play button was hit a number of times. And then you slowly discover the music and it starts reaching out. Track 3, amo, has a more laid back feel with violin or cello playing a more important role. Until the guitar joins in that is. I can understand the reference to King Crimson here, alienating listeners is no stranger to them either. Or getting better with each spin. Track 5, oWo (all song titles stem from the album title) also has a more clear melody and is beautiful.

All in all you will have guessed this is not easy to digest. It takes perseverance and determination. Still kudos to Salim for sticking to his vision and bringing his musical vision to the world.