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Artist: Shino
Title: Transition
Genre: Gothic / Acoustic
Release Date: 22nd February 2011
Label: afmusic

Album Review

SHINO, the solo project of Aliaksandr Kavaliou, has been effectively bridging the gaps between the dark acoustic ballads of Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen with the Goth‘n’Roll of THE 69 EYES and LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE. The end result is a stripped-back and lo-fi feeling Gothic Rock with no frills and a lot of soul. The album is stuffed full of songs which is a brave move considering that this isn’t an overly popular style of music. Outside the realms of Neofolk acoustic music doesn’t get much of a look-in in the Goth scene in general. But where SHINO succeeds is in his ability to craft measured and reserved songs with a cinematic level of minimalism that have the added benefit of pop hooks for good measure.

Particular highlights from the twenty-one tracks on ‘Transition’ include the album’s opener ‘XXX’ with it’s slow Leonard Cohen meets LESTAT air draws the listener right in. ‘Dying During Life’, though under two minutes in length has the effectiveness of a catchy Goth Rock track performed by a full band. ‘Peri’ is a ballad with a strong Peter Murphy quality to it that is quite alluring in its dignified sensuality. ‘Still Me’ on the other hand gets a bit more playful and experimental in it’s performance which again projects the feeling of a band performed song. ‘Winter Flowers’ displays Kavaliou at his poetic best as he assumes the role of Gothic troubadour with eagerness. ‘Ich Wiess Es Nicht’ is more malevolent sounding as Kavaliou switches to German to give a powerful near-spoken word performance. Finally ‘Schlaflied’ closes the album with the most folk-esque track on the album for a charming change of pace.

There isn’t much you can say about an acoustic album. It has been competently recorded and produced and the song-writing, which is great, is very much the emphasis. There are few overdubs and the fancy tricks employed by Kavaliou are the results of his skill with a guitar. The only glaring issue is the number of songs. Yes some of them are quite short, but there is a lot to digest and this is music to get your teeth into.


01. XXX
02. Vampires Love
03. A Song For Pain
04. Dying During Life
05. Suicide
06. Taolin Tear
07. Guardian
08. Peri
09. Last Storm
10. Still Me
11. For My Little Vamp
12. Winter Flowers
13. Belief
14. Something Wrong
15. The Courage Song
16. Ich Weiss es Nicht
17. Molitwa
18. Melancholia
19. My Mistress
20. Fall Days
21. Schlaflied


Aliaksandr Kavaliou


Cover Picture



Music: 7
Sound: 7
Extras: -
Total: 7 / 10

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