What industry crisis? Cult progressive alt-metal label Shelsmusic just hit their 10th anniversary. How? As Alan Partridge once nearly said, the proof is in the pudding. And the pudding, in this case, is a backcatalogue. Thing is, a decade leaves a hell of a lot of intense post-metal and atmospheric folk for a newbie to wade through. So when we caught up with Mehdi Safa, Shelsmusic commander-in-chief, we set him the following poser…
May 27th, 2013
We’ve always had a soft spot for labels who think differently. Shelsmusic – born in the UK, bred in California – has made its name on atmosphere, from tremulous folk and consciousness-expanding walls of sound, to muscle-shredding, gut-pounding metal. Albums from artists as diverse as Black Sheep Wall and Ancients make regular dents our end of year top tens. In recent months, they’ve not only expanded into production, through their Purple Buffalo Studios, but to mark their 10th anniversary, they’re re-releasing Mahumodo’s cult record Waves on vinyl. High time to catch up with label head and *shels frontman Mehdi Safa, we reckoned…
February 15th, 2013
The sandwich is possibly the greatest food-based invention. We need to be able to eat and post on Facebook at the same time. Sandwiches allow us to do this. The best thing about sandwiches, however, is that anybody can eat them. Vegetarian? Put some more salad in. Belly doesn’t like wheat? Use some gluten-free bread then! And everybody has a favourite sandwich. Even bands…
Interview: Mehdi Safa and Arif Driessen from *shels on throat-singing, The Neverending Story, and gigging in a city where night never comes
July 13th, 2012
Devil Sold His Soul, March of the Raptors, Akercocke, Ancients, Eden Maine, Mahumodo – the various component parts of post-metal super-collective *shels makes for impressive reading. With the band’s core band members usually separated by the Atlantic ocean, when the band toured the UK for the first time in five years, Ruth Booth ambushed frontman Mehdi Safa and trumpeteer Arif Driessen and for her trouble received a demonstration of some of their special skills…
Live: *shels, Cyril Snear, Tall For Jockeys + The Kites of San Quentin @ Manchester The Ruby Lounge – 24 June 2012
July 6th, 2012
If you listened to our podcast this week, you’ll have heard that Tom Doyle wasn’t too impressed by *shels‘ London performance. One show doesn’t necessarily represent the performance of an entire tour though, and that’s why we sent Ruth Booth to Manchester’s Northern Quarter in the hopes of finding the lesser spotted epic alternative…
Six things we learned when we saw *shels in Manchester:
July 5th, 2012
Raz is once again absent (his jetsetter lifestyle means he’s off in Berlin to catch Pearl Jam), so this week Hugh is once again joined by Tom Dare, and this week by another Tom from the Thrash Hits writers roster – Tom Doyle. Yes, he’s the Tom Doyle that Lower In Atlantis threatened at headbutt that time. No, he’s not the Tom Doyle who’s a member of Don Broco.
This week’s topics of conversation include recent gigs by Evile, Decapitated and *shels, but mostly we just talk about the Randy Blythe/manslaughter situation that has gotten most of the metal internet up in arms one way or the other over the last 7 days.
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December 11th, 2011
When we asked our contributors to tell us their albums of the year, we also offered them the opportunity to retrospectively review any of their Top 10 list that we hadn’t reviewed already. Ruth Booth took us up on that offer.
26 September 2011
by Ruth Booth
Break-ups. Bloody hell. As Heartbreak Season 2011 serves up a double-header in Thursday and Thrice, here comes a little reminder for fans of the post- tag that there can be light at the end of the tunnel.
July 7th, 2010
Devil Sold His Soul
Blessed & Cursed
12 July 2010
by Andy Parker
Three years, 3 years, ferrr-reeee years have passed since Devil Sold His Soul’s debut full-length, A Fragile Hope. For three whole years I have waited, and waited and waited some more for a new record from the most refreshing progressive metal band I have ever heard.