I know what you’re all going to say. How can you have the Mouths for War when you’ve kept those mouths shut for the last 2 months? Well, there are some good reasons for this blog’s seemly abandonment. Here, let me list a few:
1.) We’re University students, we’re busy
2.) We’re all trying to get musical projects off the ground (some with possible collaborations with each other, and Ben even has an EP out).
3.) We’re University students, we’re busy
4.) The one of us that enjoyed “Hail to the King” and bought the record has been defending to everyone that’s hating it online (read “The Rest of the World”).
5.) We’re waiting for Dan to get off his arse and start writing reviews
6.) We’re University students, we have work, we’re busy
However, it is through my numerous essay writings that I’ve had the chance to listen to some fantastic albums and more progressive stuff than I’ve ever been into. No, I’m not turning into one of those guys, there’s enough proggers writing for this blog without me hopping on the bandwagon, but my latest review is honestly one of the most chill and musically diverse things I’ve heard in a while
(and it’s not just because I know this man personally and he could buy my family the way that people buy milk).
Jivan is a project run by Hashim Al-Nasser, a man/living body of hair who’s been active in the Kuwait music scene…well…as long as I’ve known him. Whether it was as part of Morticia, Vargatron or blue-rockers Jelly Shot, Hashim has been round the block more times than the clap. What makes his Jivan debut “Forguilt” different is that it draws on all of his main influences and combines them into one tasty quesadilla of an E.P.
To be honest, I’m just happy to hear Mr. Hashpipe playing heavier music again, and “Forguilt” has all but shown me that this guy is one of the best song writers in the region. “Heretics in Darkness” and “Catacombs” set the tone of the album brilliantly, and could only be summed up by the word “ambience” (as well as transcendent, tranquil, and pretty damn calming). Ok, so about 5 words, still doesn’t change the fact that these songs transition into one another perfectly, with no awkward hiccups. “Heretics in Darkness” keeps the tranquillity going, whilst “Catacombs” lulls us into thinking it’ll be the same…that is until the chugging riffs kick in and…well, lets put it this way:
“Shine the Eyes of Mercy” and “From Guilt To Forgiveness (The High Priest)” immediately jumped out as, or more accurately, screamed of the one person I know that Hashim has maintained as a key influence, especially going into Jivan. I speak of course of Devin Townsend. “Shine the Eyes of Mercy” brings that signature heaviness, whilst Hash takes his own spin on things adding a more uplifting tone to the song. This is transferred and taken right back down again, in a similar fashion to how a 13 year old would turn down their explicit music when their parents walked in, to “From Guilt to Forgiveness”, a track that I can only explain as “one giant build up.” About 5 minutes in, Hashim starts ripping leads underneath a quite minor toned calm mid-section. This transforms into an almost triumphant guitar chorus, and brought but a singular image into my pretty messed up head:
All in all, this is one of the best pieces of songwriting I’ve heard out of Kuwait in a long time. It’s clean yet gritty, it’s both uplifting yet calming, it’s heavy yet soft and despite those three sayings, it’s not a riddle! Hashim has really outdone himself with “Forguilt” and I can only hope that more Jivan music is to come…well…not before a Jelly Shot debut full length.
Right Hash, I’ve given you a favourable review…now let my family go you sick bastard.
I’m giving “Forguilt” a:
“Forguilt” is out NOW via the Jivan bandcamp page.