Genre: Progressive/Experimental Rock
Country: Italy
Label: Tuna Records
Year: 2014

“Medusa” is the first full-length album by the Italian two-piece band The Shell Collector and was released by Tuna Records, their own record label. It is a great sample of modern, experimental rock and there seems to be something for everyone here. They combine a wide variety of influences and musical styles ranging from psychedelic and hard rock to prog and electronica, creating this way a dark world of their own, unique sound.

The record opens with ‘The Mean’, a powerful song with gripping guitar riffs and we are pulled right from the start into the aforementioned dark world of The Shell Collector. Next we have ‘Amber’, which seems to be bent on surprising the listener (in a good way) in every turn, thus setting the tone for the entire album; you never know what to expect here. Strong, heavy riffs followed by lighter, prog melodies are accompanied by electronic elements and psychedelic breaks, offering songs, that draw further and further away from the “standard song structure”. Taking nothing away from the engrossing atmosphere, the band presents its softer side through the beautiful ‘Still Winds They Blow’ and ‘The Filter’ while tracks like ‘The Sailor’, ‘Le Ombre’ and ‘Common Superstar System’ once again combine strong riffs and fiery rock with wonderful progressive and acoustic breaks. The album closes with probably my favorite here, ‘What It Is’, a weird, complex and beautiful song, which once again defies expectations.

It would have been ridiculously easy for this amalgam of so many musical styles to fail, but these guys manage to not only keep it together, but to create something amazing, thanks to the flawless vocals of Enrico Tiberi, binding all those elements into a unique identity. The Shell Collector have created something different here and I highly recommend it to any fan of good rock music, that is not afraid to explore new sounds, not based in the traditional, but still respecting and honoring it.