Tuesday 24 May 2016

SAMAVAYO - Dakota (Album Review)

Release date: May 05th 2016. Label: Setalight. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Dakota – Tracklisting

1.Arezooye Bahar 06:34
2.Iktsuarpok 06:42
3.Dakota 07:40
4.Cross The Line 07:13
5.Intergalactic Hunt 05:12
6.Overrun 06:34
7.Kodokushi 05:23

Band Members:

Behrang Alavi (git,vox)
Stephan Voland (drums, bvox)
Andreas Voland (bass, bvox)


Before I listened to Samavayo’s new album – Dakota – I thought this was their debut album and that they wore their musical influences too close to their chest. Parts Truckfighters with a more vibrant and livelier Middle Eastern based sound. So I was rather surprised when I discovered Dakota was their fifth album and they’ve been playing the same sound over the last few albums. From that discovery I’ve had to rewrite this review a few times now to the one you’re reading now.

Dakota is a very weird album. Parts Fuzz, Psych, Stoner and Grunge with songs sung in different languages. Opening track – Arezooye Bahar – is sung in a Middle Eastern dialect. Samavayo create a psychedelic wonderland of spaced out fuzz rock magic where the sounds are very mysterious to listen to at times. Fans of Truckfighters will no doubt enjoy the high energy fuzz based riffs.

Second track – Iktsuarpok – opts for a more laid back psychedelic vibe with layers of Stoner Rock/Metal adding a more progressive feel. Samavayo feel they were influenced by TOOL on this song as it has a familiar dynamic that legendary band is known for. That’s not a bad thing as Samavayo still create some of the albums most exciting moments. The vocals can be very jarring at times but they’re handled superbly well.

Third track – Dakota – sees the band change the tone of the album yet again with a grungier based sound. The progressive moments from the previous song are there as well but this song remains a more traditional Stoner Rock/Metal number. The riffs have quite a choppy effect as they stop and start for short intervals throughout the song. The lively chorus soon gets you in the mood to fully rock out.

Fourth track – Cross The Line – is where the band finally starts to feel comfortable with their own sound. Or it could be the listener will start to feel more comfortable with the progressive craziness being played here. Whichever way you look at it, Samavayo unleash heavy psych stoner rock/metal riffs with a playful progressive vibe running through out.

The final three songs – Intergalactic Hunt, Overrun and Kodokushi follow on the same style of Progressive Stoner Metal riffs heard on the previous songs. It can be very tiresome to listen to at times but you only have to wait a few moments for the band to create some genuine moments of excitement and you’re back rocking out like there’s no tomorrow. Kodokushi is perhaps the best song on the album as it blends elements of Psych, Stoner, Fuzz and Prog Rock for something wholly original.

The production on the album is handled very well though there are moments where the volume is too high and you can’t understand what is being played around you especially with the vocals losing some momentum here and there. Overall, Dakota is a daring, bold and quite experimental album. Give this album some time to fully understand and appreciate as you will richly be rewarded with a few daring riffs along the way.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Dakota is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl now.