Guillain Najar aka Samhayn is a 23-year-old musician who just released a guitar-based EP called Aes Sidhe. Out of the five songs on the album the main thing holding them together is the guitar. Other than that the style for each song is different. He flirts with shoegaze, dark Arabic ambient rock metal and alternative rock to name a few. The EP may not be very cohesive but some of the individual songs are strong.
The first song “Summer Flight” sounds like a My Bloody Valentine B-side that contained a different singer. The main guitar riff and tone screams shoegaze. I was impressed by the production aesthetics that mimicked some qualities you would hear on classic shoegaze albums. The guitars were meaty and not too crisp while the vocals laid low in the mix.
“XIII” is the second song and has more in common in ‘90s alternative bands than shoegaze. I also want to point out that the vocals sound completely different because he used a non-credited female vocalist (unless Najar is a master at contorting his voice).
The biggest deviation is the dark, Arabic ambient rock metal he introduces on “Seïduna.” It’s not only a deviation but it is done very well. I would have liked to hear a whole EP of music composed in this style. He implements female and male vocals with loud drums during the verse and watch out when the chorus hits. It rocks incredibly hard and features some blood curdling screaming.
“On A Journey” is an acoustic-based pop song that was one of the highlights of the album. The song doesn't have many fancy thrills but rather an emotionally resonant, melancholy tune that stays with you. He closes covering a song called “Stuck On You” by Failure. Najar nails a very solid vocal performance that is supported by a unique mix of guitars.
The only issue I have is the fluidity. I felt as If I was listening to a different artist at times. That being said there are some notable songs here and I am interested to see how he pieces this together in the future.
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