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World Music CD Reviews North American

Rashanim

By John Kuhlman
Published April 27, 2007

Shalosh
Tzadik

This is the third release from Rashanim, a muscular Jewish music power trio led by guitarist Joh Madof. In their best moments, Rashanim do an admirable prog-metal stomp through some knotty snake-melody charts, heavy enough to please anybody who’s been curious about the genre but understandably reluctant to loosen the belt on their rock pants. Madof’s wah-wah riffing goes head to head with Shanir Blumenkranz’s fuzz bass as they power their way through the complex “Ein Gedi,” but even better is the feedback-soaked orbiting-weapons-platform attack of “Jacob And Esau.” Much of the rest of the album is taken up with taut, jazzy readings that sound fine, though they inevitably suffer in comparison with the harder stuff, and there are even a couple of tasteful acoustic numbers on here, that frankly make me question the group’s commitment to hard prog-rocking. Do it because you have to, fellas, not because you can.