Dreamwalker (Physiks Records [no number], 2005)
Difficult to label yet strangely compelling because of that very difficulty, the music of Kan’Nal is a tightly coiled mixture of global and rock textures with Amerindian imagery, abstract lyricism and a shamanic sensibility. The publicity materials for their debut CD Dreamwalker would have you believe that their live shows are where the band’s ritualistic presentations really catch fire, but a good amount of that intensity comes across without visuals.
The music ranges from the thrashy but melodic assault of songs like the opening “Gypsy” to fragile balladry (“Time”) and dream-like visions that explode into pan-global jams where Latin, Arabic, Indian and African textures grab hold (“Iris”). Some of the guitar work and vocal screeching veer a little too close to heavy metal for my taste, but in less hardcore moments there is a lot that’s good about this group’s sound. Extended meditative passages provide chill between the often impressionistic lyrics (most clearly on the three live cuts included), an obvious respect for the spiritual traditions of varied indigenous cultures is evident and genuine musical ability balances the parts where things tend to crank out more than some might find necessary.
Recommended for world music listeners who may have not left their rock roots behind. And hey, I would like to experience these guys in concert should the opportunity arise. < Buy Dreamwalker