Over nine tightly drawn and economic instrumentals (all under five minutes), mutliple-threat Saeedi who plays everything here locates himself in that edgy post-metal prog world where pictures in sound are painted by searing guitar, jazz-influenced piano, sombre cello (or is it arco bass?) and much more.
But, as his name suggests, Saeedi also has a point of difference. From Tehran, he incorporates subtle but distinctive and memorable melodic flourishes from Persian music which add not just exoticism for outsiders but have a genuinely dramatic quality.
So the pieces in the first half here could easily slide into that world between Nine Inch Nails, King Crimson, Steve Vai channeling Led Zepp's Kashmir and the soundtrack to some heavily CGI film like 300. (That thump which opens and closes moW could be Hannibal and his elephants crossing the Alps).
However things take a darker, considered and more film-noir quality from the midpoint -- starting with the seductively romantic opening passages of oWo -- as Saeedi leaves more space, gets away some beuatifully evocative (and seriously jazzy and/or elegant) piano playing, brings in strings, and lets that guitar sing as much as sting.
Someone should give this man -- now in his early 30s -- a soundtrack to score, especially if the film involves either large-scale destruction or menacing urban streets at 2am. The backdrop on the moody Wom brings to mind the instrumental tracks on Bowie's Low (albeit with sometimes lascerating guitar across the top).
The titles here -- mirrored words such as namoW, Woman and amo, oma -- suggest some over-arching concept but that is as hard to discern as the invented language-cum-typography which Saeedi employs on the sleeve. (For more on that go here.)
No matter, it is all in the aural pictures and as this one uncoils and reveals more layers and subtlety, you will conjure up your own visions. And rest asured, after the incendiary start, the fires die down to bright illuminations, showers of sparks and sometimes even warmth.
Straight otta Tehran.
For more information on Salim Ghazi Saeedi -- who has recorded a number of albums and writes poetry -- go to his website here. And stick around because very soon he is answering our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire.
By Graham Reid, posted