His percussive background explains the exceptionally tight arrangements. Andrey Sazonov, an Art student and total drum addict who practiced up to 8 hours a day, joined him. The original bassist/vocalist Mikhail Zhemchuzhniy completed the trio. SHAH's debut gig in a small Moscow club in December 1986 triggered a rapid surge of popularity and, within a year, they were one of the capital's hottest cult acts.
Garcia's fine innovative style and total mastery of sound led to comparisons with Metallica, whose music he had never heard until the rumors reached him that SHAH had a Western counterpart. Spotted playing live by Valery Gaina of Russian Metal mega-act KRUIZ, SHAH were offered a support slot playing arena sized venues and a management deal shortly followed. SHAH debuted with a 1988 cassette album titled 'Escape From Mind'. Upon completion of the 'Escape From Mind' recordings, Zhemchuzhniy exited, leaving Garcia to take over lead vocal responsibilities.
SHAH went through a succession of bassists including Vasily Molchanov and Andrey Girnik, the later going on to join HEAVY DAY. Finally, Anatoly Krupnov of BLACK OBELISK repute filled the vacancy. He played classical violin for 10 years before discovering Metal in his teens. In the summer of 1988, SHAH went on tour in Hungary and on their way back they started to work on 'Beware'.
The group recorded a 5-track demo, which attracted Western interests, and afterwards they signed a contract to record the new album in Germany. However, just 5 days before they were to begin recording, bassist Anatoly Krupnov broke his hand, which presented the band with a difficult predicament. Because of this situation, the bass guitar was the last recorded. The album 'Beware', produced by Valery Gaina, was recorded in just 2 weeks at Munich's Red Line Studios in November 1988.
During the recording, they played a promo gig in Munich, filmed by Mosh/RTL, gaining immediate acceptance by Western fans who demanded encores. SHAH started extensive touring in March, having previously played the major Moscow festivals. Their 30-date tour of 1000-3000 capacity venues covered Russia's major cities. SHAH released the album 'Beware' through the German label Atom H Records in May 1989.
In addition, Teichiku Records released the album for the Japanese market. It showed they were a solid unit; 100% committed to music and full of fresh ideas. Yet their music is mature and powerful with lightning fast guitar solos. Lyrically, it is very direct with tracks like 'Bloodbrothers', 'Threshold of Pain' and 'Total Devastation' confronting radical issues such as non-conformity, freedom of thought, and corruption.
Ready for a piece of Western action the humorous 'Say Hi to Anthrax!' is an omen. SHAH toured Germany, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Spain in support of the album. In summer 1990, Alexey Ovchinnikov replaced Anatoly Krupnov, who went on to rejoin BLACK OBELISK. In 1991, SHAH recorded 'Terror Collection' album, a compilation of archive tracks alongside new numbers.
The album included 7 early songs from 1985-1987 era, which was sung by Mikhail Zhemchuzhniy, who came back to the band for this studio recordings only, and 3 new songs ('Overload', 'Age Of Darkness' and 'Terror Collection') which was sung by Antonio Garcia. Bringing in erstwhile MAFIA man Dmitry Saar on second guitar, SHAH set about concert dates. In 1994 SHAH released re-recorded “Escape From Mind” album on cassettes only and their last album called P.S.I.H.O. on CD and LP formats.
Both albums released on Moroz Records. In 1996, Antonio Garcia manifested the industrial styled solo project DESCENT for the album 'Inclination'. In April 2007, Metalism Records licensed the entire SHAH back catalog and made a very limited printing of 25 'Beware' T-shirts. "Save the Human Race" (1989) official video: https://youtu.be/4yIi2FSzyZ4 Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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