Album Review :
Shadow Puncher - Shadow Puncher EP

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Label: Nosral Recordings
Release Date: February 23, 2018
1. Intro
2. Shekinah
3. Lord of Lords
4. Conflict
5. The Belt of Truth
6. The Agony
7. No More Suffering

While this is being described by the label as “Norwegian death metal”, honestly that is a bit misleading.  To my ears, what we have here is a hybrid form of extreme metal.  For instance, you have some down-tuned nu metal rhythms, but they’re heavier than most.  The drum machine lends itself to an almost industrial-meets-groove-metal feel.  Think somewhere between Lucid and Malformed Earthborn, but lighter on the glitches and samples.  Genre-wise this is either really heavy nu-metal or generically “extreme metal.”

The first song (if we don’t include the spoken opening track) has a really annoying “bree bree bree” section that I really hope is a poor attempt at humor, as it really seems to serve no other purpose.  There are some high spots, however.  The standout track is “The Belt of Truth” with its punchy rhythms and dynamic shifts, while album closer, “No More Suffering” which mixes slow-paced chugs with faster riffs and thrashing is a contender as well. But once again it is ruined with more “bree bree bree bree bree”.  If it’s a joke, it’s not that funny.

There is certainly some talent behind Shadow Puncher, but this EP suffers a bit from being a one-man project.  It’s not bad, it just feels a bit samey at times due to not having other members to add dynamics and layers of creativity.  “The Agony,” which has a nice slow groove, but then goes into a sort of monotonous fast break that would really benefit from some dynamic shifts.  It would really be nice to hear a live drummer on this material as the fast rhythms, coordinating with the rhythmic leads make the material sound a bit too mechanical.


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