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Shaolin Death Squad - Intelligent Design CD (album) cover


Shaolin Death Squad


Progressive Metal

4.06 | 75 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Well, well, well, what have we here?

Admittedly, I found out about this band from another friend, but ProgArchives was the one who inspired me to buy it, after I read all the reviews. I'm proud to announce that I was more than just pleasantly suprised, I incredibly impressed.

Shaolin Death Squad are something of an anomaly in the Progessive Metal genre, in that the music is rather amusing, and funny, rather than hyperserious, like is stereotypical among a great deal of Prog bands. The musicianship is anything but silly; it's tight, flowing and complex, without being overbearing, or making your roll your eyes are their flashiness. None of the instruments are placed above the others, and yet none seem to lag behind, the whole band is incredibly cohesive together, showing incredible restraint without becoming dull or boring. Trust me, you're in for a ride when you start listening.

Now, if you the Progressive Metal monicker is putting you off, hold on a second. If you can tolerate (or in some cases, welcome) heavier vocals, then I highly recommend giving them a chance. Prog Metal not your usual cup of tea? Well, this isn't your usual prog metal band. The music is anything but flash, however, that doesn't mean the music isn't engaging, complex or interesting. It certainly is, but without the usual flare that often makes people avoid prog metal, and aside from that fact, the music iteslf is rather inventive, combining elements from bands like Estradasphere, Mr. Bungle, Faith No More and so on, including Avant Garde elements, with some interesting genre hopping interspersed within the music. Some incredible vocal work, reminding me of both Mike Patton and Daniel Gildenlnow makes for an interesting feel, especially considering the PoS vibe I often get from the music. That is, if PoS had Mr. Bungle or Estradasphere as an obvious influence. It has it's heavy moments, it has it's light moments, and it has it's goofy moments. And yet they all seem to blend together incredibly well, without anything seeming forced or rediculous. Now, if you want all your music to be deathly serious, then I'd probably recommend avoiding Shaolin Death Squad, but if your not, you need to give them a go.

This band really knows how to meld everything together. The vocals are amazing, ranging from falsettos to growls, to shrieks and some very Patton-esque work, and transitioning seemlessly. If anything in this amazing band stands out, it's the vocalist. The rest of the band is by no means less than capable, in fact showing some incredible musicianship, but the vocals really shine threw on this album.

All in all, an incredible release, from a very promising band.


Drakk | 5/5 |


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