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Shaolin Death Squad

Progressive Metal

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Shaolin Death Squad Intelligent Design album cover
4.07 | 83 ratings | 6 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Terrible Way To Use A Sword (4:54)
2. Catasthropic Obedience (5:24)
3. Choreographer Of Fate (8:03)
4. Radio Feeler (3:15)
5. The Face Insecurity Killed (5:37)
6. Escape The Absynthe (5:44)
7. Fall, Rise, Laugh, Fall (5:30)
8. A Story Lives Forever (4:27)
9. The First Half Of Yesterday (7:41)

Total Time 50:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Androo O'Hearn / vocals, Hammond, synth
- David O'Hearn / guitar, vocals
- Brian Lewis / electric & Classical guitars, vocals
- Gary Thorne / bass
- Matt Thompson / drums

- Gaah(n) / Fender Rhodes
- Bubba Turner / trombone

Releases information

Artwork: Robert Stroud

CD self-released (2006, US)

LP Do For It Records ‎- SPG 2 (2013, US)

Thanks to The T for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SHAOLIN DEATH SQUAD Intelligent Design ratings distribution

(83 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

SHAOLIN DEATH SQUAD Intelligent Design reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by b_olariu
3 stars 3.5 realy

Shaolin Death Squad is an unknown band from USA has one album since now from 2006 named Intelligent design. Hmm to tell you the truth I didn't know what to expect from this album, I've red all the positiv reviews here and there and after all I went to take some spins. This band has influnces from many genres and many bands , and it's hard to qualify thier work in one single genre. They are a progressive metal band but with a touch of Zappa, Mr. Bungle, some death metal bands, some Faith No More, Pain of Salvation, a varied album with a lot to offer. The musicianship is excellent, some truly amazing moments on opening track A Terrible Way To Use A Sword , Catasthropic Obedience and Choreographer Of Fate, the rest are ok. The musicians realy know how to use the instruments and create something worth investigated. Realy strange album to my taste, I'm not a big fan of this kind of music, It's not my every day music but I enjoy the album in my own view. I find it good, with some very nice moments, but is not something close to a masterpiece for me, not even if I'm listning 100 times. Definetly a band to check out in the future because they know bussines and realy can offer something diffrent in this genre. Still very unknown band and for sure needs a wider recognition.3-3.5 a good album for sure, but nothing close to an essential listning.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Intelligent Design" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Texas based progressive metal act Shaolin Death Squad. The album was released independently in November 2006. While the "Shaolin Death Squad (2004)" EP showed great promise, itīs obvious that it was the bandīs first release and it was somewhat immature in the songwriting department. It did however introduce the bandīs obsession with martial arts and asian myths and customs. The band members have even taken on stage names like The White Swan, Black Ninja and Red Dragon and pose in traditional asian clothes on their press photos. Pretty unconventional for a metal act.

The whole image thing is of course just a means to an end though, and none of that would work without great music, and weīre certainly treated to that on "Intelligent Design". The music on the album is a sort of alternative/progressive metal. Itīs not easy to describe how the music sounds, but there is a definite Faith No More influence present. Predominantly because lead vocalist The White Swan has a voice and singing style that are reminiscent of the voice and singing style of Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle...etc.), but there are similarities in the instrumental part of the music too.

Itīs very eclectic music with strong melodies, great vocal harmony and choir work, and a general disregard for genre labels. There are heavy, and at times almost thrashy sections on the album, more mellow parts, epic parts, and quirky almost carnival bizarre parts. Itīs an incredibly adventurous release featuring high level musicianship, a well sounding production, and songwriting thatīs generally intriguing. Keyboards play a big role in the music in addition to guitars, bass, drums and vocals.

While "Intelligent Design" is certainly both a challenging and adventurous release by Shaolin Death Squad, itīs also quite accessible, which should stand in contrast to each other, but somehow doesnīt. Those catchy melodies are the main reason, but even when the band play their most complex parts, they never lose focus on delivering memorable music and thatīs probably one of their greatest strengths. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Latest members reviews

5 stars What do you get when you combine Mr. Bungle with fantastic progressive writing? You get Intelligent Design! This is a criminally overlooked album that will impress and captivate you from start to finish. Shaolin Death Squad is able to weave in nice, proggy riffs with the Mr. Bungle-esque circus at ... (read more)

Report this review (#476611) | Posted by TheMasterMofo | Tuesday, July 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Intelligent Design is an excellent album, no doubt about it. Shaolin Death Squad has been around for a few years now, and I am very sad to say I've just recently discovered them. So what can you expect from their music? It seems to me that the music on this album draws a lot of influence from band ... (read more)

Report this review (#284472) | Posted by AgentSpork | Tuesday, June 1, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 Deat ... (read more)

Report this review (#160363) | Posted by Drakk | Thursday, January 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars So, I was browsing through progarchives for some new progressive metal to listen to. I came across this one with an interesting band name and some seemingly beautiful artwork to boot. As I was floored by the first track's title, I knew I atleast had to listen to this one. And come on, a ninja at t ... (read more)

Report this review (#146099) | Posted by Wayler | Saturday, October 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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