The Pitch: Finland's Shade Empire bring some unique touches to the progressive black/death metal genre with the help of Candlelight and Spinefarm Records. FFO: Irreversible Mechanism, Necronomicon, Kaerulean
What I Like: Shade Empire seems to be a band filled to bursting with creative minds who have a grasp on strong composition and understanding of convention without becoming a slave to it. Can I just get out of the way that there are some insanely heavy saxophone parts on this album? Seriously though, the way that these guys have layered synthy progressive death metal with these epic solos is nothing short of amazing. It's not just an edgy addition, they are an integral part of the songwriting when they occur. I can't help but think that Louis Armstrong would this this is badass.
But I digress. What of the rest of the music? As I mentioned, the core sound is a somewhat symphonic take on progressive death metal that seems to have many influences. Some jazz here, some classical there. I can hear some Opeth in the guitar riffs, though they are also comfortable taking more of an ethereal post-metal approach as on "Anti-Life Saviour." The vocals are powerful and varied, and we also get some samples during interludes. But really, it feels wrong to discuss Poetry Of The Ill-Minded as anything less than the total sum of its parts. It is how all of the pieces come together that makes this release so rewarding.
Critiques: Hmmm... I really just want to say more horn, but too much of a good thing might become an issue. I guess I could stand to punch up the heavier parts a little more and from there just continue exploring other possibilities and instrumentation.
The Verdict: A necessary listening experience for the progressive death metal fans out there, and yeah...trumpet. Trumpet metal is good. Stream on Spotify.
Flight's Fav's: Wanderer, Thy Scent, Lecter
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.