Shade Empire - _Zero Nexus_
(Dynamic Arts Records, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (
Shade Empire present a veritable melting pot of metal genres, but not so idiosyncratic as to warrant the "hybrid metal" tag. Their metal is simultaneously modern yet timeless. Despite their putative industrial tendencies, swathes of orchestral (synths, but not cheesy) strings are in abundance, rather than assorted beeps and bloops, while staccato industrial riffs are abandoned in favour of melodic thrashy chops. The keys do not dominate in the mix, but do provide a touch of imperial splendour. Vocals are varied, ranging from growls through to rather tiresome gothic hoarseness. The band is tight and the sound is superb -- it could be a bit sterile for some, but it does suit their approach perfectly. They save the bets for last in the form of the nine minute "Victory", which includes an effective and wholly unexpected sax solo. They may not be nearly as eclectic as they may think, but they do know how to put a solid album together.
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