|Review: Shade Empire - Zero Nexus|
Label: Dynamic Arts Records
Year released: 2007
Review online: August 11, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Whoa... What a mess. In Zero Nexus, Shade Empire threw in just about everything but the kitchen sink. Now, recently I've run into a few bands that could make this work, but here it's very much hit and miss. A lot of stuff on this album is almost brilliant, but it's the album taken as a whole that falls apart. It feels so disjointed that one can almost get sea sick listening to this. Mix melodic Death Metal (the Gothenburg style) with Black Metal, and throw in a lot of symphonic elements in there. A little industrial touch for seasoning, and occasional female vocals for some reason. This last addition really comes out of nowhere and really feels like "oh, let's put in some female vocals" five minutes before leaving the studio. The vocals aren't bad, they just feel out of place. The male vocals vary throughout the album, but mostly sound like your average melodic Death Metal vocals mixed with Dani Filth. Musically, Zero Nexus has everything from symphonic, melodic Death Metal, to Thrash elements, to heavier Gothic/Doom meets Symphonic metal passages. This is not without reminding me of when I would load up my 300 CD carousel and then play it at random - although here sometimes the randomization can be within a single song as well.
This is not bad music, but the album lacks coherence and I would otherwise have scored it higher. If nothing else, it's worth getting for the curiosity factor alone. Taken as a whole it's a big messy medley of genres that often clash, but broken into individual parts there are some damn good musical moments on this and, let's face it, even though they couldn't come up with something that sounds like an album, these guys sure know how to play.
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