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Shade Empire: Zero Nexus

Perhaps as a way to help classify the sound of Finnish band Shade Empire's latest release Zero Nexus; their label Dynamic Arts Records has billed them as something called "Hybrid Metal". While not one to put much credence in musical labels, I'd have to agree that in this case the description is fairly accurate because Zero Nexus is successful for the very reason that it manages to encompass more than one style which should appease fans of industrial, melodic death metal, and symphonic metal. Ok, so much for categorizations.

The organic and electronic approach is executed perfectly as the pummeling blast beats explode with a devastating amount of sonic brutality, while ferocious guitar patterns share the mix equally with layers of shimmering synths, over an ever so subtle splashing of various electronic sounds. The vocal work of lead belter Juha Harju is the real treat here though as he employs several different methods that range from clean vocals, death metal like growls, to sections that are almost reminiscent of Tom Fischer's 'tragic' style on the track "Flesh Relinquished". If you want to talk about a young band that isn't afraid to take risks with their music look no further than the last track, the epic nine minute "Victory" which comes complete with a real choir and a sax solo!! This track has to be considered the crown jewel musically thus far in Shade Empire's relatively short career.

With Zero Nexus being only their second album, Shade Empire has demonstrated an impressive amount of musical maturity by crafting nine diverse sounding and well produced compositions that sound fresh and exciting. Trust me there isn't one minute of filler on this one and Shade Empire is certainly a band to keep a close eye on from this point forward.

Track Listing
1) 9 In 1
2) Adam & Eve
3) Blood Colours The White
4) Flesh Relinquished
5) Harvesters Of Death
6) Serpent - Angel
7) Whisper From The Depths
8) Ecstasy Of Black Death
9) Victory

Added: December 26th 2008
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Dynamic Arts Records
Hits: 3099
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Shade Empire: Zero Nexus
Posted by Scott Ward, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-12-26 12:20:30
My Score:

When this disc was sent to me, I had never heard of the band. I put it in with much trepidation, as with most new unheard music, I was quickly taken in by the depth and scope of the band called Shade Empire. The Scandinavian countries seem to be on the cutting edge of metal these days and these Finnish guys are attempting to lead the pack with their unique combination of dark brooding metal with a gothic feel, thanks to the blending of superb orchestration and synthesizers into the mix of terrific metal. Add to that the masterful vocals of Juha Harju who takes a clean singing voice to a menacing death metal growl in a heartbeat. Then just for good measure, toss in a dynamite sax solo in the song "Victory" and you have a musical cocktail that goes down well and leaves no nasty aftertaste!

I came into possession of this disc too late to include in the best albums of 2008 but it would have been there otherwise. This is a must hear album that shows the promise of a great band that has improved with every disc. After hearing this one, I immediately went and got their previous two. Each is a very good work but for them, the third time is the charm! This concept album, though the story is a bit murky, is a piece of work that may well define a whole new genre of music. So do yourself a big favor and go over to the Dynamic Arts Records website and order a copy of this groundbreaking album. You can tell me thank you later!!

» Reader Comments:

Shade Empire: Zero Nexus
Posted by dudesons on 2008-09-05 03:37:17
My Score:

their 3rd album!!!!!

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