Album Year: 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Australia has been home to many a great hardcore band but there have been none with such a HUGE sound as Shinto Katana. When I first listened to “Redemption” I was left in awe at the pure heavyness, progression and feel.
The band have taken the hard hitting, face smashing energy of the traditional Aussie hardcore band and added a melodic and sometimes eerie twist of their own. However not in a way you would initially think or even notice. Though there are a great many melodic sections to the album it doesn’t lose it’s heavyness for one second. A huge accomplishment on their part. Yet another feat of ingenuity to this album is it’s ability to emotionally connect the listener. Every listen I would find myself swept away and no longer focusing on the music but rather the way it was making me feel. I could clearly picture myself within this album’s elaborate painting, portrayed as the man filled with anger, pity, regret, despair, pride and hope searching for redemption. Them feels man.
That aside, I thought the songs showed a brilliant combination of hardcore riffing, melodic rhythm sections, two steps, beatdown and punk beats that kept the ball rolling in all but a few songs, though there were a few that lost their progression when coming to a breakdown. It seemed the further I got through the album the more apparent it became that the breakdowns’ were becoming generic and unchanging. This was not so much the case for some songs such as “Rain”, “Rj” and “Veritas” as their breakdowns would instead add a dynamic that sent the song flying in a new direction. All this coupled with the spooky orchestral breaks, eerie leads and general ambience gave the album that tiny hint of a whole lot of evil, adding shade and mystery to the tainted painting.
The vocalist for Shinto Katana shows an amazing display of power and technique, something many spend a long time trying to master. However, I think he could have done a few things to change up his style, such as adding a few layered high screams, shouts, squeals or growls to accent crucial sections in each song or even maybe changing his dynamics here and there like pitch, strength, breathing techniques etc but generally I discovered there was a lot to respect.
Overall I think there’s a few things the band could have done to make things more interesting but even then I thoroughly enjoyed taking the journey that is ” Redemption” and believe it will be something I’ll continue to listen to for a long time.