Four years earlier, Thousand Swords
focused on the character of Sait? Musashibo Benkei who provoked in a duel all samurai who crossed his bridge, collecting Thousand Swords
until his final fight. An album full of delicacy and surprisingly mature for a first album. On Shogunate Macabre
, there is no fixed frame, tracks navigate between topics and stories of battles, always mesmerizing.
The album starts with Jikininki
. The perfect start for an album! It starts with great strength, an apocalyptic Black symphonic track. Asian riffs are well placed and subtle, a structure different from what is normally expected. In the middle, a soft pass that will come back to us after a few listening. The song perfectly illustrates his words. For info, the Jikininki
is a kind of ghoul who comes to eat the souls of the corpses when they have not received an adequate salvation for the soul begins its journey to the afterlife. The video was released in June
2013 and perfectly illustrates the atmosphere with its warm colors, decor and costumes from the kabuki theater. One of the best tracks on the album!
Other songs succeed each other well. Hold the Sword
will made think of Children
of Bodom, but obviously more mature and beautiful. The only downside is One Man's Burden
, which, despite its good elements will overshadow the album. The songs are well constructed, all on bases and different structures. Every detail is well thought out to grab us, even if in many places, we must learn to understand what the album offers us to fully appreciate the delicacy and richness hidden generously throughout the album. Because Whispered
has a very personal approach. This is not the kind of music you listen while you wash the microwave or do something else at the same time. It is music that you must take the time to fully enjoy its flavor, even if it takes weeks or months. When you understand music Whispered
, you can fully appreciate it. Few bands have this talent to create works of this kind, and especially only a few people have the patience to achieve this almost spiritual goal, but those who succeed live an exquisite experience.
The booklet and the artwork is gorgeous! The richly illustrated pages adorn the reading of texts. The band used the talent of ToK, who also illustrated the previous album. The images are drawn as if they were painted on washi. You do not lose money both musically and visually with the purchase of such an album like this!
A piece that will attract our attention is undoubtedly Kappa. Kappa is a mythological creature that resembles a turtle / toad living in swamps or rivers. A poor devil prankster who can be very nasty. The Kappa of this track is one of those who love to drink the blood of newborns and rape young women. The musical approach of this piece will immediately think of Finntroll
by his dark side and his jovial side or the kind of atmosphere some children's stories. You will hang on the solo, interesting and surprising (I said no more), I applaud risk-taking and being outside the box, but maybe not long enough.
Another fabulous piece is Lady
of the Wind
, the legend of Yuki- Onna, the lady of the snow. Lady
of the wind is Shogunate Macabre
that Dead Cold Inside
is Thousand Swords
. This is the masterpiece of the album. Cold
atmosphere and beautiful, you feel the wind blowing around you, the beauty reign in this piece and the one who will understand this piece will let lulled by its charm and intensity.
After following Unrestrained
definitely built for speed and live with his solos, always accompanied by softness in the symphonic and Japanese instruments. He brings good to the last song, Upon my Honor wich is a twin of Blade in the Snow; a long piece that closes the album well. Although epic, well done and very good.
What stands out in this album is that the group continues his musical breakthrough. As mentioned above, we will forge a real opinion after several listens, the time to understand what the group wanted to convey to us through their music. Note also that with the departure of keyboardist, there is no keyboard solos, which corrects the error of the previous album which had solos too heterogeneous. The guitars are more in support, less guitar riffs will stay in our heads, the group preferring to build an ensemble rather than relying on one or two instruments. Japanese environments are still beautiful, melodies that we had gone incognito in previous listening resurface in our heads and create a real addiction. Delicious! Jonathan Hutchings also returns to the narrative and the mood of the album is like his artwork, orange and hot.
A group that I hope will not remain in the shadows for too long. Too small amounts of music of this caliber are proposed these days and when it passes us, we must seize it!