Totally unsettling. This album from German metallers Shotgun Justice is plain unsettling. It is like a jukebox of all your favourite bands, but being played by some mad scientists. I really don’t know whether this is pure genius or absolute lunacy, but it certainly grabs your attention!
Formed in 2003, this band plays by its own rules and makes the listener take notice by the unexpected nature of the songs. The band is lead by vocalist Marco Kraft and his voice is amazing in its sheer versatility. He can crank it out old-school on tracks such as “Blood For Blood” and then croons/croaks like Tom G Warrior of Celtic Frost on “Forsaken“.
The height of this mad experiment is “Nemes (A Global Killer)“, where the song is taken over by female opera singers. The song is definitely a work of genius and smacks of the same kind of adventure displayed by the aforementioned Celtic Frost on Into The Pandemonium, which is one of my favourite metal albums of all time!
The production on this record is unique as well, with the drums paying more than a passing nod to Metallica‘s bone dry sound of …And Justice for All. At first, this bothered me, but I have learned to really appreciate the way in which the album has been put together. One other review I read mentioned that this album was “taxing“, but that is just another way of saying that it takes patience and, as someone who enjoys being challenged, I am perfectly happy to be be taxed. As said earlier, it is an unsettling collection, but one hell of a ride!
The record comes to an ever more unsettling end with “State of Desolation“, which again evokes memories of Celtic Frost and some of Candlemass doom, complete with a flute solo and operatic warblings.
What a weirdly brilliant record…Maybe this record is what someone like Andy Kaufman would have made.
Genre-busting and ballsy. Take a ticket and enter the Funhouse. Me? I’m off for a lie down in a darkened room for a few centuries.