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Released: 2003, Independent
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Kenshiro is one of the newer bands coming out of the Lansing, Michigan scene, and already we have the two song demo from these guys.
With only two tracks on the demo, there is a surprising amount of variation contained within the two songs.
“Art of Decay” is a six minute piece that blends death metal, melodic thrash, and blastbeat-ridden chaos all in one. Nice riff breakdown around the 1:30 mark, then some death metal, followed by a great melodic piece up to about the 3:00 mark. I have no idea why the hell the song comes nearly to a dead stop here, but it totally kills the momentum. Moving ahead a half minute, we come to some good melodic thrash before dropping back to a crazy outro.
“Sociological Dismemberment,” at over seven minutes in length is another long track with a lot of variation. This is my favourite of the two songs, and I hear a strong influence of ancient Dark Tranquillity and In Flames on this one. The melodic leads on here totally kick ass, leading up to almost a power-thrash sound as the song hits around the 4:20 mark. I really enjoy the two vocal styles of a lighter, raspy growl complemented by a deeper, throaty growl. It seems like a lot of bands today are doing this (Julie Laughs Nomore and Summer Dying come to mind first as those that can do it well), but it works for Kenshiro as well. The band completely drops the ball around the 5:00 mark, however, as the song turns into an acoustic piece. I mean, what the fuck guys? You’ve been building up five minutes of excellent melodic death metal, and then drop it out like this? Not to mention the girlie backing vocals thrown in as well. Perhaps as a separate track, the last 2:30 of “Sociological Dismemberment” would work, but I say leave the Opeth-ing to Opeth.
With only a 2-track demo to their name, Kenshiro are starting to develop a strong foundation. The band still has some growing to do, however. I suggest that they work to improve the consistency of their style and songwriting. Kenshiro needs to decide if they want to take the melodic death path (Despite the glut of melodic death nowadays, I think that they could succeed in this direction), or expand the experimental and unconventional side of the band into a progressive or atmospheric band. Either way, the ideas are there and just need to take form. In any case, I highly recommend that everyone reading the review check out the band, even for the sole reason that their demo is free for download.
1. Art of Decay
2. Sociological Dismemberment
Brian Ebert - vocals / bass
Greg Graham - guitar
Tony Gennette - guitar
Toby Dennis - drums
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