Written by: Shane Thirteen
I am child of the 70's, born into the world during the height of Martial Arts media mayhem. I was born into a world of ninjas, samurai, and shoguns. By the time the 1980's rolled around, I could reenact battle scenes from the popular mini series Shogun with my friends in the back yard. Chuck Norris and Sonny Chiba were my idols. Every spin kick and sword plunged into the bellies of foes kept me enthralled with all things Japan.
As such, when I heard the name of this band, the grin on my face gleamed like a katana being drawn from its scabbard on an ancient battlefield on a bright sunny day. I was not disappointed.
Concept and tone draw me into a band. Long gone are the days of me merely enjoying a song or an entire work just on riffage alone. I need to be told a story of epic proportions, I need depth of concept and misty battles at dawn. This album delivers.
There is so much thickness in Sam Wallman's guitar tone that you can almost hear a battalion of samurai cavalry beating down your neck. The rhythm section of Max Muenchow (bass) and Alvin Vega (drums) are the battlefield sounds of rolling thunder and clashing armor. All their tones bring the listener into their realm. Tight, deep, and thickly expressive riffs lead to silky somber acoustic parts, which remind the listener that after battle comes the beauty of sweet sonic relief. Shogun is one of those bands that you can tell are well drilled. Their songs are well put together. The songs flow in a way that indicate lead singer Joe Widen is able to craft vocal emotion. Lifting the listener to a place where you can feel how the music truly propels his emotional state into the songs. He is not merely singing. He is the cry for battle. He is the cadence to war.
The voice of Shogun is possessed by an Oni war ghoul. Joe's voice bleeds on this work. His emotional state is laid out like a Shogun battle plan. Precise, haunting and deadly. There is something to say about a band that plays as a single unit. This album is laid out with care and careful flow. It sounds as though the band is not just playing parts but melding into songcrafters able to provide the adventure they want to take you on worth it. These songs are well thought out. The emotional flow of the record coincides with the movement of the music. Expertly crafted. Just like Samurai armor. Layered, intricate and stout.
Shogun has put out a solid release. Addendum is both powerful and epic. Doom and sludge fans will find solace and peace amongst the battle slain samurai that have fallen to the mighty SHOGUN!
Shogun - Addendum was independently released May 8th, 2020
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!