Shinigami – The Arcane Order

0008750664_10Dutch metal band Shinigami just released their debut EP, and it’s a good one for fans of tight death and thrash metal. Here’s our review.

Shinigami (meaning “god of death” or “death spirit” in Japanese) is a brand new death metal band from the Netherlands, consisting of (ex) members of, amongst others, Bleeding Gods, Divine Sins and Mayan, and they have just unleashed their first EP onto the world. Counting six songs, there not an ounce of fat left to cut, resulting in an incredibly lean effort. Stylistically, these guys move somewhere between thrash and death metal, never exclusively adhering to one style.

If there’s two words to describe the metallic onslaught on The Arcane Order, those are “fast” and “furious”. The band presses the pedal to the metal from the get-go and keeps on speeding right until the end. From the opener Ronin onwards, this is a relentless metal assault that keeps on going for twenty-four minutes. Well, almost. 雨夜 is a really beautiful, oriental sounding instrumental piece that breaks up the frenetic pace a little, before launching into Defiance (the arguable highlight of this EP). It’s the type of stuff you’d somehow expect more from a band flirting this much with Japanese culture.

There’s bits of old Metallica in here, a hint of Testament and a decent amount of groove to be found in the individual songs. Add to that just a dash of metalcore and you get the gist of The Arcane Order’s six tracks. None of them overstay their welcome, with Defiance being the longest track clocking in at 5:19, with the other five songs firmly between the three and four minute mark. Again, that’s very lean. The songs are also varied enough for The Arcane Order to stay interesting throughout its entire twenty-four minute runtime.

I came away impressed by what these guys are doing on their first effort, and am quite curious where Shinigami’s journey will head from here. A strong debut and very recommended.

Release: out now

Tracklisting:

  1. Ronin
  2. The Way of the Dragon
  3. Order of the Blade
  4. Concubine of Madness
  5. 雨夜
  6. Defiance

Line-up:

  • George Oosthoek – vocals
  • Jory Hogeveen – guitar
  • Rutger van Noordenburg – guitar
  • Luciano Sirigu – bass
  • Daan Klemann – drums

Further surfing:

Review by Ralph Plug

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