Shaolin Death Squad – Five Deadly Venoms

What would happen if Bruce Lee was still alive and picked up a guitar? Without a doubt it would sound something like Shaolin Death Squad. These Texans have their own fairly original twist on progressive metal, combined with unconventional lyrics based upon Kung Fu flicks. Earlier this year they released their second album, entitled Five Deadly Venoms. Let’s see what musical tricks they’ve got up their sleeves.

Like I said, their take on progressive rock/metal is quite original. They draw their inspiration from the eclectic approach of bands like Mr Bungle, Faith No More, Estradasphere and The Dillinger Escape Plan, however without descending into the chaotic madness of the latter. They add all these neat jazzy parts and subtle accoustic parts throughout the songs, making Five Deadly Venoms an album worth listening to.

Another positive element about this album are the well structured and adventurous compositions. Songs like Centipede, Scorpion, Let Us Welcome The Actors, Farewell and Peace Be Upon You are the best examples of that.

Sound wise I got nothing to complain about either. Five Deadly Venoms has a clear, yet not too polished production. It gives the album some additional bite.

Shaolin Death Squad certainly delivered the goods with Five Deadly Venoms. An unconventional musical approach, adventurous songs and unusual lyrics, what more can you ask of a progressive band? Recommended!

written by Raymond Westland


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