14 Apr 2024
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Imperial Slave - Album Review: Imperial Slave

04 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Sam Sheppard is probably best thought of as the powering drummer for the likes of 8 Foot Sativa and Sinate, and now he is back with his latest project, Imperial Slave. This time around, as well as providing drums on the album, he is also the lead singer and main songwriter. He has been joined by Isaac Lundy (guitar), Anthony Hati (guitar) and Achilles Manley (bass) while Matt Wright will be providing drums onstage so that Sam can concentrate on his new role as frontman. Even before I started listening to this, I knew we were in for something epic, just from seeing the cover design from Barny Bewick at Indium Design (Alien Weaponry, Devilskin, Sir Dave Dobbyn). The artwork took me back in time, and so does the music, as this could have come straight out of the Eighties.

What we have here is very clean thrash/melodic death crossover, where the production allows for clear separation between the instruments while also allowing them to come at the listener like a runaway freight train. There is quite a contrast between Sam’s gruff vocals and the guitars which have little in the way of effects, but rather rely on fast picking and powerful interplay. Sam has been pounding up a storm with various very heavy bands over the years, and his approach reminds me of Gene Hoglan in that the guitarists must keep up with the intricacies of what is happening behind the kit, where there is a great deal of finesse as well as plenty of double kicks when the time is right. Achilles allows himself to provide some powering bass lines, not only sitting behind the guitars to add additional depth to their approach but also putting in his own melodies which can be in stark contrast (An Gorta Mor has some especially fine examples of this). Then we have the twin guitar attack of Isaac and Anthony who come at us like a mix of Testament and Exodus, with hints of Mustaine but also bringing in elements of Cannibal Corpse when the time is right, but always with a very clean style. Fear and Hate shows them switching things around, throwing it all in a melting pot and seeing what comes out the other side. The band provides a huge contrast to the rough and raw vocals, and the result is incredibly powerful.

Here we have a band who have produced a debut which sounds as it has come out of an American studio, from a group signed to a label such as Nuclear Blast or Napalm, when in reality it was recorded at The Stomach in Palmerston North with Sam producing and Nigel Mauchline mixing and mastering and is an independent release. This really does not seem like a local Kiwi band, but one which is destined for the international stage and plenty of touring. I can certainly see these guys hitting the European festival circuit when they are able to get over, but until then I would be satisfied with seeing these guys play in Auckland if we ever get out of lockdown, as if the album is as powerful as this what on earth are they going to be like in concert? Definitely one for metalheads to discover.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Imperial Slave

Formed by Sinate and ex-8 Foot Sativa drummer Sam Sheppard in Palmerston North with local musicians from Deaths Door, Reignmaker, Skitz Hydro and Decoma.

Imperial Slave was formed in 2020 and released their first self-titled album in 2021.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Imperial Slave

Releases

There are no releases to display for Imperial Slave.

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Gig Review: Crushfest @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 07/07/2023
07 Jul 2023 // by Kev Rowland
So it was down to Tuning Fork for the first night of the second Crushfest festival. Tonight was going to be Wellington and Auckland bands, and then some of the same will be playing at the second night in Wellington next month.
Read More...
Rain - Single Review: Love and War
15 Jun 2023 // by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since I last heard from Wellington-based singer songwriter Cathy Elizabeth, and back then Rain was seen solely as a studio project with Cathy being accompanied by Thomas Te Taite, who provided all the instrumentation including digital drums. Now they are a full band who have been performing live, and it is the first time they have recorded as such, with Thomas now, just providing acoustic guitar (plus engineering and producing etc.
Read More...
Lost Vessels - Single Review: All This Time
01 Jun 2023 // by Kev Rowland
I must admit I was not that impressed when I first saw Lost Vessels play at Crushfest, something they later admitted to me was the worst gig of their career, but since then they have improved in leaps and bounds. This has been noticed by others on the Auckland circuit as they are getting more opportunities with better support slots, and I was not at all surprised when they won the Ding Dong Lounge Battle Of The Bands in November last year.
Read More...
Unwanted Subject - Single Review: Sons of Savages
28 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
I have caught Unwanted Subject in concert a few times over the last couple of years, and while they have been getting better each time I have seen them, I must admit that nothing prepared me for this, which right from the off is a monster. I have never heard them quite this is aggressive, nor as polished, and this multi-sectioned single sounds almost like a different band as they have pushed their metal roots to the max in this metalcore beast which sees them mixing and blending different genres to create something quite special.
Read More...
Gig Review: Stray Dogs @ AUX, Auckland - 26/05/2023
28 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
So it was back to Ding Dong Lounge on a Friday night for one of their infamous Emo nights, which tonight was a three-band bill with Stray Dogs having an extended set, supported by Altaea and then up first we had Blindr, a band new to me. Blindr are a quartet featuring Bill Caldwell (vocals, guitar), Blake Woodfield (lead guitar), Jack Power (bass), and Charlie McCracken (drums).
Read More...
Gig Review: Turkey The Bird @ The Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 27/05/2023
27 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Back up to Auckland Guide Centre in Mount Eden tonight for my second consecutive gig (Sol suggested it was a turkey sandwich as I am at Vader tomorrow) to see Taranaki’s finest, Turkey The Bird at The Ministry of Folk. Before that we of course had Hoop, who are Al Baxter (vocals, guitar, harmonica, banjo, mandolin), Nick Edgar (vocals, guitar, ukulele, flute, harmonica), Emily Allen (violin, viola), Glenn Coldham (bass) while tonight Gary Hunt was filling in for drummer Rusty Knox.
Read More...
This Silent Divide - Single Review: Beautiful Creature
25 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based melodic hard rock quartet This Silent Divide, entitled Beautiful Creature. I really enjoyed their Tall Stories EP, and they played a great gig at Dead Witch towards the end of last year, and this would have been recorded at about the same time.
Read More...
Gig Review: Emily Rice @ Your Local Coffee Roasters, Pukekohe - 24/05/2023
24 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Earlier this week I had a message from Emily Rice asking me if I lived in South Auckland. When I responded I did, she asked if I would be interested in coming along to an event she was putting on in a coffee shop in Pukekohe to celebrate the release of her new single, Warenoa.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • TOO SWEET
    Hozier
  • BEAUTIFUL THINGS
    Benson Boone
  • LOSE CONTROL
    Teddy Swims
  • LIKE THAT
    Future And Metro Boomin feat. Kendrick Lamar
  • END OF BEGINNING
    Djo
  • I LIKE THE WAY YOU KISS ME
    Artemas
  • WE CAN'T BE FRIENDS (WAIT FOR YOUR LOVE)
    Ariana Grande
  • STICK SEASON
    Noah Kahan
  • TEXAS HOLD 'EM
    Beyonce
  • LEAVEMEALONE
    Fred Again.. And Baby Keem
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem