Shadow Puncher is a brutal death metal solo project founded in 2016 by Max Kevin Ølstøren who plays the guitar, programs the drum and provides vocal and bass duties. The band began as a death metal/black metal project out of Trondheim, Norway in Europe, releasing demos with hand drawn art. The first album, “To Victory we March” was released on the 14th of March 2019.
The project and label announced on August 20, 2018, that they were releasing a compilation of all three independent EPs titled One Path to the Heavenly Kingdom. The project is currently working on their first full-length album, a cover of Cannibal Corpse with Symphony of Heaven, a song coming on a compilation between The Bearded Dragon Productions and Love Your Enemies Records, and will appear on a split album of Symphony of Heaven, Bismoth, and Timōrātus, providing backing vocals for the final band. The band will also be releasing a cover of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” through The Bearded Dragon Productions and Rottweiler Records.
The album has an impressive set of 15 songs spanning across an hour, so without further ado lets jump to it. The album opens up with the ambient soundscapes of “Interlude” which paints a vivid image as you hear, keys, viola and marching drums giving a grand introduction to the album. Next up, with “Visions” Max starts off with an ambient hymn, which transfigures into heavy guitar chugs with an odd time signature. The guitar tones are really low and muffled that accentuates the guttural vocals and gives out a djent feel to an otherwise death metal song.
“Rotten Flesh” rips your ears with a crunchy alternate picked riff and gives a shudders that jolts right through you. The song has plenty of electronica embedded in it which sounds really well and gives a post-modern outlook to the song. Somehow the music I received didn’t have the song “Persecuted by the Holy Spirit” in it. “Not worthy” takes on a familiar yet progressive step as it plunges head on with blast beats rolling like thunder on the djent riffing that’s spanned across the song.
We hear soothing hymns and a beautiful melody as we tread upon “Conqueror of the Darkness”, which suddenly progresses on to heavier territory. Through the length of the song It appears to be stitched as it variates and juggles two styles. “Reconciled” pulls out heavy riffage right at the outset, and takes on interesting shredding as we progress giving a lot of character to the song. “The Most Wonderful Name” gives an acoustic break before delving into crunchy rhythm and unleashing a hypnotic melody that that captivates you with a mesmerizing off beat drum roll. “Evil Dead” gets a little groovy at the beginning but stuns you back in momentum with guitars and drums pelting out sounds that resonate with bullet being fired.
“Eternity” builds on doom influence pounding you with slow sludgy guitar riffs as it slows down an otherwise aggressive album. “Invincible God” has sweet guitar arpeggios going along fine to a country tune on mouth organ, with a bit of meh-heh-heh of the lamb, suddenly interrupted by pounding and angry growls and lightening fast double bass reminding us that this is Death Metal. “God is My Protector” pumped me up and gave an adrenaline rush and stands out as one of the most heaviest and energetic song on the album.
“Desire” sends a shockwave with guttural vocals ploughing in hard, that will definitely get you moving and jumping around head banging. “Where o death..?” rocks it up with a middle eastern tune before progressing into a blitzing beats as it unleashes heavy cavalry beat after beat. I personally feel the album could have ended at this song, but a charge of static passes through your ears as we come to an end to a well-crafted album with “The Light of the World”.
Production – The album has a decent production, some guitar parts were a bit muffled, parts which I would have liked sharp.
Conclusion – For a one man show, this album does pretty well for itself. It definitely got me listening to it on multiple repeats and I know it will too for you. Hit Play!
Written by: Ankit Sood
1. Interlude 01:52
2. Visions 04:38
3. Rotten flesh 03:54
4. Persecuted by the holy spirit 00:19
5. Not worthy 03:46
6. Conqueror of the darkness 03:17
7. Reconciled 03:17
8. The most wonderful name 04:32
9. Evil Dead 05:00
10. Eternity 04:08
11. Invincible god 04:13
12. God is my protector 03:16
13. Desire 03:18
14. Where o death..? 04:39
15. The light of the world 01:08
Max Kevin Ølstøren – Well Everything