Shadow Puncher, the solo project of Norwegian extreme metalist, Max Kevin Oelstoeren, is a one-man offering with Oelstoeren handling all guitar, vocal, programming, and other instrumentation duties. This new self-titled album is brutally-heavy and blurs the lines of where death metal and deathcore might meet. The intro, however, is a bit deceiving and somewhat belies what is to come as “Shekinah” hits like a wrecking ball (not in the Miley Cyrus kind of way), pounding your senses with a fierceness and brutality that extreme metal fans will totally dig.
After a couple complete listens, though, there are a few problems with this disc. First off, for many, this album is going to be a bit too heavy; without any real respite from the audio attack, the brain begins to hurt a bit. Second, and more importantly, Shadow Puncher has a very sterile feel. Granted it’s a one-man project and Oelstoeren deserves mad credit, but the whole seems very mechanical, machine-made, and computer-driven, but not in an industrial/Fear Factory kind of way.
Trust me, I understand music production and the technology thereof, but Shadow Puncher just seems void of, dare I say, any emotion? I think there are certain nuances that can only be obtained from live drummers and instruments, their human imperfections giving songs or parts thereof a certain vibe that makes the music more authentic.
All that said, if you are listening to extreme metal for the sake of sheer brutality and fierceness, not necessarily production or quality, then this might be up your alley.
Shadow Puncher Track Listing:
03. Lord of Lords
05. The Belt of Truth
06. The Agony
07. No More Suffering
Run Time: 25:11
Release Date: February 23, 2018
Listen to the “Shekinah” single here, plus the rest of the entire album.