You’ve most likely never heard of Shinto Katana before but they’ve been doing the rounds of the Australian hardcore scene for a few years now, a somewhat silent figure in the scene overshadowed by more known bands like Parkway Drive and Confession.
Redemption the bands 3rd full-length album sets out to change that and change that it will. A hard hitting and exceptionally produced hardcore album everyone in their camouflage pants will be two-stepping and fight dancing too for months to come. One thing most people will notice is the immediate Acacia Strain and Emmure influence, I don’t believe it’s necessarily a bad thing for a band to sound like those aforementioned bands it might not make Shinto Katana original but they certainly pull off the sound quite well.
Starting off like a dramatic movie soundtrack, the title track “Redemption” has a cinematic build-up and then explodes into a barrage of drop-tuned guitars and double-kick lade drum work. One of my favourite things about Redemption is the production. The guitars sound chunky as fuck, it’s rare you hear of a band able to pull off such a heavy sound without sounding too thin or too muddy I don’t know what tuning they’re playing it (it sounds like Drop A) but the lower a guitar is tuned the harder it is to mix and make sound decent.
The drum work isn’t overly impressive and that’s understandable considering Shinto Katana are a self-proclaimed mosh band in the vain of other mosh bands like Bury Your Dead and Confession. Many people will be quick to point out the lack of technicality, lack of imaginative guitar work and lack of diversity in the drum department but this will be due to the inability of some people to accept the fact that mosh hardcore isn’t supposed to be complicated it’s music for tough guys who want to swing their arms around, kick people in the face and break stuff, that’s it.
Lyrically Redemption features your standard tough guy subject matter and while the lyrics are certainly not a strong point of this album, the vocal delivery of Dave Naylor is definitely the highlight. Regardless of the fact some of the lyrics are downright ridiculous, his delivery is solid and right to the point and if Redemption were a yelling contest Naylor would win hands down.
At face value you really can’t dig too deep into this record. There is no meaning, no dick measuring guitar virtuoso contest, so vocal harmonies or even melody just a straight up and in your face mosh record and it serves that purpose well enough for this to be rated for what it is: a very decent effort from a very decent band writing music that stays true to the hardcore ethos and values the band holds.
Rating: 7 out of 10.