Sweet Release: Shade Empire – Anti-Life Saviour (2/10)

Introducing Sweet Release, a new series where I highlight upcoming metal stuff that I hope will rock, roll, and rip us all a new one.

Shade Empire‘s Zero Nexus is one of my all-time favorites. The band conducted several experiments with their sophomore album, Intoxicate O.S., mostly in the fields of unconventional song structures and a more focused industrial sound, and Zero Nexus bears the fruits of having scrutinized the results, distilling the lessons learned into a more refined, more majestic monster. Their follow-up, 2013’s Omega Arcane, didn’t offer me the same gratification; the album wasn’t bad by any means, but it didn’t evolve their sound much. They instead chose to more deeply entrench themselves into the tropes and triumphs of Dimmu Borgir-esque symphonic black metal.

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“Aggretsuko”: Finally, a Hello Kitty character I can get behind.

My household is no stranger to Hello Kitty. Gorgonna often dons garb emblazoned with her Most Holy Image. Hello Kitty is woven into our family mythology; our crops are imbued with the blessings of the Sanrio pantheon.

So when the minds behind Hello Kitty recently introduced Aggretsuko (“Aggressive Retsuko”), a headbanging, beer-swilling red panda, you can’t blame me if I take this as a sign of my personal faith.

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Let’s Talk About Metal, K?

So I’ve almost been doing this year. The writing part, I mean; the dadding has most certainly been going for 365+ days, and I have the soiled diapers to prove it. Not mine, and besides those would have been disposed of by now because I’m a good parent.

But what I haven’t been particularly good at is a good writer, or at least a more regular, scheduled writer. And I’d like to change that.

So in an effort to put more of my fingers to the laptop keyboard (and maybe even the keyboard-keyboard), I’m expanding the focus of this blog. I’m opening it up to allow me to talk about metal, about music. The blog is Mostly Metal Dad, after all. I can indulge in some navel-gazing, can’t I? I guess as long as the navel is appropriate.

I think about metal a lot. I listen to it regularly, and I find myself having a lot to say about it. My first thought was always that this blog wasn’t the place for it, that I should continue trying to merge metal and parenting with every post. Except that doesn’t work all the time. More often than not I’ll come up with some great sentiment about babies and all the metal stuff will sit rusting in the stale locker room part of my brain.

So why not just talk metal? That’s cool, right?

I’ve been trying to keep up with the scene, what all the cool kids are listening to and the stuff I’m interested in as well. I listened to more metal in 2015 than I had in a long, long time — but I wrote very little about it. I’ve listened to probably an equal amount of metal in the 7+ months of 2016, but I’d like to not wait until after December 31st to start writing about it.

With luck, I can update both baby and metal stuff at the same time. Then won’t I look productive?