As per the usual method I grabbed my Ipod, now filled with the sounds of Polar Shift, the latest release from string metal act Judgment Day, and hopped in my car. As I sped off I was introduced to the bands sound in opening track Ghost Hunt. At first I thought maybe this was a soundtrack, and then maybe some kind of Gaelic Punk, which has become popular these days. Shrugging I drove on and allowed the music to guide me.
Okay, the niche here is that the band plays rock music while incorporating string instruments. Sure, it’s not a new idea, but Ghost Hunt was a speedy little number that had a kicking drum core and some pretty impressive fiddle work going on. There were no vocals which made it even more interesting. My minds eye conjured up the sight of an exorcism being performed. A young person thrashing about, a priest splashing holy water through the air, the faint traces of a spirit being wrenched to and fro. The song is titled Ghost Hunt after all and the spirit of the track is pretty hectic.
Next was Demon Fire. Do I see a concept trend beginning here? Ghosts, Demons, Judgment Day? I really liked the drums again and the strings sounded vaguely familiar. I’m not sure from what but I swear I’ve heard this song before. The song has both a touch of old world, think a small band off to the side of a bar stage where traveling performers may be performing The Divine Comedy, but also a touch of the now.
Annexed is up next. I especially liked the melodic, very emotional, sounding string structure here. This one is kind of a cross between one of those frequent movie sequences in Final Fantasy games and a heavy metal tune without the metal. Lots of change ups included which makes it interesting.
California Legislature follows. This tune has some inaudible dialogue, an army march drum sound, and an ominous string setting. The track runs a mere 34 seconds but the minds eye can see so much within that half minute.
The album has a hefty 14 tracks, all of which are great in their own way. The only issue I have with the album is the second time around and more so the third I came to realize once you’ve heard the album once you need to listen to it in moderation. It’s just too much string use for the full 40 minutes every time. Of course time will tell. I might find myself listening to it in its entirety again some other time, but for now I just can’t see myself doing it again. In any case it is a fascinating album that I would suggest throwing on in a low lit room while relaxing on your couch and just let the music guide you. What you will see depends on your own self and your interpretation of the music’s mood. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy.
Read Our Other Review For Polar Shift: http://www.shakefire.com/reviews/cd/judgement-day-polar-shift