Stormland – Songs of Future Wars

    Have the subgenre wars gotten so out of hand? Is anime metal a thing? Is it a thing? From a superficial standpoint, Stormland’s debut LP, Songs of Future Wars (independent release) sounds and flows like the typical death metal affair. You get your blast beats, face-contorting guitars and vocal venom, but I couldn’t help noticing the song titles. ‘Blitz Fatality (GAT-X207)’ and ‘Reclaimed Human Debris (ASW-G-08)’ again seem like extreme metal 101, but consulting with the mighty Google, I learned that those letter and numbers in parenthesis refer to Gundam mobile suits.

    Given that I haven’t followed any series in particular for the last 10 years, and my liberal beer consumption, it’s safe to admit that my anime knowledge is limited. I can tell you who Goku and Vegeta are and I’ve been told that Angels are the antagonists in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Ok, that last bit sounds pretty fucking metal.

    As far as Gundam goes, I was fond of Mobile Fighter G Gundam for a Summer or two and that dudes jumped into mecha suits and beat the piss out of each other in space. So, I would like to apologize to Stormland mastermind, Justin Pierrot if my animation ignorance gets in the way of any major concept at the heart of Songs of Future Wars.

    Concept aside, the only way I can see this brand of extremity relating to anime is if Kaneda started sporting a Deicide patch on the back of his jacket. Death metal is the order of the day here with flashes of Heartwork (Earache) melody on ‘Integrated Weapon System (GAT-X105E)’ and the splashes of black metal that spring up in ‘Ideological Paralysis (MBF-02).’ For a one-man assault, the songs featured here for the most part are remarkably tight and devoid of excess. However, there are technical lapses that confound me throughout such as the guitar solos coming across as flat and not fleet-fingered in ‘Idealogical Paralysis (MBF-02) and ‘Improvement Through Isolation (GN-005).’ Also, while the decision to go with mostly clean vocals on ‘Psychic Casualty (MSZ-06)’ takes brass balls, Pierrot unfortunately doesn’t have the chops to carry that tune.

    Seeing as that I’ve now lived long enough to see the worlds of metal and manga/anime collide, I think I can learn to accept it. Who thinks they can pull off a Dragon Ball Z concept album? I’m waiting.


    HANS LOPEZ    


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