Twelve Foot Ninja are an Experimental Metal band that mix all styles of music together to create one of the most exciting, confusing and often dazzling debut albums to date.
With a style that has gained attention from artists such as Periphery and Meshuggah, it’s not hard to see why this is possibly one of the most ambitious debuts in recent years and how it could easily be the one thing the band need to get themselves out there. This is smooth, fast and beautiful all at the same time with such a huge variation in sound and style that it could even put System Of A Down to shame. The progressive riffs, exciting melodies and larger-than-life sound makes this a truly refreshing album to a genre that has lost its way over the years. With all the good said, does that mean that this could potentially be album of the year material?
Before answering that question, we must first look at the album as a whole. Starting off with the strange and luscious track ‘Coming For You’, it expertly mixes fast, heavy and headache inducing metal before slipping into something much calmer. This continuous shift between genres makes the track intriguing and keeps the listener engaged. Although this kind of style is a great feature to the album, you’d be hard-pressed to expect that it is repetitive.
This album is so full of variety that to get bored of it would take several listens in a row. With each track, there is something new to offer and every time you listen to the album back, you always seem to find something new about it. New sounds, things that you would never notice upon a first listen. Mixing alternative rock, metal, jazz, techno and every other genre known to man is no easy task but Twelve Foot Ninja make it seem easy. As they plow through a whole variation of tracks including ‘Mother Sky’, ‘Shuriken’, ‘Vanguard’, ‘Liberation’, ‘Silent Machine’ and ‘Ain’t That A Bitch’, you can’t help but go from fist-pumping, to dancing and then to head-banging. Infectious and weird it is but it is thoroughly fantastic and entices you the moment you press the play button.
This album has everything and I mean it. Heavy riffs, groovy riffs, weird riffs, melodic riffs. Heavy bass, jazz bass, strange bass, harmonic bass. Fast drumming, up-beat drumming, mind-boggling drumming, slow drumming. Screamed vocals, infectious vocals, mind-blowing vocals, harmonized vocals. EVERYTHING. Imagine System Of A Down… imagine that but on drugs. This is Twelve Foot Ninja. What makes the album even better is it’s mixing. To mix all these styles and perform it live is no easy task but to do it on record and make it feel complete and sound amazing is even harder. But luckily, this does not suffer from bad mixing and mastering, bad production quality, bad anything really.
It is mixed to sound stranger than anything the average human mind could ever possibly think of, produced to sound like an acid trip, mastered to sound exciting. As the album closes, you can tell the band has put in so much effort into this record and, I must admit, it pays off. It isn’t the first of its kind but it is the best. It makes you feel things you never thought possible, allows you to hear something that you never even knew could work together and allows you to listen to every music genre ever within the space of an album. Yes, it is amazing.
So, to answer the question I first began with: is this the best album of the year? Not quite but it is so damn close. In this album, there is something for everyone. You can rave, you can mosh, you can even do the tango if you want to. This is something you could show to your friends and then laugh as the look on their faces goes from confusion to that of an eight-year-old who has just been given the biggest lollipop known to mankind.
This is exciting, confusing and enticing all at the same time and should not be missed. No matter what the genre you prefer to listen to, I recommend this. You will find something you love and will eventually be singing the songs. Catchy, heavy, funky and poppy all at the same time has never seemed so good. If you’re a System Of A Down fan, listen to this. If you like something strange, listen to this. Heck, if you are a music fan then listen to this. It will be worth your while, believe me on that.