GUNSEN - The Adventure Of The Devil's Note
1. Metal Creepsy Fearky
2. Metal Chicken
3. Super Pig
4. The Adventure Of The Devil’s Note
5. Time Of Machines
6. Hellish Kitty
7. Inspector Jack
Rok wydania: 2016
Probably not everyone realizes that debuting artists (especially in Poland) have a lot of problems to exist on a music scene. This problem rises when the group makes music bordering on metal, and if by any chance it's power metal then they are f*cked. There is a small power metal scene here, but it fades in comparison to a general one. Why am I writing about that? Because this review is about a new player, Gunsen band, which recently made their own self-released album. I will immediately add that the material has a positive feel to it and it doesn't sound like a debut, but lets start from the beginning...
Some of you may connect the group's name to the nickname of a guitarist known (mostly outside of Poland) from another Polish power metal group Pathfinder, and you'll be right. The Gunsen band was made by Krzysztof "Gunsen" Elzanowski, who is a bellwether of this whole group. "The Adventure Of The Devil's Note" has also the bass guitar recorded by Arkadiusz Ruth, and was mixed by Karol Mania, both musicians being fundamental in a Pathfinder band. Female vocals in one track were recorded by Agata Lejba-Migdalska (a guest vocalist on both Pathfinder albums).
Someone might say before the listening that Gunsen's music is a continuation of the Pathfinder's music, but it's very far from that. Gunsen is clearly separated from the Pathfinder style, exploring more modern and definitely more brutal genres, with only subtle elements of power metal. What he created can be defined as fast, symphonic power/death metal with a subtle melodic touch. It can give a similar feel to the bands like Children of Bodom, Whispered, Wintersun, Equilibrium, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Carcass or even Dragonforce.
Carcass similarity comes from the vocal side, I don't know from where "Gunsen" dig up the vocalist, but he sings like Heff Walker! I must admit that his voice, tone and style perfectly match with the music. Which presents itself with a lot of energy, unmeasurable amounts of metal power, but not as dark atmosphere as this genre would suggest.
Metal element is toned with a bit of humor, clearly visible in the song titles, colorful artwork and lyrics. The latter can also have a deeper meaning- behind a silly stories and characters we can find a much more serious subjects, like the sins of humanity and it's "dark" nature.
The cover art could pretty much be a cover of a comics called "Adventures of Dani Filth in a mangaland", if it ever existed. But in terms of the graphic front "The Adventure Of The Devil's Note" is not very convincing in my opinion. Maybe it's a matter of taste, but the artwork here doesn't match the musical content, which thankfully doesn't bother me at all- it has some serious fu*king sound.
From the first seconds of the opening "Metal Creepsy Fearky" we can hear that the music here is no joke. Also, in this case thanks to Agata's vocals the whole song gets a nice haunted feel to it, blessed by a possessed witch. Then again in a case of "Kotoro", the longest track on the album, the listener can feel a Far East climate, very Whispered-like.
There is a lot of similar diversity on "The Adventure Of The Devil's Note", which can be proved in a great "Hellish Kitty" with a stupid fun chorus, which is both so funny and memorable it's hard to leave the song. There are many more funny gems like that, very rare in such extreme kind of music.
The material is very melodic, even when considering it's heaviness, agression and power, this blend is a great success of the Gunsen's group. In practice every composition here has a good hook to it, an interesting and memorable idea and is executed very well. What else can be said when listening to "Inspector Jack" with a techno feel to it's intro, "Super Pig" or slightly industrial "Time of Machines" ?
Another big plus here are the guitars. There are lots of solos here, enriching the general solid riffing. Most importantly these solos aren't the usual "the more and faster sweeps the better". Gunsen put a lot of effort into making them attractive, varied and thought-out, which is clear in every song. On this regard "The Adventure Of The Devil's Note" is absolutely flawless, I highly recommend it to any fan of guitar fireworks.
Anything flawed? That is too strong of a word here.. The album might seem a little too long (close to 60 minutes!), which may generate some problems in reception considering how intensive the music is. Some of the listeners may find it hard to swallow in one take- the album is packed with sounds, and grasping a full picture of that requires a lot of time and attention. Then again rich composition like that offers a long time adventure with the album. Not everyone likes to listen to the music in that form, but the more demanding audience shouldn't be disappointed with it.
Time to summarize it, as I might have taken too long. If anyone is disappointed with the last Children of Bodom's album, symphonic power metal is too soft, death metal is too brutal and just can't wait anymore for new Wintersun album the Gunsen's album might be just for that person.
"The Adventure Of The Devil's Note" is a well done, intense, rich, extremely melodic and packed with ideas material. It's a great suggestion for everyone bored quickly with music, as there is something happening all the time. How it will be received in Poland? My guess isn't very good, but I wish I am wrong. I'm sure that if Gunsen can breakthrough with his material beyond Polish borders then he would have a high chance to make a huge impact on the metal scene. I wish him just that personally!
PS. The album, sadly, is not available in any store- contact the band directly for it.
(poorly translated by Michał "Shark" Michalski)