Seasoned fusionists impress with new album...
Wow! This was my first thought when I listened to the single Speak by Ninjaspy. My introduction was an opening verse sounding eerily like Faith No More reborn, before then being asked the question in a whisper “Are you going to Speak”. The intensely screamed response then proceeded to slam me back in my seat. I liked what I heard, this heavy blend of reggae and jazzy grooves merged with the raw power of smash mouth nu metal. I was intrigued and asked Sentinel Daily editor, Scott Adams, to take on the review of Spüken, their new album.
In their own words: “Ninjaspy, a trio of blood brothers, have been experimenting with metal fusion since 2006. Hard, heavy, hook-laden music that runs the gamut of reggae, surf, metal and more make up the band’s rule-breaking formula for notoriety.” The band hails from Vancouver, Canada. Ninjaspy have made their name through prolific touring where they have gained a reputation as an extremely powerful live act. Having toured and opened for the likes of Periphery, Twelve Foot Ninja, Protest the Hero, Coheed & Cambria, Cancer Bats, Bring Me The Horizon, and Powerman 5000 the band would have to be pretty decent.
The initial album Pi Nature, was released in 2007 and took quite a few years to be followed by the release of No Kata EP in 2013. The band kicked off the process of this album in 2014 with the launch of the Jump Ya Bones tour to crowd fund the production. After a successful collection of $15,000 they were able to enter the studio with the same team they recorded Pi Nature – Garth Richardson (Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mudvayne, Gallows) and Ben Kaplan (Biffy Clyro, Atreyu, Haste the Day) to produce the latest album, Spüken.
The resulting album is a culmination of nearly a decade of songs that have been whittled down into the ten tracks available here. All songs throughout the album feature an underlying element of groove, overlayed with some extremely heavy riffs. Comparisons to System of a Down and Periphery can be made with their fusion of styles. The vocals are strong and are a mix of clean, visceral and guttural screams. This works brilliantly on some songs such as Speak, Shuriken Dance and Jump Ya Bones to add some aggression to the melody but sometimes feels overdone. For me this is evident on the tracks Brother Man and Dead Duck Dock.
Overall the album is well put together with a very tight, powerful and polished sound. I found myself drawn to the more melodic tracks rather than the outright aggression this band offers as I really like the fusion of sounds. Best tracks are: Speak, What!!, Jump Ya Bones, Grip The Cage.
- Shuriken Dance
- Brother Man
- Dead Duck Dock
- Become Nothing
- Jump Ya Bones
- Grip The Cage
- Slave Vehemence
Spüken is available now on the bands website www.ninjaspy.net