Shaolin Death Squad | Intelligent Design

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Rock: Math Rock Metal/Punk: Progressive Metal Moods: Type: Experimental
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Intelligent Design

by Shaolin Death Squad

Theatrical rock
Genre: Rock: Math Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. A Terrible Way to Use a Sword
4:54 $0.99
2. Catastrophic Obedience
5:23 $0.99
3. Choreographer of Fate
8:02 $0.99
4. Radio Feeler
3:15 $0.99
5. Face Insecurity Killed
5:37 $0.99
6. Escaping Absynthe
5:43 $0.99
7. Fall, Rise, Laugh...fall
5:29 $0.99
8. A Story Lives Forever
4:26 $0.99
9. First Half of Yesterday
7:41 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.



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Teodoro Gomez de la Torre

The T's PA Review...
Another case of an unknown masterpiece.

SHAOLIN DEATH SQUAD, an American group nobody knows about, has delivered in a grandiose way with their 2006 album Intelligent Design, a brilliant album full of great musicianship, innovation, creativity, and entertainment.

We can call this music progressive-metal, but not your typical DT-style prog-metal. We hear some elements of traditional bands, but mostly we hear an eclectic mixture of all kind of different influences, which combine to create a distinct, unique sound. We hear avant-garde elements, we hear some tech- metal touches here and there, we can detect musical passages that sound like DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA but also moments when we're reminded of ARCTURUS. There's some thrash metal in here, too, with many fast riffs and pounding rhythms. Some alternative rock has managed to infiltrate the music as well. As you can see, a complete blend of many colors in the metal spectrum. But the influences we could say are the most important in SDS's sound are definitely two: PAIN OF SALVATION, but even more, FAITH NO MORE. Yes, SDS's sounds owes a lot to both Gildenlow's outfit and to Patton's deceased group.

A very important element in SDS's music is the quality of the musicians and specially of their singer. All the instrumentalists are more than capable, showing their skills but never falling for the easy show-off. But it's "The White Swan" who steals the show. Here we have a vocalist capable of switching styles with ease and tremendous creativity. He can go from a melodic, clean voice to a black-metal styled, high- pitched growling in a matter of seconds, in both cases managing to deliver a very compelling vocal performance. Again, his main influences are the same as in the overall sound of the band: Gildenlow, but mostly, Patton. It's his way of phrasing the words, the rhythms, and sometimes also the tone that remind us of that great singer of FAITH NO MORE and MR BUNGLE fame. "The White Swan" doesn't stop here though; he can also sound a little grungy (we can detect a hint of ALICE IN CHAINS in one of the songs) and, in the last track, he evokes Jonathan Davis, of much-maligned nu-metal band KORN. Yes, the guy has quite a range of possibilities in his voice.

The music goes from the burlesque to the violent, from the atmospheric to the grotesque, from the cold mountains of China to the exaggerated joke of a circus; there's anger and insanity, there's laughter and even some light; we travel from the traditional to the modern, from progressive-metal to thrash metal to space-rock to avant-garde.

An unquestionable 5-star rating, if there ever has been one. One of the best cds of 2006, a year when many lost gems like this album or DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA got buried underneath a pile of over- hyped records. It's a shame that this disc has been self-released. Let's hope SHAOLIN DEATH SQUAD is allowed to give us their talents in a second effort in the future, with a label that can guarantee that more people will be exposed to great music like this.


This band really needs to go somewhere. The vocals are reminiscent of Mike Patton, and I know the members of the band are fans of his work, but I feel comparing this to Mr. Bungle isn't fair. While Mr. Bungle is a great band it doesn't do it justice. I'd compare it more to something along the lines of Cynic, or maybe even the Black Mages. Truth be told, SDS has to be one of my favourite bands.

Hatip, Burak

BARAVO!!! A great album, A unique sound, great instrument playing, no mediocre tracks. I must see them live. We are waiting for the second album...


Listen to this!
This band is definitely a hidden gem. Give it a listen if you're into clever metal. Two thumbs up!.


Love it!
It's a perfect addition to my collection. It goes well along with my facnation with experimental music. At first I heard strong influence from Mr. Bungle and faith no more then I noticed some Frank Zappa-ish sounds. I wouldn't go as to describe the band by their inluential sounds because the entirety of the album is pretty origional. This album has a general feel that is innovative, dark, and extremely heavy.

This album has tons and tons of range. To go along with an amazing intriquecy of a collaboration the Keys and Vocals are astonishing.

This is a very "powerful" album.

VANCON Guillaume

Teodoro Gomez de la Torre is right.
A savant mix up from good musics genre.
I must have to see them on stage in Europe now!


Really amazing
Shaolin Death Squad was one of the biggest surprise of 2007 for me. I was completely overturned by their musical skill, melody and Zappa like sense of humour. As a ProgRésiste reviewer ( I put SDS in the upper part of my top ten list for this year.
I am eagerly looking forward to hearing their next album.


Shaolin Death Squad / Intelligent Design
Debut full-length for this independent outfit hailing from Texas. This is wonderful stuff. SDS primarily play theatrical progressive metal, extremely creative and with a marked avant-garde edge. Like all truly interesting contemporary bands, they subtly merge lots of diverse influences in a coherent musical vision. I hear Pain of Salvation similarities as well as a recurring 70s mildly symphonic prog vibe (but I can't mention specific comparisons... Definitely not the overly serious classic names like King Crimson, Genesis, etc... Maybe stuff like early Kansas?). The music is fronted by excellent male vocals: mostly midrange theatrical-styled, with growls very effectively employed here and there.
The compositions have a Patton-esque type of avant-garde aura, and the quality of the songwriting is amazingly consistent throughout the disc. Even though a couple of tracks seem to drag a little upon initial listens, they all offer such brilliant ideas and finally win you over. My personal favorites are "A Terrible Way To Use A Sword", "Catastrophic Obedience", "Escaping The Absynthe", as well as that irresistible catchy number that is "Radio Feeler". The musicianship is classy beyond words.
"Intelligent Design" is an outstanding album that should be heard by all fans of progressive music.


It's a beautiful album. the musicians are fantastique.sorry for my mystake, my english isn't perfect.
J'espere pouvoir les voir sur scene, en france, prochaînement.c'est pour moi lalbum de l'année 2007.

Adam Kellner

Denton Show
You are all great musicians. The Album is like nothing else I've ever herd. See you at the show!
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