Shade Empire Intoxicate O.S.

In simplest terms, Shade Empire manipulate blackened death metal with synthesisers, catchy melodies and upbeat riffs. Intoxicate O.S. is their second album — first for Dynamic Arts — and though it’s apparently less electro-drenched than 2004 debut Sinthetic, there’s no doubt here that Shade Empire consider both keyboards and guitars to be formidable weapons. On this latest album, they cover a lot of ground, somehow managing to crash into the Kovenant, Soilwork, Children of Bodom and several other bands, though not all at the same time. The end result is unsettled; Intoxicate O.S. is entertaining but also vexing, a lively diversion without a great deal of persuasive substance. (Dynamic Arts)