Twelve Foot Ninja Vengeance


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Twelve Foot Ninja - Vengeance


Thanks to a lot of hard work and quirky humor, Australian metal oddities Twelve Foot Ninja have carved out a well-deserved eclectic reputation for themselves. A pulsing explosion of manic creative energy, their djent-based assault has become the framework for a veritable aural dissertation on genre alchemy over the past decade and change.

With a solid track record and a consistent upward trajectory when it comes to their songwriting and attention to detail, this latest album from them presents their most matured approach yet. For an early indicator of their musical growth, look no further than the early album cut “Long Way Home“. Stitching together symphonic grace, breezy elements of jazz and unhinged barks atop meaty riffs in unequal measures, it’s an immediate showcase of the band’s various strengths.

Following that up is the title track, a relative oddity which taps the vein of electronically aided experiences served up recently by bands like Bring Me The Horizon. With a pulsing rhythm section and jarring digital stabs, Twelve Foot Ninja push themselves in unexpected melodic directions, yet opt to not sacrifice the heavier aspects that made fans fall in love with them in the first place.

The sonic schizophrenia and drop-of-a-dime part changes found here can be delightfully dissonant. The track “IDK” is a shining example of that, slinking through some poppy funky before repeatedly teasing a fake out heavier breakdown that never quite delivers.

Instead of the expected all-out Armageddon that the riffs and barks have you bracing for, an 80’s pop chorus fit for inclusion on the ‘Footloose‘ soundtrack comes in as the proverbial sucker punch. That said, those hoping for carnage will still get their fill before the track comes to a close.

Still, not every experiment undertaken here produces desirable results. “Shock To The System” takes on a dancey Daft Punk flair—robotic voices and all—before derailing into some theatrical spoken word that recalls the zanier works of Frank Zappa. While there’s some riffs to be found amid the song’s duration, it’s not an exactly memorable combination—even if it is adventurous.

Those hoping for a bit of the band’s trademark groove can rest easy knowing that funkier elements still remain a constant on “Vengeance“. There’s also even a rather quirky upbeat ballad of sorts to be found in “Over And Out“, which finds Tatiana Shmayluk of rising stars Jinjer providing guest vocals.

With this third full-length album Twelve Foot Ninja continue to excel at the majority of what they set their mind to. Their keen ear for catchy melodies and their refusal to ever step too far away from the riffs and grooves that serve as their bread and butter make for a endearingly varied listen.

The only limitation to be found here is that of the band’s own imagination, and rest assured they’ve yet to put up any fences (or a paddock) in that regard. Even their most ambitious plot twists remain heartfelt and avoid the dreaded avant-garde pomp akin to a head ultimately being placed up one’s own ass.

Sure band’s like Mr. Bungle and more penned much of the template laid out here decades ago, but “Vengeance” still delivers a sonic smorgasbord exclusive to Twelve Foot Ninja‘s many talents. Boisterously heavy, its smooth genre assimilation, inventive songwriting and dry humor offer up a listening experience quite unlike anything else out there at the moment.

Buy it now on Amazon | Apple Music

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