100 Unheralded Albums from 2010

God of Shamisen: Smoke Monster AttackGod of ShamisenSmoke Monster Attack (11/23/10)

God of Shamisen: “Last Shamisen Master Attack”

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Featuring a pair of members from genre annihilators Estradasphere, God of Shamisen is a boundless project of East/West fusion combining heavy metal, improvised Japanese folk, and much more.  The band’s music is built on Kevin Kmetz’s mastery of the shamisen, a slender, striking, three-stringed Japanese instrument, but it has drawn the ire of some traditional shamisen masters for adding thrash riffs and rapid-fire metal beats.

Smoke Monster Attack, the band’s digital-only second release, accentuates that mix. It features a few unreleased originals as well as a handful of video-game and movie covers, including wild renditions of the themes to Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Star Wars, and co-production by Billy Anderson makes Smoke Monster Attack that much stouter.

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