Shadow Puncher is a brutal death metal/black metal act that began in 2016, as a solo project of Max Kevin Ølstøren from Trondheim, Norway in Northern Europe. In the beginning their output was in the form of self-released demos with hand-drawn art.
The lyrics are mostly taken directly from the Bible, worship lyrics about trusting God and also how our faith in God actually makes us better human beings. It’s inspirational how they describe Christian life, but also give God worship.
Influences: Mortification, Deliverance , Broken Flesh, Abated Mass of Flesh, Sepultura, Pantera, Zakk Wylde/Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne.
From releasing demos, he went on to release EPs. There are three independent EPs: The Path of Challenges, The Throne of Justice and Love and No Despair that can all be found on Soundcloud and YouTube.
In October 13, 2017, it was announced that the project had signed to Nosral Recordings, a label formed by Mike Larson of Frost Like Ashes, which began as a sub-label of Rottweiler Records.
In February 24, 2018 a self-titled EP was released. Before the EP the single, “Shekinah” was released as a lyric video. The EP was produced by Luke Dinan of Children of Wrath and DinaSound Productions.
On August 20, 2018, it was announced that all three independent EPs were to be released as a compilation titled One Path to the Heavenly Kingdom.
After that it was time for the first full-length album, To Victory We March, 2019
The album consists of 15 tracks including an intro and outro.
This is Christian unblack/brutal metal at its best.
Some of the tracks start straight off as brutal death metal songs and keep it all the way like “Not Worthy” and “Eternity”. But this album gives us so much more.
The intros and the undercurrents of the songs have different variations, some are pure brutal metal straight off, when other have different intros like:
“The Most Wonderful Name”, where the sounds of an acoustic and later on an electric guitar and classic piano starts and leads the song.
“Conqueror of the Darkness” takes currents from a Northern European very old and well known lullaby, in Sweden called Byssan Lull, creating an symphonic and historical feeling.
“Where O Death” has some Oriental sounds in it, giving a feeling of mysticism, but also a reminder that dying from this Earth is not the actual end.
“Evil Dead” has more direct electric sounds, even taking us to post-apocalyptic landscapes of those movies, how it is to live without hope. But how that is not the truth for us Christians, the truth being God’s holiness gives us hope no matter how dark it seems to be around us.
“Invincible God” has some bluegrass/blues and even a tinge of humor. Who can stand being serious all the time? I’m sure God planted a sense of humor in us to make life manageable. This, mixed with passages from the Psalms where David really seeks God, makes the song still brutal.
“Desire” this song has influences from the actual genre called black metal that has many representing from Norway. So, it’s fully natural for a guy from Norway to take in those currents.
For me this is an album I will be listening to for a long time.
Worth to mention is also the other two full-length released through Nosral Recordings,
777 and All Glory To The King Of Kings and Lord of Lords Part 1 and 2 all released 2019.
This article would be too long for me to review them too, but I really recommend them too.
Songs from this artist I would recommend taking an extra good listen to are “The Most Wonderful Name” and “777“. I’ve got a personal Spotify list where I put all my inspirational worship songs despite what type of music it is. “The Most Wonderful Name” and “God Is My Protector” are natural adds to this list. They simply draw me closer to God.
777 is not actually being mentioned directly in the Bible, but well known term among most Christian Metal heads. 666 is mentioned in the Bible as “The Number of the beast” that will come along with oppression of humanity. The number 7 occurs quite often in different parables in the Bible. Since God is the highest being of all and will finally even be the conqueror of the Earth 777 simply means God is the Highest. Shadow Puncher describes in his song “Visions” of Heaven and how the Book of Revelation in the Bible describes the last days of life on Earth.
Coming up from the project and the label is a cover of Cannibal Corpse with Symphony of Heaven, a song that is a compilation between The Bearded Dragon Productions and Love Your Enemies Records. It will appear on a split album of Symphony of Heaven, Bismoth, and Timōrātus, providing backing vocals for the final band. Also to come is a cover of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” through The Bearded Dragon Productions and Rottweiler Records.
If you like me sometimes need your music to be brutal and like these tunes you can also check out his side projects Walking Through The Storm, Rotten Earth and Tunge Byrder.
Most of the discography together with the lyrics can be found and bought on Bandcamp: