Shinigami and Billy Martin construct a nü-metal cyber-dystopia with “Rampage”
In addition, Shinigami is announcing his forthcoming EP bioMACHiNA. The release is due April 22 in partnership with Version III.
Shinigami is the project of Gianni Veloz. Veloz’s music has been a presence in the underground alternative movement, something shaped by his place in the emo SoundCloud movement and his status as an independent musician. Pulling freely from rock, hip hop, post-hardcore and other genres, Shinigami also inflects his music with his influences from video games and anime. (Shinigami is a term for gods or supernatural spirits in Japanese culture and folklore, and also are characters in popular anime such as Bleach and Death Note.)
Produced by Martin, bioMACHiNA closes Shinigami’s net, narrowing the themes and the music to fit a specific artistic vision. The project draws inspiration from a wide range of sources from Shinigami’s childhood: nü metal, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and the Halo franchise. Shinigami specifically acknowledges his love of ‘90s and 2000s bands such as System Of A Down and Mudvayne, a sentiment shared by Martin.
“Rampage” and its video are a perfect showcase for the new project. The song builds on the grinding, minimalist guitar riffs that are the hallmark of classic nü metal. Martin’s production helps the track to have the power of that genre, and also inflects the track with a cybernetic hue that captures the bio-mechanical feel of sci-fi games like Halo.
Fittingly, the song comes with an animated visual that gives off the action-packed feel of ‘90s and 2000s gaming. The story of the video is complex, following from the broader narrative of bioMACHiNA.
The record tells the story of a cybernetic soldier who is fighting for his humanity after being infected by a parasitic nanovirus. The video includes elements of the narrative, seeing the EP’s lead character battling against hordes of soldiers and “boss” type enemies who reflect the distinctive feel of Metal Gear Solid’s greatest antagonists.
Shinigami spoke about the vision behind the new project as well as the cinematic quality of the narrative behind it.
“With this project, I really wanted to focus on one theme throughout rather than dance between various styles and subject matter like I’ve done in the past,” Shinigami says. “The goal was to create something that would clearly paint an image in the listener’s head, like listening to a movie. I like the idea that everyone will see the movie a little different.”
With “Rampage,” Shinigami offers something of a trailer for the upcoming movie: a unique musical and visual world that is bioMACHiNA.
Watch the “Rampage” video below.