|Having sharpened his guitar prowess by playing technically demanding songs on numerous tours as a member of Nevermore and Annihilator, Curran Murphy stepped out of the shadows of these acclaimed acts with his own band Shatter Messiah in 2005. Joining Curran on his neverending quest to blow the face off the metal world are vocalist Greg "Wags" Wagner ( H.A.T.E., ex-Breaker, ex-Archetype), drummer Robert Falzano (ex-Annihilator), bassist Jason Chamberlain and guitarist Dusty Holt.
Same year their debut "Never To Play The Servant" hit the stores and praise from all corners of the globe has been streaming in since then. Here are some excerpts:
The carrying forces of Shatter Messiah are undoubtedly Curran Murphy and his brilliant, ass-kicking guitar work in the band and the band's vocalist Greg Wagner whose true skills as one of the most powerful, wide-ranging metal vocalists are unquestionable. Never To Play The Servant truly serves its listeners by all the 14 metal songs on it that scream for all those quality elements that are meant to be stamped as "instant classic" tag right after first listen already. It´s a safe bet we'll hear a lot of more from them in the future.
Vocalist Greg Wagner doesn't confine himself to the Dane/Halford school of shrieking bloody murder, going for the more brutal thrash vocals just as often ('Hatred Divine', 'Inflicted', 'Disillusion'). He doesn't shy away from clean vocals or vocal harmonies either ('Deny God', 'All Sainted Sinners', 'Drinking Joy'), making for an unexpectedly well-rounded listen for something this bloody heavy. Musically the album is a guitar-happy shredfest, much more thrash-oriented than Nevermore or Annihilator (Murphy's other pit stops along the way) and focusing as much on groove as on technical flash (and there's plenty of both). Murphy proves to be a monster both as a guitarist and songwriter on Never To Play The Servant.
(Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles)
But it's not only Curran Murphy's guitar work that makes this album outstanding, the vocals of Greg "Wags" Wagner are pure insanity. I never would have believed this guy being capable of such a wide vocal range. On one hand he shouts very aggressively ("Fear To Succeed") while on the other ("All Sainted Sinners", just one song later) he resembles David Wayne (Metal Church, Reverend).
Shatter Messiah's sound is a viciously intense mixture combining Hardcore, classic Thrash, Power Metal, and Goth, resulting in compositions of over the top aggression and melodic skill, with a flair for dramatic song writing.