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Shrapnel - In Gravity review


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Band: Shrapnel
Album: In Gravity
Style: Thrash metal
Release date: May 2024

01. In Gravity [feat. Scott Kennedy]
02. Amber Screams
03. Guardian
04. Breaker
05. Judgement
06. Dark Age
07. Follow The Cold
08. As Above...
09. So Below
10. Absolution

How do you get into gravity?

Daring to evolve, Shrapnel unleash their most experimental album to date, emerging from their roots to branch out with a brand of thrash that is still as razor sharp as before, yet with a greater range of influences seeping in. In Gravity is the band's most complete and mature album to date; standing tall and loud, it will give listeners plenty of reasons to keep replaying it again and again.

Shrapnel have long made a name for themselves as kings of the UK underground thrash scene with a series of releases that put pedal to the metal, making their mark on listeners through a series of tinnitus-inducing riffs. In Gravity adds to this formula by introducing greater melody, more atmospheric passages and technical riffs: a witches' brew as potent as its constituent parts. Perhaps driven on by a change in personnel behind the microphone, Shrapnel expand their arsenal and, in the process, produce some of their best work to date.

The re-recorded "Dark Age" is perhaps the peak of the new-look band, managing to combine a headbang-inducing riff with metalcore-inspired breakdowns and harmonic vocals, coalescing into a track that instantly imprints itself on your mind. "So Below", in turn, opens with a riff that shows how Sadd and Martin have grown on their instruments in their decade and a half in Shrapnel.

The departure of a singer is often one of the biggest obstacles a band has to overcome, but in Moran, the band have found a safe pair of pipes to lead the charge. It is possible that Moran's range, from powerful roars like on "Judgement" to the melodic passages of "Follow The Cold", enable the band to broaden their sonic horizons. The production work of Jens Bogren provides a polished sound that suits the material well, presenting the material with a vibrant sound that, although it sometimes feels polished to the point of sterility, is hard-hitting and powerful.

Apart from the over-ambitious "Absolution", there is no song I would label as poor, with In Gravity maintaining a solid level of quality throughout. The only drawbacks with the album are that the band sometimes get the mix wrong; instead of sounding like a thrash band with elements of metalcore, the title track and "Amber Screams" sound like metalcore tracks through and through, opening the album with a sonic leap straight from the start that fans of the band's prior work may find off-putting.

Sometimes change can be good; for Shrapnel it certainly is, with it bringing about their best work to date in the form of In Gravity. While there are questions about where they will go from here, for the moment the band have found a sweet spot that makes for the best of both worlds.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 8

Written on 11.06.2024 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 13 users
12.06.2024 - 21:47
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
Very resemblance to "The Virus Conspires", though I never found Shrapnel appealing and memorable. One or two riffs here and there doesn't pull me in.


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