Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

January 3, 2012

Shrapnel ~ The Devastation To Come (EP)

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Style: thrash, heavy metal, speed metal british
Label: self-released
Year: 2010
Home: England

Members:Jim Hadley ~ vocals
Nathan Sadd ~ guitars
Chris Martin ~ rhythm guita
Chris Williams ~ drums
Adam Read ~ bass

British quintet Shrapnel have put out a killer four song thrash attack of the Slayer-Anthrax & early Metallica variety. It's amazing, let alone at times nearly unbelievable considering how music changes styles every decade, to hear this style of early thrash, aka pre-black album Metallica, still being saluted through imitation almost three decades after it debuted. I mean, for example, except for some small circles disco & rockabilly have both gone extinct on the mainstream. But, yet, the fierce speed metal/thrash spearheaded by the San Francisco Big Four lives on through multiple generations of followers with as much relevance, fierceness & energy as ever & a modern edge as relevant as Jay Z or the Arctic Monkeys. What's also amazing is not just how the music still thrives in a pure form but also how it's gone international. Shrapnel from Norwich, England are like the Rolling Stones in the 60's ... listening to the music coming over the ocean & wanting to play what they hear with little interpretation. If one listens to the first five Rolling Stones albums its all imitation of the American blues. Shrapnel is at that point in their musical career. "Eternal War", "Toxic Slaughter", "Comatose" & "Hammer Blow" are all heavy stompers with hypnotic rhythms & a powerful low-end. The slower "Comatose", my favorite in the line-up, sounds like a mass of marching evil robots with each foot pounding the ground in haunting sync. The Big Four don't even sound this pure when they rock & thus its shocking to hear Shrapnel & be suddenly reminded how far thrash has moved in the hands of the Big Four & how it once sounded so fierce ... a fierceness now in the hands of a new generation of metalheads. Keep rocking boys.

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