Thrash metal has been pumping our veins full of hot adrenalin for the last three decades and regardless of commercial peaks and troughs, it continues to be the true fire that burns within heavy metal’s immortal heart. Exploding out from the deceptively genteel streets of Norwich, England, riff-wielding die-hards Shrapnel are one of the finest new bands to proclaim their devotion to keeping the thrash flame blazing.
Formed in April 2009, this five-man wrecking crew began their campaign of destruction disgusted with the lack of a vibrant local metal scene. Driven to provide what few others seemed to be doing, Shrapnel pooled their myriad influences and came up with a sound that revolves around formidable core of pure-to-the-bone thrash and speed metal, but that never fails to keep one eye on the future of the genre too. Proudly citing the likes of Megadeth, Slayer, Testament and Exodus as influences, the band have also assimilated elements of everything from traditional heavy metal to modern death metal. The result is a thrilling lesson in neck-wrecking sonic violence.
Shrapnel recorded and released their first EP, No Saviours, in 2009 and received widespread acclaim and support from metalheads and metal media alike, proving that this young band are already hitting the nail squarely on the head. A second EP has now been recorded, this time with revered studio wizard Russ Russell (Evile/Napalm Death) at the controls, and looks certain to propel Shrapnel into the upper echelons of the UK thrash scene. Songs like skull-smashing opener Eternal War and the scything, heads-down Toxic Slaughter exhibit electrifying energy levels and boast enough skin-shredding hooks to delight all but the most cynical metal aficionados, while Mr. Russell’s skyscraper-levelling production job cranks adds a final layer of aural aggravation to the whole brutal enterprise.
– Dom Lawson