Released: 2014, Candlelight Records
Reviewer: Ilias Pap (Greece)
When the going gets tough, the tough get Thrashing. That seems to be the key to the success and sheer awesomeness that so many of these older thrash bands have stuck to. Shrapnel and their debut album, THE VIRUS CONSPIRES are not excluded. And this is the new slab of pure thrash metal insanity and NOT a slacker at all.
Thrash might be only strengthening in the last few years, but its older bands like Destruction, Kreator, Death Angel and Exodus that are still forging the ways for what the genre is and will be. Now, there is a new band that is included here; Shrapnel.
The riffs tear through the speakers at high speeds only taking beaks to rip out a massive solo like the opening of the title track. The drums beat the snare head to a pulp and underline it with some serious double bass energy and swift cymbal flourishes together with some Slayer-istic leads. Of course, the bass keeps it all grounded to the floor with its heavy rumblings.
I can mention that the music itself is both catchy and thrashy, something difficult in thrash to find. The songwriting has a lot of those modern structures (not even close to bands like Lamb of God or whatever). The production and the sound is modern keeping the old school atmosphere. I could say that this recording is closer to latter albums by Destruction, Slayer and Kreator. Every song has at least one part that is going to throw the listener back into good days of the above thrash metal legends. The chemistry between the guitars is explosive and the bass work along with the massively energetic drumming finish off the any doubt to the worth of the band.
The thrash metal Virus is strong enough and let the band write their deep, brutal, speed, thought provoking, and overall good thrash metal album to give their own thrash metal spot in the universal thrash map.
THE VIRUS CONSPIRES let the band be a very special candidate for the replacing of those thrash metal bands that consist in the well-known ‘Big Four of Thrash’. It is never less than satisfying and more often as close to thrilling as music this deliberately up-tempo and catchy can be. For the real thrash metal fans, Shrapnel debut album conceived after a weird thrash ritual in a Forbidden (remember that great band!) Cave, deep in the extreme woods of Thrash. Yet…something far more dangerous and vicious. So, put that CD in your stereo and let the rage on!