Album Review: Shrapnel – In Gravity


Album Review: Shrapnel - In Gravity
Reviewed by Carl Black

May 21st 1991, WWF Superstars of Wrestling… those who were watching witnessed one of the biggest “heel turns” in the Federations history. Tugboat pearl harboured Hulk Hogan and allowed Earthquake to win the match up. And why not. Tugboat had been scratching around on the bottom of undercards for years, he saw his chance and he took it. Painful for some but it had to happen.

Shrapnel have been playing some of the best thrash metal this millennium. They toured with some thrash greats and graced the Bloodstock stage a hat trick of times… and for what? Opening up for Wolf at 5.00pm in front of a handful of people is not a fair return for a band like Shrapnel, but this is the plague of thrash metal. If you don't have a legacy from back in the hay day your band are feeding off scraps.

So a “heel turn” as painful as Tugboats was is long overdue. Regrettably, Shrapnel have moved away from pure thrash metal and the band are heading towards a more metalcore/progressive metal style.

Album Review: Shrapnel - In Gravity

Chris Williams drums are the one true link back to the bands thrash heritage. Nathan Sadd and Chris Martin’s guitars are split down the middle between the two styles but it's Daniel Moran‘s vocals that turn the heels. A lot of the songs on 'In Gravity' follow a similar structure, a thrashy opening riff and verse followed by an emotional, clean vocal chorus. The middle parts vary but essentially the progressive metal takes centre stage.

There are aggressive elements such as 'Breaker' however the thrashy verses are matched up with a dreamy, trippy section. 'Absolution' strays from the formula and takes the form of a modern progressive metal epic. Starting slow and building. 'So Below' has a disjointed feel in the verse but is again twinned with a clean chorus. Time and time again Shrapnel fall back on a metalcore chorus with a heavier riff.

As the band move more towards Download and less Bloodstock I hope the band gain the recognition and rewards that they should have received from the thrash community. This album begins a new chapter in the bands legacy. It's the best progressive metalcore music I’ve heard. I'll always be interested in what they do but I'll be the one at the back shouting for classic 'The Might of Cygnes'.

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