If your band is named after the exploding fragments of a grenade, there’s a good chance your music’s going to be violent. This is definitely the case for these UK thrashers. Titled, “The Virus Conspires”, this album is what you’d expect from a modern thrash band.
Shrapnel sounds very similar to an English version of 4ARM, while boasting a vocal hybrid of Forbidden’s Russ Anderson and Destruction’s Schmier. While many of their lyrics are generic and solos remain forgettable at times, the band truly shines on “22”. Here the band [bars no holds?], and opens with a catchy bass/drum intro. Diving into a memorable chugging mid-section, “22” revives “The Virus Conspires” with an intricate, melodic solo, air-tight drumming and a tough beatdown section.
A huge redeeming value of the album is its solid production. Too many thrash bands nowadays don’t put enough time/budget for their mixing and mastering, so when you listen to “The Watchers”, prepare to be dazzled. Though the songs tend to blend together at times, there’s definitely a lot to love for die-hard thrashers.
Though “The Virus Conspires” doesn’t cut it as a top-tier thrash release, there’s plenty of catchy rhythms, solid hooks and chest-beating choruses to keep headbangers engaged. Shrapnel has definitely earned their spot opening for Overkill on their UK dates and are certainly worth giving a chance live.