Shatterpoint - Dead Precedence Review
by Daniel Walker
Most metalheads have already thrown in the proverbial towel when it comes to thrash metal. They have accepted the fact that no bands in this modern era will ever touch the glories of the mid-80's scene in terms of songwriting ingenuity, lyrical wit, and unbridled energy. However, at least some of the thrash bands out there haven't forgotten about the riffs. The gods are still getting their dues, even if it is only haphazard touch-ups. Shatterpoint, from the grim and frostbitten kingdom of Canada, may not share the evil mania and seething churn of their soundsake in Slayer, but some of the riffage on debut album Dead Precedence is the most lethal in recent memory. They haven't set the best example of killing you with their sound, but said assault is still damned formidable, nonetheless. Packaged inside this full-length are eleven ire-filled anthems of vitriol guaranteed to get you convulsing, plus four bonus tracks from their Consequences EP as an after-dinner mint. On another note, did I mention that in the press package from the band I received a business card from lead guitarist Greg Wright? It's always a plus when a bad-ass sounding band is actually a good group of guys instead of a**holes.
Since it's the 21st century, one thing you will notice throughout the album is the hardcore infusions scattered throughout. You have the tough-guy vocals and chugging breakdowns in particular, but having a hardcore sound mixed in is becoming less bothersome to me, at least, because it distinguishes it from the 80's era of thrash. Some bands try to imitate the playing style AND the vocals of the gods of that era and when these new bands turn out to suck or lack focus, it's more of a slap to the face of the gods than if they purposefully added a little bit more of a modern vocal style in. Still, Shatterpoint still adds some death grunts in some times. Also, you can hear European-styled guitar harmonizing and a certain proficiency in the playing that makes it a respectable thrashterpiece instead of just hardcore imitation antics.
The band tackles political deception on "Today's Promises are Tomorrow's Lies" and offers a clever pun on the title track: "No thought of ever changing/ Just keep dropping the bombs/ Who's life is spared or taken/ By he who thinks he's God/ God damned". Such clever wordplay is a great way to take often complicated, morose topics and make them accessible to listeners. For a band as young as Shatterpoint are, they have a powerful presence, and I'm sure it will take them places.
1. Enemy at the Gates (Intro)
2. Today's Promises Are Tomorrow's Lies
3. Thorn Inside
4. Out Falls the Pain
5. Torn Apart
6. No One Else to Blame
8. Murder for Hire
10. Dead Precedence
1. Pleasure the Pain
2. Ended By Silence
3. When I Die
4. Crashing Down
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Shatterpoint - Dead Precedence
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