Impalement – The Dawn Of Blackened Death25th December 2023
Oblivium Regnum – Zrádce26th December 2023
Label: Great Dane Records / Release date: 6th October 2023
Shrapnel Storm is a five-piece death metal band founded in 2006 in Finland. The band consists of; Akï (vocals & guitar), Mikko (drums), Tri Mäkitalo (guitar), Ykä (vocals) and Henri (bass). Even before the release of their 2015 debut album entitled Mother War, the band was very productive, releasing four demos: Battlefield (2008), Bullet Trails (2010), At Dawn (2011) and We Come in Peace… (2013).
What we now have here is their sophomore album entitled Silo. It contains 11 tracks of Swedish-style melo-death metal, while implementing the elements of black, speed, thrash and groove metal, to their music. Alone judging by the band name, song titles and maybe cover artwork too, one can conclude that the main lyrical themes are war and battles. Something I would expect from a power or/and war metal band, but still it works also just fine here.
The album opens with a self-titled intro “Silo”. It clearly shows in which direction the band goes. It’s a brutal, yet very effective intro that leads to probably my favourite track off Silo, called “Wastelands”. Great bass line opens the song, while the aggressive and brutal vocals kicks in, solid drumming and great dual guitar work is just incredible. Even the lyrics are understandable, which is always a pro when, as a reviewer, one has to judge a piece of new music. Third song, “Justice and Glory” follows more or less in the same direction. Of other interesting tracks I’ll just briefly mention a short and effective track “Only Snake Here Is You”, mostly due to its killer opening growl, but also due to this great rhythm and extremely fast yet varied and dominant drumming. Another equally strong song is the one called “Kinslayer”, as it hints more towards a Swedish death influence than any other track from Silo. “Conquering The Gods” is another cool track with great melody and ditto rhythm. When a grand finale, a closing track called “This Is Where I Fell” began, I thought it was going to be a ballad, but luckily I was wrong, as this track ends the whole thing on a high note with bombastic and savage sounds as the final battle comes to an end.
Henri on bass is a powerful presence, in what he offers musically and with his presence. Drum duties are safe with the powerful Mikko. The volume and heaviness that he brings to the sound of the band adds a great deal of aggression to the overall essence of their experience. Dual guitar duties are taken care by Akï and Tri. On guitars they both have a lot of heavy lifting to do, because they sit behind the stirring wheel and dictates the direction of where the tracks go. Finally, Akï on vocals too is a monster. He has a great vocal range and adds so much volume to the overall sound of the band and how the lyrics content jumps off the tracks. He adds aggression, brutality, intensity, grit, and demonic atmosphere to every single song and to every performance of Shrapnel Storm. In other words; from the speedy drum ill to the furious riffing to the blazing tempo, the band continues with a relentless pace, ending in an explosive crescendo.
Silo is packed full of riffs and attitude, and it’s obvious that a tramendous amount of hard work, patience, and persistence went into the creation of this album. It all paid off, as I see Silo as a further expansion of a great legacy. Recording, mixing, mastering and synths are done by Daniel Rantanen – so it’s a well produced opus with a very sharp yet quite listenable sound.
If you like old-school death metal with chunky and chuggingriffing, and in the vein of Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, Memoriam, S.O.D., Obituary, Hail Of Bullets, Six Feet Under etc. then it’s tremendosuly recommended to take Silo and have a proper listening experience.
For more information on this particular release go to https://greatdanerecords.bandcamp.com/album/silo