Review Summary: Playing on your sense of nostalgia without ever treading into the realm of imitation.
There's something distinctly vintage about Shattered
. Not in that normal "vintage" sense of "oh, wow, Billy, it sounds like a true successor to [[insert '80s metal band name here]]'s best album!" sense, but in the sense that Shattered
earnestly feels like a standout album from the days when thrash was king.
From the sampled wind whooshing that opens the album on "Death of the Sun" to its pit opening verse riff, you get a whiff of balls-out old school Megadeth and Metallica that only leads to more and more close-to-the-roots metal as Shattered
progresses. Tensions established by fight riffs mount and explode with the snarling bite of the trio's low-end trade-off and gang vocals, which bring a Bobby Blitz punch to burly chants reminiscent of Mastodon. This right here, folks, is the real deal.
From start to finish, Erlang Kovata put on an impressive display of power and presence, especially for a trio. With several tracks that pass the 5 minute mark without wearing thin, that's saying a lot. In fact, in terms of brevity and hand-chiseled, rough-hewn aggression, Shattered
draws a lot of comparison to ...And Justice For All
in all of the most positive ways.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Shattered
is an album that's heavy from every angle. The group does a fantastic job of keeping their weighty sound anchored down with exceptional bass lines that punch, pummel, and keep you moving while thrashy guitars utilize an '80s high-end fuzz and low-end crunch that damn near incites a riot. The package is wrapped up nicely and neatly by drummer Mike Podhaizer's tight and technical rhythms that beat sense into chaos and chaos into your sense of security around every corner with tasteful solos in songs like "Death of the Sun" and calculated engine starters like the intro to "Burn the City." The entire sound plays on your sense of nostalgia without ever treading into the realm of imitation, stuffing brutality you can stomach down your throat by the fistful.
The solos here are memorable, the chants are easy to get swept up in, and the rhythms here will implant themselves in your brain. Barring a slight production hiccup (the instruments seem to fade out when vocals enter, which can get a little frustrating if you're listening through headphones), everything from the heavy, power metal chants of "Troll" to the raw aggression of "Burn the City" will make you want to grow out your hair, slap on some leather pants and punch your neighbor. What's not to love?