Shrapnel Storm – Shrapnel Storm

Shrapnel Storm play thrash laced old school death metal, something that should come as no surprise to anyone given they are called Shrapnel Storm which may actually be the most thrash laced old school death metal band name of all time. Here with this self titled offering from the Finnish quintet, only their second full length since their formation in 2006, they are quick to demonstrate that just like their name, they aren’t messing around.

Opening track 'The Burning' hits the listener in the face like the scalding embers carried by a harsh biting wind. While it would seem customary that albums of this ilk would start in this way, this isn’t actually conducive of what Shrapnel Storm bring to the table and it’s as the album progresses we are treated to the more nuanced gems. 'Riding Against Dawn' shows what the band does best here, mid-paced old school death metal with head nodding riffs. It’s impossible not to grin as it shambles away. 'Battlewraith' follows a similar template but with a dark shimmering atmosphere ever present in the background. It’s during tracks like these that the guitars truly shine, not overly-complex but always playing something that’s keeping you engaged.

Vocalist Yka has the perfect voice for this type of music and stands among the best of the genre. He bellows and growls like a berserker fending off hordes of enemies, swinging an axe with one hand while holding his entrails in with the other, blood and stomach acid bubbling into the back of his throat. He has a cadence similar to that of David Ingram of Benediction; fine company to be associated with.

Shrapnel Storm have released a solid album here that does exactly what it says on the tin. While the closing track 'Forsaken Pride' actually flies by despite clocking in at seven minutes, the album itself does seem slightly long for this kind of material. While it remains relatively consistent throughout, tracks like 'Triumph Over The Weak' feel a little uninspired and lacking in imagination. The bonus track 'Trapped Within War' equally seems a little unnecessary. This is a well trodden path and it could struggle to keep the attention of some, but the fans of balls to the wall death metal there is a lot to enjoy here.

3.5 / 5 STARS 


1. The Burning
2. Riding Against Dawn
3. First Blood
4. Battle Wraith
5. Triumph Of Winter
6. Heart Of Winter
7. Visions Of Violent Past
8. Coup De Grâce
9. Forsaken Pride
10. Trapped Inside War