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 Shatter Messiah - Hail The New Cross (2013) Album Review

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Reign In Metal
Reign In Metal

Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 88
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Vacationing in Hell

PostShatter Messiah - Hail The New Cross (2013) Album Review

Shatter Messiah - Hail The New Cross (2013)
Mausoleum Records/Rock N Growl Promotion -- Running Time 38:04

Shatter Messiah! Now there is a name I didn't think I would hear of again. Their first two albums 'Never To Play The Servant' (2006) and 'God Burns Like Flesh (2007) were excellent slabs of US Thrash/Power Metal, similar in style to Nevermore. It has now been six years since the second of those were released but Shatter Messiah (I love that name) are back with a revamped lineup and their third album 'Hail The New Cross' and I am very pleased about that indeed!

Both founding members guitarist 'Curran Murphy' (Annihilator, Nevermore, Legacy Uprising) and drummer 'Robert Falzano' (Annihilator, Fires Of Babylon, Tenebrae) return here with three new cohorts to continue the legacy of shattering your face with an excellent album. Vocalist 'Michael Duncan' (POWND, Thunder Tribe), guitarist 'Pat Gibson' (Thunder Tribe, Skullcap) and bassist 'Jim Lewis' (Antithesis) are superb additions and Shatter Messiah have arguably just released their best album to date.

While the power, speed and technicality of the first two releases remain 'Hail The New Cross' is by far the most progressive metal the band have sounded. Fans of Annihilator, Metal Church, Iced Earth, Nevermore, Sanctuary and later era Helstar are going to love this album. From the opening blistering thrash riff of 'Disconnecting' (probably the most Annihilator sounding track) to the slower, almost gothic sounding, riff of album closer 'The Addiction' this is a rip-roaring ride, full of superb guitar work and solos and pretty damn fine singing. As I like to do, for obvious reasons, I will also point out that the drumming is excellent throughout. All eight songs are heavy, there is plenty of variation in pace, you sometimes have no idea where a track is going to go next, and the album is full of melody. Everything flows very well and none of it sounds forced!

Are there any down points? Well they are very few and far between but I want to mention them briefly, Production is also by 'Curran Murphy' and on the whole is good but those excellent drums need to stand out more. They get somewhat lost in the mix and I would really like every beat to be as clear as a bell. Also on 'How Deep The Scar' the vocals at the end of the chorus sound off key. It might just be the particular chords that are being used but it doesn't sound quite right although I think I'm probably being a bit picky! Six years is a long time between albums, and with the plethora of bands releasing material these days it would be a terrible shame if this gets overlooked. With 'Hail The New Cross' Shatter Messiah have returned with a very strong offering but if they really want to stamp their mark on the genre than it cannot be another six before album number four!

Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley

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