Shatter Brain – Pitchfork Justice (Review)

Shatter Brain - Pitchfork JusticeThis is the debut album from Shatter Brain, an Australian thrash metal band.

Featuring members of Voros and Alkira, Pitchfork Justice contains 40 minutes of bellicose metal. Blending thrash, hardcore, and sludge metal into a strong-tasting and satisfying concoction, this is a very impressive debut album. If you imagine a mix of bands such as High on Fire and Power Trip, with a touch of Lamb of God, you’ll be on the right lines; this merely sets the stage, however.

Powered by meaty riffs and rumbling belligerence, the songs gallop through the running time with a carefree attitude and a fistful of tunes. The band’s sludgy thrash is fun and beefy, and is played with confidence and plenty of chops.

Classic metal melodies augment the thick rhythm guitars, making for a memorable collection of material. The songs’ brutality is offset by this melodic sensibility and the quality of songwriting. Shatter Brain’s song-based approach to metal allows them to take advantage of both instant appeal dynamics and a deeper longevity that comes from good songcraft. It’s also a lot more diverse than these things usually are, with each song having a few different tricks up its sleeves, (Silent Screams even has an unexpected black metal section, which is just swell).

Charismatic vocals display a very wide range, from screams to growls to shouts to rough semi-cleans, and even some clean singing. The singer offers a standout performance throughout, and the variety of vocal styles makes it seem like there’s about four vocalists in the band.

I liked this a whole lot more than I expected to, as I usually find this sort of crossover metal poorly-done. I’m glad my expectations were exceeded; Shatter Brain have given us a top quality metal album. Play at full volume and try your hardest not to move.

Very highly recommended.

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