Dead Precedence

Stomp on the accelerator and don’t let up – judging from the sounds emanating from my speakers, I’d have to guess this is the band motto for Canadian thrashers Shatterpoint. Dead Precedence is the band’s first full length album, following their 2005 EP Consequences, which is also included here as a bonus at the tail end of the album.

Style wise, Shatterpoint play a modern type of thrash metal, drawing influence from Annihilator, as well as a bit of the groove and heaviness of Pantera. There’s plenty of twin guitar attack, leads and solo’s to keep the guitar enthusiast happy, while the rhythm section does a good job of rounding out a potent thrash mix. Vocally, Shane Drake has a bit of a hardcore styled delivery, which fits the music well enough, though with less monotony than most others doing the same kind of thing, reminding me a bit of Machine Head’s Rob Flynn, and at times later period Chuck Billy (Testament). To further break things up, Drake incorporates the occasional clean vocals that are a bit reminiscent of Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell, and does them well.

After one of those pointless one minute intros, the album kicks into full gear with “Today’s Promises Are Tomorrow’s Lies”, one of the more straight forward thrashing tracks and sets the pace for the rest of the album. “Torn Apart”, “No One Else to Blame”, and “Gone” are also of the same go-for-the-throat variety, while “Thorn Inside” and “Out Falls the Pain” display a slightly slower more groove oriented approach. There is a strong Exodus influence felt on “Hatetrip” – an undeniable old school thrash feel that will get any thrasher moving. The title track is one of the best tracks here as it shows a bit more versatility in one setting, balancing pure thrash speed with slower more melodic moments.

One thing that Shatterpoint should focus on is their need to put some sort of intro at the beginning of every track. With the exception of “Gone”, every track on Dead Precedence begins with a slower or more groove filled piece before fully diving into the song. I’m not saying that it’s necessarily a bad thing, but it can become a bit predictable after a bit.

Shatterpoint are a band that show great promise, but I certainly wouldn’t call them mandatory listening unless you’re an absolute thrash fanatic (as I am). With time, they could become one of the top-tier modern thrash acts (they already have Sanctity and Trivium whipped, but that’s not saying much), but for now, Dead Precedence is a passable effort.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
July 11th, 2007


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