Palace of the Insane

Sometimes as a reviewer here at Teeth of the Divine I will randomly click on something and just let it buck while I am working on something else.  That was the case for me with Shrapnel’sPalace of the Insane. Hailing from Norwich England this Shrapnel’s third full length and have been around since 2009.   The album opens up with the track “The Might of Cygnus” which opens up with a spacey clean tone acoustic piece that then has overdubbed harmonies and builds up as any good thrash song would.  Once the distortion and the cymbal chokes come in you know you are going to be hearing circle pits in your sleep.  The guitar work of Nathan Sadd and Chris Martin is incredibly locked in and precise.  Vocals Aaran voice reminds me of a more bay area version of former Darkane vocalist Andreas Sydow.   Drummer Chris Williams’ performance is top notch and I am surprised that I have not heard these guys before.

“Salt of The Earth” is my favorite song on this.  The opening riff is so insanely catchy and with the driving double kick underneath I found myself doing both clock wise and counter clock wise hair whips to this upon first listen.  This a bit of a longer full length at fifty minutes plus.   Shrapnel’s arrangements are interesting enough where I didn’t feel the need to stop to take any breaks. “Cannibal” is a fun track with a cool drum intro, lyrically just a tad cheesy but it is what it is.   Musically this record reminds me a lot of Flotsam & Jetsam’s The End of Chaos record from last year.  Only real big difference between Flotsam & Jetsam and Shrapnel would be vocal styles.

“Begin Again” opens up with some arpeggiated piano and then guitars come in and then there is another acoustic break.  This is definitely one of the slower songs on the album. “Bury Me Alive” picks up tempo that had slowed down the previous track. This is one of the meanest and more aggressive songs.

“The Infernal Choir” is an interesting track.  For some reason I thought Aaran was bellowing “Mortal Kombat”.  Then the track opens with some traditional bay area sounding riffs and kind of has a bit of Slayer “Captor of Sin” vibe with the dive bomb solos. “Violent Now, forever” sounds like opens up with a Synth line with drum work underneath and arpeggiated guitar lines over it and then goes into a crushing down picked verse. The title track, “Palace of the Insane” is another no nonsense straight forward thrash song.  Other than being a bit of a longer thrash record I cannot knock the arrangements or attempts at different instrumentation.

If you are not familiar with Shrapnel and are a fan of modern approach to thrash metal, I would recommend checking this one out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
August 7th, 2020


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