GandhiEgo : 13/20
|After having released two demos since the band was founded in 2007, Shrapnel Storm from Finland come back in 2011 with their third demo entitled "At Dawn". They do play that kind of very Old School Death Metal that we came to love all over again.
Since various younger revivalist bands playing OSDM have come up in full force lately, you’d think “oh boy, yet another one…”. Well, yes and no. As many bands follow the same thread over and over, which is basically either playing that foul occult mix of early Incantation / Immolation or playing the overrated Swedeath with Autopsy chunks, Shrapnel Storm play something quite different from the rest.
First of all, their sound takes its roots in the US rather than in Sweden which is a nice change indeed. But there’s no sign here of anything close to Incantation or Immolation. It’s a bit more Death Thrash than pure Death Metal and you’ll soon be thinking earlier acts like Malevolent Creation or Master.
While the first two songs are fine if not thrilling, the very highlight of the demo can be sought in the third and last track of At Dawn, namely the killing machine Warfiend. Though quite basic in essence, the song delivers headbanging riches and will have you thrash the whole place (hope it's not yours) in no time. Three tracks go by quite quickly and unfortunately even though it makes for a fine 12 minutes moment not much more can be said.
I definitely think that Sharpnel Storm are onto something. Though not highly original in essence, they bring in a sound that not even "mature" Deathsters like the guys of Goreaphobia can bring in nowadays. A genuine sound that has been missing in Death Metal for a very long time because they're not trying to grime their music with ultra raw production to make it so eviiiiiiiiiil but rather deliver something to thrash over. My only complaint, despite the short length of the demo, is in the production that lacks a bit of power to make it a complete success. But it's only a demo and if you've been tape-trading in the early 90s you know that demos, even from bands now acknowledged for quite some time, weren't sounding like they were coming out of Morrissound or Sunlight.
Let’s hope that after three demos, they’ll get started with something bigger like a record deal with a label to give them the means to record a debut with the production they deserve,