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Shatter Messiah - Hail the New Cross (Reissue) Award winner

Shatter Messiah
Hail the New Cross (Reissue)
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 22 November 2022, 1:28 PM

During the first half of the 80’s, when the North American Metal School arose, the many bands playing at the same time had not to deal with labels and limits, so it’s not hard to understand why the first Thrash Metal generation had defined melodies inherited from traditional Heavy Metal, what can be heard clearly on “Show No Mercy”, “Kill ‘Em All”, “Spreading the Disease” and others albums before the Thrash Metal canon established in 1986. But to acts as SHATTER MESSIAH it’s not enough, so they dare to go a bit far, as can be heard on this reissue of “Hail the New Cross”. The Ohio based quintet plays something different: they’re a melodic Thrash Metal quintet in the same vein of acts as FLOTSAM AND JETSAM and TESTAMENT, but that uses the melodic inheritance of US Metal on their songs. It seems like a fusion of North American Thrash Metal with aggressive melodies used by US Power Metal names as SANCTUARY and ICED EARTH, but in a particular way.

It’s full of energy, alive and sounds hooking for the ears during all the songs, so be prepared to be suck into a chaotic and melodic form of music. Curran Murphy (the band’s guitarist and former member of bands as NEVERMORE and ANNIHILATOR) is the producer, and the original mastering was done by Maor Appelbaum, what guarantees the high quality of the original sonority, being clean and defined, but heavy and aggressive at the same time. This version is a remastered one, so expect a powerful impact when hearing to it.

The original version of “Hail the New Cross” had few copies due problems with the original label, it can be said as ‘released, but never seen’, and this version corrects such problem. And all the fans of the genre are luck, because the high quality of songs as “Disconnecting” (a fast and aggressive song, but charming melodies, tempered with excellent vocals in the vein of US Metal acts), “Future Fails” (the shreds of the guitars are great, with excellent melodies on the riffs and duets, but contrasting with intense and aggressive moments, and what great chorus), “How Deep the Scar” (a song with increased aggressiveness due the brutal drumming and bass playing, always with excellent melodies), “Loyal Betrayer” and “Gods of Divinity” (very good rhythmic shifts and broken tempos, but always based on catchy instrumental arrangements, and the whole melodic ambience is filled with charming hooks on both songs), and “This Addiction” is something hard to find and hear into Thrash Metal today.

Even after nine years of its original release (that never happened as it had to be), “Hail the New Cross” is amazingly actual, heavy and abrasive. So what are you waiting for to get your own copy and to pay some respect to SHATTER MESSIAH?

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Disconnecting
2. Future Fails
3. Memory Flames
4. How Deep the Scar
5. Loyal Betrayer
6. Gods of Divinity
7. Mercenary Machine
8. This Addiction
Michael Duncan - Vocals
Curran Murphy - Guitars
Pat Gibson - Guitars
Jim Lewis - Bass
Robert Falzano - Drums
Record Label: MDD Records


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