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Shrapnel – Palace For The Insane Award winner

Palace For The Insane
by Quinten Serna at 08 July 2020, 4:56 PM

Few bands exist out there that are capable of making as grand and stark an impression as SHRAPNEL manages. With ease of essence and a skill set refined over years of ample performances, the band has created a soundscape wholly their own. Their latest release, “Palace For The Insane” only serves to exemplify the prowess of the band.

The album opens up with, “Might Of Cygnus,” an epic piece about the devastating nature of a constellation—the song is one of two music videos from the album and serves not only as a great representative for the band’s abilities but also as an opening to the album as a whole. “Salt The Earth” is the other track to earn a music video - commencing with a powerful buildup the song immediately detracts to a sluggish and headbanging riff for the verse speeding up, albeit with an eldritch harmony, for the chorus. The song, “Begin Again,” takes a slightly different approach than the preceding tracks mixing in slow almost Doom riffs with clean strings; the break is a sublime mellow onslaught of melody that transitions seamlessly into the heavier attributes of the song. “Turn Off The Lights” is about as headbanging as it gets, coming right through the starting gates with a Thrashing riff leading the song. The song “Infernal Choir” contains more involved vocal approaches making the track a bit more recognizable and in that cajoles the listener into singing along, shouting out that familiar “Infernal Choir” every time you listen through the track.

The texture of the music is wholesome, inviting, and transcendental at times having the flare of a professional studio grade recording, with the attitude and aggression of a storage unit recorded tape demo; each instrument has had its sound finely crafted and whittled down into the essence of each sonic attribute. The drums contain clean and crisp cymbals coupled with a throttling snare; the guitars are gritty and thick yet not overpowering; the bass is the powerhouse behind the band providing the foundation, support, and drive for each track; the vocals pierce through every soundscape unhindered and powerful.

Palace For The Insane” is, in shortened breath, a great work consisting of considerable performance talent, ample writing ability, and most importantly the aggression and assault that most studio bands are incapable of encapsulating proper within their works. SHRAPNEL is now in their 11th year and clearly shows no sign whatsoever of slowing down or taking a break, were the world to cease existing tomorrow SHRAPNEL would be there still ripping the landscape with eviscerating rhythm and riffs.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Might Of Cygnus
2. Salt The Earth
3. Vultures Circle
4. Cannibal
5. Begin Again
6. Bury Me Alive
7. Turn Off The Lights
8. Infernal Choir
9. The Mace
10. Violent Now, Forever
11. Future Sight
12. Palace For The Insane
Aarran – Bass and Vocals
Chris Williams – Drums
Chris Martin – Guitars (Rhythm)
Nathan Sadd – Guitars (Lead)
Record Label: Candlelight Records


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