Shrapnel

Torn From Existence (n / a)

Texas Platters

Shrapnel

Torn From Existence

Death metal, corpse metal, thrash: Makes 1980s Metallica sound almost quaint. Shrapnel's sophomore release, Torn From Existence, opens immediately metallic with "Counterpart," singer Aaron Canady evincing a dollop of Hetfield gristle. Canady's a lot less successful when he's singing ("Nameless Being") rather than throating, the otherwise solid title track undercut by vocal melodics, whereas its instrumentalism lays down ear-tugging progressions. The frontman's guitar smithery, in tandem with brother Evan Canady, shit-storms most effective on steel girder "Bridge the Gap," while backup "Force-Fed" filigrees six-string harmonies. The emo interludes of "Buried Facedown" are problematic, as is the collision of old-school hard rock and nü-school metallurgy, but "I Live My Way" returns to Ulrich mode, its thrust rolling thoroughly downhill before the plug's pulled at six minutes. One can imagine the 10-minute version more satisfying. Singing, melody, acoustics, and a firebrand solo finally smelt down perfectly for the Austin quartet on "Hollow Body."

**.5

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