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Album Reviews : Shrapnel – The Virus Conspires

By on September 13, 2014

Shrapnel is a band from Norwich, England and they play thrash metal. They released their debut EP in 2009 and their self-financed follow-up The Devastation To Come EP in 2010.

Now, in 2014, they’ve released their debut album backed by and handpicked by Candlelight Records. The Virus Conspires features 11 songs in total, with a total running time of 43 minutes. A certain band once wrote the song Metal Thrashing Mad, and that is exactly how I would describe the overall feel of this album.

Thrash is one of those genres where bands can sound pretty similar to each other, but the difference in quality can be quite remarkable. It usually stands or falls with the vocals. The first track Kingdom Come really blows my mind. The first thing that pops up in my head when the first piece of lyrics attack my ears are: Tom Araya. Throughout the album there are points when I could have mistaken Jae Hadley for Mr. Araya in an instance, had I not known that I was reviewing a Shrapnel release. That’s not a bad thing at all. The thing that really makes the vocals stand out though, is that they are diverse, which is a rare thing in thrash metal.

I’m taken on quite a ride here. Musically Shrapnel blends all of the thrash goodness that is Exodus, Kreator, Overkill, and of course, Slayer. It feels refined, and more than anything it feels fresh. I don’t consider myself to be a huge thrash fan, but sometimes when I’m in the mood I try to find songs with great riffs. There is a total overload of good riffs on this album. Make sure to check out the recommended tracks at the end, as I can almost promise that they will blow your mind!

I just want to highlight that the members of Shrapnel truly are very skilled at what they do. It might be an easy thing to try and sound like your idols, but to actually absorb their sound, belch it out and make something that is your own requires great musicianship, and that is what Shrapnel gives us.

In conclusion, The Virus Conspires consists of about half great and half good songs. The good songs will most likely grow on me over time. It is a rock solid debut album and the great songs definitely have to go into your thrash playlist, if you have one. If you don’t have one, listen to this album, preferably multiple times, create one and add the songs to it. Simple as that!

Band: Shrapnel
Album: The Virus Conspires
Year: 2014 (February)
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Candlelight Records
Origin: Norwich, England

Track List:
1. Kingdom Come
2. Titan
3. Braindead
4. 22
5. The Virus Conspires
6. The Wake
7. Red Terror
8. The Watchers
9. Pseudocommando
10. Poison the Mind
11. All That We Know


Martin is an aspiring music photographer/videographer. He is originally from the southern parts of Sweden and now he's living in Sydney, Australia. Thanks to his older sister, he got into Rammstein at the age of 9, and since then he's been into all types of metal/rock. He loves to combine photography and music, but also filming concerts and produce live material. Follow him on Twitter and check out his website.