That Shatter Messiah guitarist and mastermind Curran Murphy has a history with Nevermore and Annihilator, wonít be a surprise to people familiar with the thrash scene. And as on the bands debut (Never To Play The Servant) from 2006, the influence from especially Nevermore is very evident on this album as well Ė not quite as technical, but sounding quite a lot the same- if I heard one of these tracks on metal-radio without knowing it being S.M., I might take it for Nevermore, also because S.M.-singer Greg Wagner sounds A LOT like Warrel Dane. Generally it seems a bit faster paced as Nevermore, maybe this is where the Annihilator inspiration comes inÖand sometimes thereís also something reminding me of Metal Church, like the last track Tomorrow Immortal.
Since the first album bassist Jason Chamberlain has replaced Ron Boisvert, but otherwise itís still the same line up. Apart from C.M. and G.W. itís drummer Robert Falzano (ex-Annihilator as well) and guitarist Dusty Holt. All does a very good job on this album Ė canít put a finger on the musicianship.
Well, is this then just a rip off, trying to follow in the slipstream of Nevermoreís success? Nah, I donít think so. Fans of Nevermore will surely love this, but I think it stands the test quite all right for itself, although itís not that original and new defining.
To begin with (first few spins) I was actually a little disappointed and even a bit bored with this album. It seemed a bit stereotyped in composing and very similar to the first album, but after some more rotations in my player, it got more interesting, and I discovered some more details in rhythms, solos and melodies that makes me convinced, it will return to my player regularly.
This a solid piece of work Ė well done both in sound, production and playing Ė aggressive and in-your-face, yet clear and powerful.
Fans of hard power metal and newer thrash metal (and of course hardcore Nevermore fans) really should check this one out.