Shrapnel Storm – Silo (Great Dane Records)

Friday, 6th October 2023
Rating: 8 / 10

Well-known as the highest ratio of metal bands per capita as a country, Finland embraces a wide range of styles of the melodic to extreme variety. Shrapnel Storm find themselves in the conventional death metal meets slightly thrash landscape, releasing a series of demos between 2008-2013 before Witches Brew released their debut album Mother War in 2015. Moving forward to Great Dane Records for the self-titled follow-up in the summer of 2020, we’ve now arrived at the third album in Silo – the quintet issuing a platter chock full of groove, brutal mid-tempo riffs, and this impending atmosphere of doom/gloom that recalls classic Obituary, Bolt Thrower, and the early importance of Six Feet Under.

Rare is the day that during an instrumental spotlight you not only get an emotive lead guitar passage but also a sophisticated, progressive bass solo – but that’s what you’ll hear in the savage “Justice and Glory”. At other times, the band chooses to ramp up the tempo proceedings and get a little more punk, raw, or loose in the riff/growl proceedings, as “Alive Ammunition” proves through its assaultive guitars against shape shifting thrash to doom/groove-oriented death rhythm section work. The versatility of emotions vocalist Ville Yrjola conveys allows the band to be equally diverse in their primitive death metal musical approach – changing things up from a calmer, hypnotic low verse talk/growl aspect during “Bring Me the War” to sadistic, measured low bellows from below on “Icon of Destruction”. Neoclassical twin guitar strains for the intro to “Obey and Perish” soon give way to double kick/riff thunder sure to swirl legions into pits of fury, another track where bassist Henri Leppänen garners equal space in the mix against the work of axemen Aki Laaksola and Tohtori Mäkitalo. The cave dwelling groove aspects penetrate most of these songs, allowing the mostly mid-tempo flow/atmosphere to easily create windmill style appreciation movements.

Shrapnel Storm is one of those throwback-oriented death metal bands that provide modestly entertaining material that isn’t fancy yet gets the job done in forty minutes. Those who miss the early to mid-90’s death metal with thrash/groove nuances will find Silo most satisfying.

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