Shredhead – Death is Righteous (Mighty Music)Thursday, 1st January 2015
A name like Shredhead really puts the band’s full intentions right out there to start. But having three and five year old children, it’s hard to see that name and not think of some sort of action figure (seems like a killer name for a villain right?). Minor digression aside, the now German-based Israelis of Shredhead keep things simple and to the point to an absurdly effective degree on their second release, Death is Righteous. Expect shredding, and lots of it.
Breakneck death/thrash at its finest, Death is Righteous does stick to many conventions but turns them on their head with sheer menace. There is an instant feel of The Haunted at their prime, as well as some not so subtle nods to Pantera and HateSphere, among others. Don’t take the reference to The Haunted as a bad thing though, as there are few bands that can match that level of fury and intensity while delivering some melodic goodness. As stated, there’s plenty of shredding here but it’s coupled with groove and melody. It could be said that they could change their name over to Groovehead with little difficulty, as some of the bread and butter of this release is not the shredding but the emergence of some gnarly groove in each track (some of the best include “Can’t be Left Alive” and “The Lie”). Some fleeting melodies such as the ones in “Walk with the Dead” and “Hallucinations” will keep you on your toes as well. Lastly, the vocals hit all the right marks here as well, providing that mix of pissed off yet memorable and feel like a mix of Peter Dolving, Chuck Billy, and Phil Anselmo.
Any fan of Pantera or The Haunted will be hard-pressed not to fall in love with this album. Equally full of pissed-off aggression and memorable grooves, Death is Righteous may not cover much new ground but it does a fantastic job of showing what the death/thrash genre is capable of if properly committed to it. A great way to start off 2015!