“Pitchfork Justice”

By Dr. Abner Mality

SHATTER BRAIN are one of those rough and tumble Aussie metal bands that seem as indigenous to Oz as koalas or platypi. These guys cut their teeth touring with the maniacal KING PARROT (a band that’s been way too quiet recently) and that’s a big endorsement right there. “Pitchfork Justice” is their first real album, so let’s see what these cats got cookin’.

Their sound is a bit of a mish-mash taken from various metal sounds and genres. The PR sheet mentions HIGH ON FIRE and POWER TRIP...I hear a lot more of the latter than the former. The vibe is heavy and groovy and I’d compare this to a more underground LAMB OF GOD in some ways because the groove is definitely there, but it’s dirtied up. I like the thrashy, hook-filled “Lorem Ipsum” and “Choosing Beggars”, both of which would go down a treat live. The vocals range from screechy rasps to bellows to hardcore shouts. The moody “Silent Screams” has some odd dissonant melodies almost bordering on black metal...a strange sound and not one I think works really well for them. In contrast, “Death Goes On” is a stinging sock to the jaw that doesn’t mess around.

These guys are still trying to find their path.  Real underground maniacs might find them a bit too groove metal oriented, but SHATTER BRAIN could actually be considered the Australian POWER TRIP in embryonic form. A promising debut.