"Palace of the Insane"

By Theron Moore

Oh, why wasn’t this a download??  I lament that because as a reviewer I get sent a lot of mediocre to just “okay” promos from bands to review and then I receive SHRAPNEL’s "Palace of the Insane" – and holy battle vest ,Batman – this is stunningly good!  BULLET’s "Dust to Gold" and LIZZY BORDEN’s "My Midnight Things" are the last two records that have represented some form of perfection to me.  Add SHRAPNEL’s "Palace of the Insane" to that short list.

I’m honestly not getting why this band isn’t POWER TRIP big, and trust me, I dig POWER TRIP, but SHRAPNEL should be a global phenomenon by now.  For the uninitiated, these UK thrashers have been bonded by blood for the last ten years with three full length records and an EP or two in their catalog so far.  "Palace of the Insane" is their new album dropping mid-May.

Think EXODUS and SLAYER, both in their prime, fused together and that’s a pretty apt description of how SHRAPNEL and "Palace of the Insane" sounds. Of the 12 songs on this record only one track makes me question why it made the cut – “Begin Again.”  It’s a mid-tempo, alt-metal number that sticks out like a sore thumb wedged in between ten tons of metal thrashin’ madness.  Especially following track 4, “Cannibal” which is, in this critic’s opinion, the most vicious, aggressive song on this record.  

Other standout tracks include “Turn Off the Lights,” “Salt of the Earth,” and “Violent Now, Forever.”  Let’s keep in mind that we’re not reinventing the wheel here, SHRAPNEL just figured out a better way to get that wheel-a-moshin’ again.  What separates SHRAPNEL from the absolute glut of thrash bands out now is the fact that they sound genuine.  They’re not going out of their way to sound retro, they’re not trying to jump on the POWER TRIP bandwagon, they’re doing what’s coming natural to them.  "Palace of the Insane" is a must buy.  On a scale of 1 to 5 mosh pits, this record gets a 4/5.