Company: Mighty Music Release: 2015 Genre: Metalcore, deathcore, thrash Reviewer: Greg Watson
Precise and technical
Texas sextet Shattered Sun come bursting into the metal world with "Hope Within Hatred", the band's full-length debut. Having existed in various formats since around 2005 it's surprising that I am just now hearing about this band. But given the fact that they've had quite a few lineup changes since their inception, as well as a hiatus, it makes sense. All that aside, what is clear is that Shattered Sun have taken their time getting their debut out because of how precise and technical it sounds.
Rooted in the metalcore/deathcore sound, Sun also throws in a healthy smattering of thrash to give them a bit more of an aggressive sound than most metalcore bands. Following the typical pattern of verse, verse, chorus with gang vocals, most of the songs are a bit repetitive when it comes to the flow. But what sets it apart for me is the variation of the guitars wielded by Daniel Trejo (no, not actor Danny Trejo aka Machete) and Jesse Santos. Trejo and Santos show that both are quite well-versed in arpeggios, sweeps and some very technical picking and fretting. Main vocalist Marcos Leal has a great death growl and his clean vocals, as evidenced in "281", are on point and emotion invoking. Speaking of track "281", this song is a straight-up ballad that not only breaks up the ferocity of the rest of the album but also highlights the band's incredible versatility and fearless attitude. This may be my favorite track on the album because it feels so incredibly powerful and is so well done. The band close the album out with a ripping and somewhat appropriate cover of "Return to Serenity" from Testament's "The Ritual" album.
Recently picked up LLC Group management, run by Chuck Billy of Testament and Jon Zazula, the band has been inked to a deal by Victory Records and has tours upcoming with Testament, Exodus and Soulfly as well as being featured on the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. I am definitely going to make it a point to see this band out on the road this Summer. This album is proof that there is great metal here in the States and that metal itself is alive and well in the world. Bottom line is this, Shattered Sun is a band that everyone should give a listen to. There's something for everyone in their sound and I hope this lineup stays strong and I look forward to see what the future holds for this band in the coming years.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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