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Review: Shrapnel - Hellbound

Label: Independent
Year released: 2010
Duration: 34:01
Tracks: 8
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: July 7, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (6 Votes)

Who doesn't like old school Thrash? Certainly not Australia's Shrapnel. The band, consisting of Louis Rando (drums and vocals) and Andrew Doepel (guitar and bass) are out to lay waste to anything in their paths like their heroes Overkill, Testament, Sodom, Motorhead, Venom, and others. Their debut, Hellbound, is a blackened, super-fast, Thrash assault that is neither modern nor original. It IS pretty good, though.

Rando and Doepel are 100% high intensity on Hellbound. There are no breathers to be found anywhere, just massive double kick drums, lightning-fast lead work and Rando's evil, Quorthon-meets-Lemmy vocals. Many of the songs are on the short side, which makes the album feel even faster that it actually is. Lyrically, the band sticks to well covered topics; Satan and alcohol. Gotta love it when a band does the 80s right with attention to detail. The biggest complaint I have with Hellbound is, that by staying with the same, ultra-fast tempo for much of the album, many of the songs are somewhat repetitive. For instance, tracks like "Friday Night Thrash Attack" and "Cynic Horde," while both enjoyable on their own, sound very similar to one another. Over the course of the album's 34+ minutes, you sometimes get the feeling you've heard it before and then you realize, "oh yeah, I did, two songs ago." The band does try to change things up with "The Power is Mine," a more-mid paced and riff-oriented song. It closes out Hellbound nicely.

If slightly blackened Thrash played at 1,000 miles an hour is your cup of tea (or can of Foster's) do yourself a favor and check out Hellbound. It's not the greatest album you'll ever hear, but the band's energy is infectious and more than makes up for any shortcomings.

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