It's not easy to digest what SHATTER MESSIAH offer us here. That doesn't mean that it's not appealing what we have here on almost 60 minutes playing time, on the contrary, this offers playing skills, dedication and diversity. If they stay melodic, it sounds like a mixture of NEVERMORE and COMMUNIC. But they also have some thrashy outbreaks including harsh highspeed parts and sometimes they even reach Black-/Death-Metal heaviness.
This confuses at first because their basis is actually Progressive-US-Metal but it comes out with an extremely thick, modern sound and they aren't afraid to use some elements from other genres. This is surely nothing for narrow-minded people, rather for fans of exciting Metal. This band is the brainchild of Curran Murphy; he's known for his appearances as guitarist in NEVERMORE and ANNIHILATOR. He proves that he's a skilled musician because the riffs and the leads on this album are astonishing. But it's obvious that such a record can only work with a capable singer.
So the man behind the mic is BREAKER and ex-ARCHETYPE vocalist Greg "Wags" Wagner and he must have a lot of fun while he was yelling, screaming, grunting and barking. The band also engaged ANNIHILATOR drummer Robert Falzano and he mercilessly handles his skins. The only complaint on this album would be the too much thrashy parts towards the end of the album because SHATTER MESSIAH seem to go over the top with their thrashy songs near the end - in my opinion, their most outstanding moments are the rather clean-sung, melodic tracks. But this is still a highly interesting album, absolutely recommendable because some of their songs are simply brilliant.
(Online October 28, 2006)