Shatter Messiah
Never to Play the Servant
Release date: September 1st 2006
Label: Dockyard1
Distribution: VME (Denmark)
Style: Power/Speed/Thrash Metal
Rating: 82/100
Reviewed by: Claus Melsen
Date: January 4th 2007

From the first chords it’s obvious, that this is not a band of beginners, even though it’s a debut album. And when you dive a little into the band members stories, you understand why. Guitarist and main composer Curran Murphy used to be a member of both Annihilator and Nevermore, drummer Robert Falzano used to be in annihilator too, and singer Greg Wagner (Breaker; ex-Archetype) has also quite some experience from former bands. 

That Mr. Murphy used to be in Annihilator and Nevermore is very audible in most of the material on this album. The first track (“Never To Play The Servant”) is clearly very inspired by the sound and style of Nevermore, the 4.(“Hatred Divine”) and 6. (“All Sainted Sinners”) track sounds a lot like Annihilator, and most of the rest something in between – not that it at any time becomes plagiarism, if you (like me) like both bands, this is a very nice mixture. 

Why they then choose to put a hardcore track like the short “Inflicted” on this album – it’s completely out of the style of the rest, is maybe because they don’t want to be accused of “just” being a mixture of N. and A. – I could have been without it anyway. 

There are some really awesome tight thrash riffs here, very stable drumming and very varied style of singing (from melody to growl in both high and low – also here you can hear inspiration from the singers from both Annihilator and Nevermore). It’s pounding away from the very beginning until you reach track 8 (“Drinking Joy”) where it gets almost powermetal-like, with melodic parts in guitar and song. The next three songs doesn’t seem that inspired, and the general impression drops a bit (too bad – pulls down on the points for the album), but with the last three tracks we’re “back on track”, so to speak. 

I hope that they next time will cut out the good riffs from the weaker numbers, and instead use them by putting them together for an album with a little less playing time than almost a full hour. But overall my general impression of band and album is really positive, this is a great band with great potential. For fans of Annihilator and/or Nevermore this must be a sure buy!