I guess this is the week for SHATTERED REALM press on Blabbermouth. Little did I know that a review of "From the Dead End Blocks Where Life Means Nothing" (the follow-up to 2002's "Broken Ties…Spoken Lies…") would dovetail with news of a shooting death at the band's Tucson performance on December 7 as part of the Street Brutality Tour. As much as I'd like to weigh in with my two cents on the purported FSU (go Seminoles?) gang connection, etc, I'd better get to the matter at hand.
What we have here is a textbook example of metallic hardcore that has moments that remind one of those that HATEBREED and SWORN ENEMY have taken to new heights of popularity. Generally speaking, I tend to enjoy a good deal of this kind of thing. As far as "From the Dead End Blocks…" is concerned, I was neither blown away nor left in disgust. Hence, the reason I wrote "moments". With vocalist Joe Hardcore (PUNISHMENT), bassist Bailey (FIGURE FOUR), and Chris Rage (FURY OF FIVE) now along for the ride, the revamped lineup is more hardcore than metalcore, but the metallic SLAYERisms are still present. "New Disgrace" includes those King/Hanneman licks, the standard HATEBREED waves of aggression, and the tough-guy shouts of "Who the fuck do you think you are?" In one brief instance, SHATTERED REALM gets right to the point with its grievances by shouting repeatedly to "Eat Shit! Go to Hell!" or, better yet, "You can eat shit, you can fuck yourself, you can go straight to hell" on the mysteriously titled "Eat Shit". Thrashing speed riffing on tracks like "Devil in Disguise" is characteristic of both the 'BREED and the ENEMY, as well as the later AGNOSTIC FRONT albums. The "don't fuck with us" themes are present throughout as well (see "Our Time" and "GBNF"). Get the point?
Right, you've heard it all before and if you're a serious fan you'll probably want to add "From the Dead End Blocks…" to your collection. For those with more varied tastes looking to add some metallic hardcore to the mix, this one will probably work, although I've heard better.