Shatterpoint - _Dead Precedence_
(Power Play Records, 2007)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (6.5 out of 10)
Consisting of their brand new eleven track _Dead Precedence_ album with 2004's four track EP _Consequences_ tacked on as a bonus, this CD presents Shatterpoint's full discography up to this point. For a young band, they show impressive chops and a fervent grasp on what puts the "metal" into "metalcore", even while struggling somewhat to find their own identity. Structurally, the band lean more toward the hardcore side of the genre, with breakdowns and vocals evoking Hatebreed and the Victory Records stable moreso than the likes of Unearth or God Forbid. "Classic" Machine Head would also be an adequate benchmark, with occasional melodic vocals that recall the choruses of Fear Factory.

Guitarist Greg Wright is probably Shatterpoint's strongest asset; other elements of the band's sound being adequate, if not particularly exceptional. Throughout _Dead Precedence_, the emphasis remains on uptempo, pummeling rhythms. Even on songs like the title track and "Thorn Inside", both of which start off with a slow, dirge-like intro and then kick it up a notch, the somber, reflective side of the band is rarely showcased for more than a few seconds at a time. "Out Falls the Pain", the most Burton Bell-like of the vocal exercises, is probably the real stand out on the album, the brutality at last balanced with a little melody.

If there's one fault to be found on the album as a whole, it's the inevitable facelessness that comes from stepping down on the accelerator and keeping it to the floor for the entirety of what is frankly an album a good ten to fifteen minutes too lengthy even before you get to the bonus tracks. Shatterpoint should take a cue from Hatebreed and keep future efforts around the half hour mark if they're not going to mix it up a bit more. Judging from the three years between this album and their previous EP, _Consequences_, which, included here, is more of the same, this fear of spreading themselves thin would seem to be the reality.


(article published 25/5/2007)

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