Shatter Brain, Pitchfork Justice review (Wormhole Death/Aural Music, 2020)

Shatter Brain is the perfect name for this Australian band who set out to rattle your cerebellum with their latest, Pitchfork Justice.

The members of Adelaide’s own Shatter Brain are seasoned metal musicians: Tom Santamaria (vocals), Matt Disisto (guitar), Jack Hartley (also guitar), Pat Callaghan (bass), and Ryan Quarrington (drums). Their sound is reminiscent of heavy bands like Power Trip and even, to some extent, old school metal bands like Slayer, but their take is variegated by juxtaposition with guitars that sounds like Savatage, say, in a song where the vocals put you in mind of Five Finger Death Punch. The vocal style in particular is sort of schizophrenic while the guitars have frenetic bursts coupled with smooth, clear scaling riffs. Shatter Brain is a destabilizing musical pathogen in the best possible way.

The band released a short demo in 2018, then a split with Blunt Shovel after that. Pitchfork Justice is their first full-length, and it is a cage match if the cage was on fire and rolling down a mountain. The amalgam of styles comes across as a natural originality in the songs, maybe best seen in the title track which is a six minute expression of rage in a rippling cadence punched by crashing waves and sudden attacks of percussion and guitar. At the halfway mark, there are two huge ravagers, “Fencesitter” and “Noble Savagery,” both of which have mad, flaring elements – guitar breaks on the former and hyper riffing on the latter. The two songs have completely different cadences and emotions while both being hardcore hammers of their own design. And then there is the closer, “Death Goes On,” which is short, like a radio single, and very punk. This album keeps you moving in mind and body all the way through.

Pitchfork Justice is out now at Bandcamp (where today, May 1, 2020, the site fees are waived and the band gets all the $$$) and the usual other outlets. This one is worth looking into because it is a keeper. Recommended.


Shatter Brain, Pitchfork Justice review (Wormhole Death/Aural Music, 2020)