Founded in 2011, Shrouded in Neglect has been pummeling the eardrums of metal heads in the Ohio Valley and greater Pittsburgh area with consistent ferocity. I first became familiar with the band back in March 2015 while they were out supporting their debut EP A Haunting. One of the first things that struck me about this band was their eclectic formula. Guitarists Nate Kepner and John Gillette showcase a variety of influences in their riffing which vary from dirty southern rock to devastating death metal. The crunchy guitar attack pairs well with the low-end duo of Rocky Johnson on bass and Jake Marker on drums. The percussion pairing creates a booming punchiness directly to your gut before unleashing a barrage guaranteed to move bodies in the crowd. Chris Lively’s vocals also contribute to the bands defining characteristic of being a unique heavy metal stew. Within the course of a song, Lively will spit low gutturals, face peeling highs, a clean chorus, and a verse entrenched in hip hop. It’s difficult to pull off such an arsenal of vocals but Lively does so seamlessly, rounding out a brutal buffet that is Shrouded in Neglect. The band’s latest offering Kill All Humans proves to be a further step in their creative vision, demonstrating they understand who they are but with the hunger and drive to push it even further.
The album’s first track “FML” starts out with some legs. The beginning guitar riff puts off some electricity before the combination of Lively’s bellowing howl and drums bring down the hammer. The explosion of the verse guarantees to seed fists pumping into the air. The track maintains tremendous momentum until setting up the listener to head straight into the pit. The breakdown is initiated by a creative guitar part that mimics scratching vinyl, once again SIN proves they know how to incorporate creative subtleties which add heartier heaviness.
“Uncle Bobby” commences with a slow, sludgy riff that makes you want to put on your mean face. The track is engrained with southern metal influence, grooving along until picking up tempo and unleashing into a brutal, yet refreshingly catchy chorus. The chorus is one of my favorite things about this song. The pace is frantic before descending back into the familiar, groovier riff. The vocals following suit until diverting into a cleaner direction which adds incredible richness. This song makes me want to drink 30 beers.
“Polish the Silver” delivers one of the heaviest wallops of the album. The song levels the listener with sonic booms fueled by percussion section. The percussion section crushes your head in on this one, Rocky and Jake deliver their showcase song. Body parts get tossed into the air during the floor shaking chugging at the thirty second mark. Nate and John once again add some up-tempo fuel by injecting some great rock riffs into the piece. Once again demonstrating one of the bands greatest attributes: the ability to infuse different flavors which keep the record fun and interesting.
“Tools of Sin” quite frankly does not fuck around. This song is a great live set opener because this track is out for blood. The hardcore undertones and grittiness are going to have kids on the dance floor round housing one another in the head. The listener finds themselves snaking around with the slithering riffs, waiting to erupt in violence. This track may be my favorite due to how much juice it has, and this offering is sure to inspire live chaos. The song’s slam identity is also peppered with a nasty guitar solo at the minute and a half mark, melding sex with shred. The slams ruthlessly return to drop you back into the pit until ultimately hitting you with a chorus ballad that comes out of nowhere. I cannot beat on this drum enough, SIN continue to find ways to hit the listener with a left hook which leaves each song with its own identity using their proven, unpredictable formula.
“Doppleganger” is the black sheep of the record, it has a personality that is completely of its own but remarkably would be perfect for a single. Rather than beating you over the head from the jump, this track coaxes you in. The song puts the listener into a nu-metal time capsule that’s pulled off extremely well. I love the different atmosphere on this song which are driven by the guitarwork and vocals. This is a song is a great ambassador for the band, luring unsuspecting fans who may not be exclusively fans of more extreme music. The song is still true to the SIN brand but dares to venture out in order to ensnare fresh meat.
“Here Goes the Lights” is the album’s final track and contains some great production to conclude the experience. Beginning with a nice little guitar diddle before blasting into a heavy downpour, this track is here to have the final word. The frenzied guitar riffs meld with the ghoulish vocals to create the impression the world is coming to an end. The song is an ass kicking finale driven by a feeling of impending doom. The electronic incorporations during the song’s outro are great additions in securing a hostile template. They’re here and their mission is clear: Kill All Humans.
The latest offering from Shrouded in Neglect is a crash course in the destruction of heavy metal diversity. The album invokes a look within while fearing extraterrestrial mayhem from above. With more surprises, crunchy riffs, and guttural bile than you know what to do with, this record is going to get comfortable in the CD player of your car. Kill All Humans is everywhere February 16th via iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, Google Play, and more! Do yourself a solid and go checkout Shrouded in Neglect on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and their official website at www.shroudedinneglect.com.
If you would like to hear the album early, we will be premiering Kill All Humans as our bloody Valentine's Gift to you. So tune in at 8pm for an exclusive listen to Kill All Humans in its entirety before release. If you're date is down with that though, we will be replaying it on Thursday at 8am and 8pm for two chances to listen!
Tools of Sin