Although the band formed in 2005 and released several EPs, Shattered Sun put out their first full-length record a decade later, in 2015. Two years on, the Texas metalcore group returns with their sophomore album, The Evolution of Anger, on Victory Records.
The road to making the record was far from smooth and Daniel Trejo, guitarist and the sole remaining founding member of Shattered Sun, had decided to leave by the end of 2015. Singer Marcos Leal is straightforward about the pains and conflicts that preceded the birth of their new record. “We almost burned this band to the ground internally,” Leal says. “Things came to the surface and we didn’t even know if we were going to have a record.” Fortunately, the six-piece was able to rise above discord and come together to record their follow-up. “Once Daniel came back into the fold, the first song he showed me was ‘Burn It Down’, a perfect reflection of what occurred within Shattered Sun,” Leal continues.
At the start of pre-production, the band had 26 songs, which would be whittled down to 11 tracks on The Evolution of Anger. That wealth of material is evident in the end result: this is a solid record and displays a band that clearly still has a lot to say. The same spirit which imbued their debut is continued here, and fans who felt an emotional connection with the songs off Hope Within Hatred will forge a similar bond with these new additions.
‘Keep Your Eyes Shut’, which showcases Jessie Santos’ high-speed guitar and Robert Garza’s aggressive, high-intensity drumming, is a strong opener for the record and sets the tone for what follows.
On ‘Burn It Down’, Leal sings “We’re living in a time where giving up is glorified / Our ordinary story justifies the drive” and if there’s one theme echoed throughout the record, it’s that need to resist and to fight. Leal’s voice, an indefatigable bobcat growl, brings the power and ferocity needed to back up the strong sentiments of the lyrics.
The group’s melodic sensibilities are evident throughout, but nowhere are they as prominent as on ‘Like Gasoline’. Easily the album’s strongest track, it both highlights the various members’ contributions and also enmeshes them seamlessly in this tightly-crafted song.
The Evolution of Anger isn’t going to redefine a genre – on it, the band traverses well-trod ground – but Shattered Sun do what they do extremely well. This latest effort is a worthy follow-up to Hope Within Hatred, and one which fans of the band will welcome.