Punk has had a considerable influence on metal. Had it not been for punk, black metal and death metal would have been very different and thrash probably would have never existed. Metal has had an influence on punk as well, Metallic hardcore bands like Anion, Skinfather and Full of Hell make punk sound even more extreme than anyone could imagine. Today I am going to review a band..or musician rather, that celebrates this fusion like no other could.
Shin to Shin is the Side project of Aaron Melnick, who although plays in many different bands like Die Hard, Inmates and In Cold Blood (a band he formed with his brother Leon Melnick in the late 90’s) , he is most remembered for his work with legendary metallic hardcore pioneers Integrity. He has contributed to some of the band’s most important releases such as Those Who Fear Tomorrow and Systems Overload. In Shin to Shin, Aaron remains close to his metallic hardcore roots , while also adding a touch of some pure, good old fashioned metal which makes for some interesting results, to start with the slow Beatdown( a kind of breakdown like in metalcore for the uninitiated) riffs that are the hallmark of an Integrity record and for the genre as well sound all the more gritty and heavy here. It’s got that extra bite, that punch that I feel was missing in Integrity. I especially enjoyed this riffs in the title track Shin to Shin, Which I was headbanging constantly to! The metal part of this album comes mostly from the guitar solos which sound straight out of an old school thrash or death metal record. These are mostly played along with the beatdown riffs or some of the faster hardcore parts which include the staple skank beats and chord based guitar work. Aaron’s passionate, confident soloing definitely adds a lot of flash. A lot of showmanship in a simple straightforward genre like hardcore makes this a unique and innovative blend of the two genres. Done so in a way that it so represents both of their qualities fairly without watering things down to a cheap bastardization of either genre.
This makes Shin to Shin’s debut album a glorious celebration of everything about Hardcore/Metal and eventually about being different from the pack , despite in the smallest way possible. I think Aaron’s debut album was a great ride from start till end is something which I enjoyed thoroughly. If you are an Integrity fan you definitely have to check out!