Album Review – Sharked / Generalized Death Drive EP (2016)

In less than 15 minutes, this enraged quintet from France pulverizes everything and everyone that dares to cross their path with their relentless fusion of Deathcore and Death Metal.

Rating5

coverPutting a label to French quintet Sharked might be a difficult task, but if there’s one thing we can say about the music by this unrelenting cohort is that it’s as pulverizing as an atomic bomb. Bringing together the most aggressive elements from Deathcore, Grindcore, Death, Thrash and even Black Metal, which makes them sound like the evil bastard of Testament, Pantera, Napalm Death and Cannibal Corpse, Sharked are ready to disturb whatever is left of peace in our decaying society with their second EP, titled Generalized Death Drive, and let me tell you they need less than 15 minutes to achieve their malevolent goal.

Formed in October 2010 in the city of Lyon, France by guitarist Tom Roger, and having released their self-titled debut EP that same year, Sharked have suffered a few changes through the years before reaching their current lineup, shaping up their music to the high-octane and belligerent form found in Generalized Death Drive. Featuring a straightforward artwork by Grégory Diot, each song in the EP was baptized with the name of a type of killing (as the suffix -cide means “a killer of”), those being genocide (the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation), liberticide (the destruction of freedom), infanticide (the crime of killing a child within a year of birth), tyranicide (the killing of a tyrant), homicide (the deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another) and suicide (the act of intentionally causing one’s own death), all seasoned with the sheer truculence and wrath by Tom and his crew.

A few beeps warn the listener it’s time for total anarchy in Genocide, a devastating tune led by Tom and his lancinating riffs, while lead singer L’Abbé S.M. growls and barks like a rabid dog. And the massacre goes on until the very end of the song with not a single second of peace, giving no time for the listener to breathe before a hurricane of metal music named Liberticide begins. Faster and leaning towards modern Death Metal, it sounds very clean, professional and metallic due to the album’s amazing production, with drummer Nicolas Ramboz keeping the musicality on fire with his unstoppable blast beats. The next track, Infanticide, also showcases an outstanding level of anger and hatred, where the vocals by L’Abbé S.M. will inspire you for some violent slamming into the circle pit. This is like a Deathcore version of contemporary Cannibal Corpse thanks to the unique sonority generated by Sharked’s heavy artillery, in special by the bestial drumming by Nicolas and the fierce bass lines by Jérémy Conil.

sharkedIn Tyranicide they send a statement saying they’ll never slow down their music, reaching a demented pace enhanced by the sick beats by Nicolas, not to mention the crisp and menacing sound of Tom’s guitar; followed by Homicide, a modernized Deathcore chant where the wicked noises and samples by ArtRose work really well together with the rabid havoc brought forth by the rest of the band. And closing the album we have Suicide, offering more brutality for lovers of extreme music with L’Abbé S.M. sounding like a choleric Max Cavalera at times. In less than two minutes, they triturate whoever is still alive after all the insanity in the form of music found in the EP.

To sum up, Sharked’s killing feast witnessed in Generalized Death Drive might be considerably short, but it’s more than enough to carve their names in the underground of French extreme music and, consequently, to open the doors for the band to record their first full-length album pretty soon. If you want to know more about Sharked, go check their Facebook page and SoundCloud, and you can buy a copy of the EP at the Sepulchral Silence Record’s BandCamp page, on iTunes, on Amazon and tons of other locations. Their songs might be named after types of killings, but if there’s one thing they don’t kill at all is good music. Quite the contrary, it’s bands like Sharked who keep the fire of underground metal burning bright, always putting their passion for extreme music above everything else, maintaining the longevity of this type of music even when society and mainstream record labels and producers go against it.

Best moments of the album: Liberticide and Infanticide.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Sepulchral Silence Records

Track listing   
1. Genocide 3:12
2. Liberticide 3:09
3. Infanticide 2:54
4. Tyranicide 1:19
5. Homicide 2:11
6. Suicide 1:54

Band members
L’Abbé S.M. – vocals
Tom Roger – guitars
Jérémy Conil – bass
Nicolas Ramboz – drums
ArtRose – samples

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Album Review – Dystehist / Ad Divinvs Malvm Caro Factvm Est EP (2016)

And divine evil was made excellent music thanks to an up-and-coming Blackened Death Metal project hailing from the United States of America.

Rating5

dystehist-ad-divinvs-malvm-caro-factvm-est-coverFormed as a nameless experiment in 2011 by vocalist and writer Tzel (Tyranny Enthroned, Reject Christ), and after a few years of fluctuations, periodic hiatus, dissections and modifications, American Blackened Death Metal project Dystehist has finally reached its desired shape and form, culminating with the spawn of its debut EP this year entitled Ad Divinvs Malvm Caro Factvm Est, which would translate into English as “to divine evil made flesh”. Based on that name alone (and every time a band uses Latin to name their albums and songs) I guess you can have a very good idea of how devilish and heavy the music by Dystehist sounds, and if you’re a longtime fan of Extreme Metal you’ll surely have a good time enjoying the four visceral tracks found in this excellent album.

Hailing from the famous city of St. Louis, located in the state of Missouri, United States, Dystehist play what can be called “Luciferian Metal”, an artistic definition for their piercing blend of old school Black Metal with more contemporary Blackened Death Metal, or an evolution of extreme music that takes no prisoners and spreads vileness and blasphemy through each note played. Fans of Emperor, Behemoth and several other bands that are always pushing the boundaries of extreme music will instantly connect with Dystehist’s heaviness and thematic, not to mention the huge and auspicious room the band has for advancement taking into account this is just their first release ever despite already sounding like veterans.

The frist of the four songs, Avra Devolvat (or “aura unleashed”), brings forward the aggressiveness of Death Metal, in special the deep growls by Tzel, with the demonic approach of Black Metal, resulting in a well-balanced devastation perfect for slamming into the pit. In addition, its bestial but very technical drumming, together with the powerful performance by Cin with his guitar riffs and solos, ends up boosting the overall malignancy of the song. In Extasim Metv (“in the ecstasy of fear”) builds an instant bridge from the previous tune, with their blackened music growing in malice and profanity while Tzel gets extremely hostile, taking his growls to a deeper hellish level. Yet again, we witness a precise combination of technical Death Metal with the obscure sounding of Black Metal.

dystehist_logoAn ominous intro grows into an assault of Death Metal in Latria Vesani (“worship madness”), where it’s interesting to see the progressive elements added to the music, especially to drums, and when all instruments accelerate and get heavier the band reaches their most impactful sonority. Put differently, this is an amazing ode to darkness, or an excellent Extreme Metal composition full of breaks and variations for the delectation of all types of death and black metallers. Their last blast of Blackened Death Metal comes in the form of Mortvis Pax Ere (Avte Conqviescit), or “the peace of the dead (has been silenced)”, showcasing Tzel and Cin in total demonic sync, with Tzel’s desperate gnarls being effectively complemented by Cin’s demented guitar lines and the sharp bass lines by Ethom. Throughout the song’s almost nine minutes of hatred and despair, drums are played at times at the speed of light, alternating with more rhythmic beats and, consequently, generating an amazing and demolishing result in the end.

The devilish music by Dystheist can be better appreciated at their official Facebook page, and Ad Divinvs Malvm Caro Factvm Est can be purchased at their BandCamp page or at the Sepulchral Silence Records’ BandCamp page. It looks like the divine evil proposed by Dystehist was not only made flesh, but also excellent Blackened Death Metal music, and I can’t wait to see what Tzel and his horde will unleash upon humanity when their first full-length opus becomes a demonic reality.

Best moments of the album: Latria Vesani.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Sepulchral Silence Records

Track listing 
1. Avra Devolvat 5:42
2. In Extasim Metv 5:47
3. Latria Vesani 7:15
4. Mortvis Pax Ere (Avte Conqviescit) 8:45

Band members
Tzel – vocals
Cin – lead and rhythm guitars, vocals
Ethom – bass (session)