Album Review – Sharks In Your Mouth / Sacrilegious (2019)

A travel to the year of 1799 in Italy, where an elite group of rich and evil people founded a secret society called “The First Order”, in the form of incendiary Post-Hardcore and Djent.

From Post-Hardcore to Djent, including elements from Melodic Metalcore, Alternative Metal and Deathcore, to name a few, the Ancona, Italy-based band comprised of Andrea Pali on vocals, Valerio Quirini on lead guitar, Daniele Monaldi on the guitar, Diego Nardelli on bass and Enrico Rivetti on drums, collectively known as Sharks In Your Mouth, has never stopped improving their sound and style since their inception in 2010, always in pursuit of the “ultimate sound”. Now in 2019 the band returns with another round of heavy and melodic sounds with their sophomore album Sacrilegious, a follow-up to their 2016 debut opus Promises. Not only that, the album also narrates what the band calls “The Covenant” saga, bringing additional layers to their already dense and aggressive music.

Engineered by Federico Ascari and Sharks In Your Mouth, reamped, mixed and mastered by Federico Ascari at Wavemotion Recordings, and featuring a stylish artwork by Mattia Castiglia, Sacrilegious takes us to the year of 1799 in Italy,  where an elite group of rich and evil people founded a secret society called “The First Order”, possessing an ancient magical book that must be burned to avoid letting them dictate the social and moral laws of the future. A young boy gets caught up in one of their rituals and “The Order” kills him, but not before painting some “black tears” on his face as their tradition. From that you can already have a very good idea of how obscure their lyrics are, which together with the thunderous sounds blasted by their guitars, bass and drums generate a dark and enfolding atmosphere that will please all fans of the genre.

The cinematic intro Black Tears opens the gates of the underworld to the violent The Covenant, where Andrea begins roaring rabidly just the way we like it in Metalcore and Deathcore while Enrico makes sure our heads don’t stop trembling with his beats, resulting in a beyond amazing start to the album. Then Valerio and Daniele shred their axes mercilessly while Diego exhales rage from his metallic bass in the title-track Sacrilegious, presenting acid lyrics that match perfectly with the music (“What we did is sacrilegious / We’ve been fighting against the odds / What we did is sacrilegious / But we had to burn that book / They will give to this world their idols and the illusion of choice / Illusion of choice / Impostors, who will rise and who will fall?  / The Order is born”); and featuring guest musician Daniele Gottardo, who adds his personal touch of evil to the song with a sick guitar solo, we have another bestial Deathcore tune named Dethroned. Furthermore, it’s impressive how somber those guys can sound while at the same time being extremely melodic, with Diego and Enrico never stopping extracting low-tuned, thunderous roars from their instruments while Andrea alternates between clean vocals and demented screams.

In Sinner, an acoustic intro morphs into a crushing Symphonic Metalcore hymn led by Andrea while Diego smashes his bass chords manically, with all symphonic background elements adding a good amount of finesse to the sonority and also sounding very progressive at times, whereas R.I.P., one of the darkest songs of the album, showcases a focused and demonic duo on the guitars, supported by Enrico’s intricate drums and a berserk Andrea on vocals, and also presenting some creepy, obscure passages to give the whole song an extra infernal kick. Keep banging your head and slamming into the pit to the pulverizing As Above So Below, where you will feel Diego’s bass rumbling at the back of your head, providing the listener a fresh and vibrant fusion of more melodic lines and sheer aggression, and venturing through more modernized and radio-friendly lands, the band offers us the fast-paced This Is Gonna Hurt, incorporating elements from Alternative Metal and Rock to their more vicious style.

If Limp Bizkit suddenly turned into a heavier band, Fear Me, Feed Me is how they would sound, with its instrumental pieces being pretty solid as well as Andrea’s growls, bringing tons of rage and progressiveness for our avid ears, although his rap-like vocals don’t work as expected. Keeping their aggressiveness and dementia at a high level, the quintet fires the Melodic Metalcore tune Marked, bringing forward sick, distorted riffs by Valerio and Daniele, not to mention Enrico’s bestial drumming, while Curtain is a short and sweet piano bridge to the epic and visceral Fall (The Covenant Part II), an imposing tune where all rage flowing from drums is complemented by flammable riffs and bass punches while Andrea darkly declaims the song’s poetic lyrics (“I still hear their cry for help / While I paint my black tears on my face / Shadows in the night, trying to resist / Hunted from the ancient creed / All is lost, erased from reality / Paint your black tears / Paint your black tears”).

If you nurture a deep passion for Hardcore, Metalcore and Djent, and if you are constantly searching for new names in the market that can offer you something more than just well-crafted heavy music, you must give Sharks In Your Mouth a chance without a shadow of a doubt. Not only those guys master their instruments, but as already mentioned the theme found in Sacrilegious (available in full on Spotify) is way more flavorful and interesting than your average bands out there. Hence, don’t forget to show your support to those Italian metallers by following them on Facebook, by subscribing to their YouTube channel, and of course by purchasing Sacrilegious from their official webstore or from several other locations like Apple Music and Amazon by clicking HERE, consequently joining the band’s army known as “Covenants” and banging your head like a beast to some high-end Djent made in Italy.

Best moments of the album: The Covenant, Sacrilegious and R.I.P.

Worst moments of the album: Fear Me, Feed Me.

Released in 2019 Independent

Track listing
1. Black Tears 1:04
2. The Covenant 4:39
3. Sacrilegious 4:12
4. Dethroned (feat. Daniele Gottardo) 4:03
5. Sinner 3:29
6. R.I.P. 3:23
7. As Above So Below 4:08
8. This Is Gonna Hurt 3:43
9. Fear Me, Feed Me 3:43
10. Marked 4:36
11. Curtain 0:23
12. Fall (The Covenant Part II) 4:40

Band members
Andrea Pali – vocals
Valerio Quirini – lead guitar
Daniele Monaldi – guitar
Diego Nardelli – bass
Enrico Rivetti – drums

Guest musician
Daniele Gottardo – guitar solo on “Dethroned”

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Album Review – Benevolent / The Covenant (2014)

Get ready for some really interesting extreme and experimental heavy music from the Middle-East.

Rating5

Benevolent_The CovenantAt least from a music perspective, Globalization doesn’t seem as disastrous as we all think it is: when in our lives would we ever imagine we could one day listen to an Experimental Death Metal band from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with just a few clicks? Not only that, the band is actually good and goes by the “friendly” name of Benevolent, and their first full-length album, The Covenant, deserves a shot.

As expected in any experimental or progressive band, most of the songs are long, usually surpassing the 6-minute barrier, and are not easy to digest if you’re not absolutely crazy for innovation or “weird voyages” in the world of heavy music. Right after the atmospheric intro Void, the band already offers us a very good example of their chosen path for creating music: the excellent Asphyxia is a really experimental and at the same time brutal song, maybe something in between Progressive and Death Metal, with a good mix of guttural and clean vocals by brothers Fadi and Hadi Sarieddine, respectively. This song is almost 10 minutes long, which means if you can reach the end of it and enjoy all its variations and breaks, then this album is for you.

The following tracks are The Seeker, another totally experimental track the likes of Opeth and Tool showcasing all the talent of the musicians involved, with a nice guitar solo by the end of the song; Radiate, an instrumental song with focus on the piano/keyboards lines; and Illusion, a pretty good song with an acoustic guitar intro, heavy riffs and melancholic rhythm, and that sounds a lot like what Dream Theater would be if they had guttural vocals.

Another one of my favorite songs is Heathen, a very progressive song with hints of Blackened Death Metal and excellent instrumental parts in general, especially the keyboards. Then we have The Collector, a more Death Metal track with an interesting duo of guitars and drums, with a very nice job done by session drummer Andols Herrick; Dissipate, which is another instrumental “bridge” song; and Metamorphosis, the longest and more progressive track of all, with awesome bass lines by Mohammed Gad and a continuous “tone” that gives the song a freaky sensation, reminding us of many songs by Tool.

BenevolentThe last two tracks in The Covenant keep up with all the progressiveness and obscurity of the previous tracks: Ascension begins with an eerie electronic intro before becoming a very progressive tune, while Rebirth is a very “melancholic” ending to the album, with a nice work done with the riffs in order to give the song (and the whole album) that “fade away” feeling commonly used in many movies.

In addition, the emblematic album art, which was professionally done by artist Edidong Udo, positively consummates the objective of Benevolent with their music. So why not give this complex band from the Middle-East a try, especially if you’re a huge fan of progressive heavy music? You can listen to all tracks and buy The Covenant HERE, and by doing so you’ll support those talented guys to keep the fire of heavy music alive in that part of the world.

Best moments of the album: Asphyxia, Illusion and Heathen.

Worst moments of the album: The Collector and Ascension.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. Void 1:39
2. Asphyxia 9:41
3. The Seeker 7:02
4. Radiate 2:40
5. Illusion 8:40
6. Heathen 6:04
7. The Collector 4:29
8. Dissipate 2:15
9. Metamorphosis 9:47
10. Ascension 7:49
11. Rebirth 2:59

Band members
Fadi Sarieddine – vocals
Hadi Sarieddine – guitars, clean vocals
Mohammed Gad – guitars, bass
Andols Herrick* – drums

*Session drummer