Shezmu – À Travers Les Lambeaux (2020)

Despite incorporating some modern metal ideas, Shezmu remains entrenched in the style of old school death metal and hardcore, focusing on simple atmospheric riffs that emphasize structure more than melody or harmony, sounding not dissimilar to Abomination, Miasma, or Baphomet but with more focus on bounding, energetic punk-style riffs.

À Travers Les Lambeaux opens with a drilling bass and transitions quickly to a series of doom-death riffs reaching a meeting engagement of themes, then trailing off into an obscurity that balances the different elements of conflict into a new form that alienates both. This promising entrance introduces a series of songs in roughly the same style, with each adding its own wrinkles of style and riff shape.

Occasionally, vocals use the modern metal technique of shouting hoarsely at the moon in a manner disconnected from the rhythm of the undergirding riff, and some song structures prefer the peripatetic notion of outlining a theme before suddenly thrusting it upon the listener, but for the most part these songs build themselves from old school death metal with a heavy punk influence.

This avoids grindcore territory by aiming for the expansive context of riffs talking to one another instead of slamming collisions designed to foreclose anything but the main theme, and creates a backdrop for the guttural and howling vocals that serve as a complementary instrument to the guitar tracks.

While Shezmu find themselves appearing within a dead death metal scene and attempting to avoid modern metal for its devolutionary influence, the band nonetheless keeps the focus on creating memorable songs which express a pattern within dark hatred and morbid hopelessness, taking the listener through that stygian passage rather than stranding them in it with cyclic repetition.

Biography

Hailing from the frozen fields of Montréal, Shezmu was forged in 2016 by Olivier Bérubé Emond (also goes by the pseudonym Comte Bergaby in the underground) and Marc-André Labonne. As a duo, they released a self-titled demo cassette in 2017, followed by two successive MLP releases in 2018: The Scent of War under Les Fleurs du Mal Productions and Breaching The Tomb under the banners of both Les Fleurs du Mal and Iron Bonehead Productions. 2018 also saw the Quebec force expanding their size and sonic palette with the addition of bass player Yanick Tremblay-Simard (Sol Miracula, Aiauasca).

Since their inception, Shezmu has dove deep into the lore of human history and enlightenment. Just like the definition of Shezmu (Ancient Eygptian God of wine & oils and also blood & slaughter), the band always took a contradictory and explorative direction to their sound. Their techniques have no boundaries: fast blast beats, mid-tempo occult riffing, or ancient sonic doom, they are all part of the wheel, a dance between Sun and Moon. Just as a whisper into one’s ear, the band recounts the darkest passages of ancient times through distinctive and evil riffs.

On the upcoming debut album, À Travers Les Lambeaux, the trio took a different approach to the writing of this album, resulting in some of Comte Bergaby’s most personal lyrics to date. While still using visions of ancient history as the lyrical basis, the songs explore the themes of rage, sorrow, and madness. Creating a triangulum among these emotions, Shezmu heralds symptoms of profound anguish. The magnitude of anger can be well heard throughout the enraged blast beats, fast tremolo pickings, and low-end guttural vocals. The clean, desperate yells on some tracks such as “Lex Talionis” evoke the atmosphere of grief. The fever of madness continues to heat until the album reaches its boiling point: it is portrayed as the triumph of darkness over sanity.

Personnel
Olivier Bérubé Emond – Vocals and guitars
Marc-André Labonne – Drums
Yannick Tremblay-Simard – Bass

Tracklist
1. À Travers Les Lambeaux
2. Cérémonie Magique Pour La Bataille De Megiddo
3. Ode À Hathor
4. La Rage
5. Les Secrets Des Ziggourats 02:22
6. L’Arrivée Des Temps Déchus
7. Lex Talionis

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