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Shamash - Of Fire and Brimstone

Of Fire and Brimstone
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 04 April 2020, 5:37 AM

SHAMASH is a 4-Piece Blackened Death Metal band from Copenhagen, Denmark. This is the first full-length album from the band after releases of two demos and one EP. They were founded back in 2012. They did however release a single back in 2019 including ‘’Gospel of Eternal Plagues’’ and ‘’Blood of Qayin’’, two songs off of this new album.

They pretty much dive in head first with the ideological elements of Black Metal like Anti-Christianism, Satanism and Occultism. They don’t shy away from those lyrical themes and like many bands of the genre they wear the good old tried and tested corpse paint. You do have the Traditional Black Metal style but it has that distinct Death Metal influenced sound throughout the album nonetheless.

The vocals are constantly between growls and shrieks as the music follows viciously behind it. With the opening notes of ‘’The Black Sun’’, you can really understand their musical influences. The guitarists are distorted and the drumming is quite hectic. It’s pretty much paint by numbers Blackened Death Metal, it’s enjoyable but lacks real substance. I did however really enjoy that gloominess from the instrumental beginning of the album, it definitely sets the tone nicely.

At times, the vocals seem to be inaudible which kind of a bummer honestly and the production values don’t help the cause. On some songs you can clearly hear the singer and sometimes it gets rather loss in the rest of the band. It’s senseless because the whole album is pretty inconsistent and the listener is reduced to a feeling of disappointment. The production is a bit messy and the instruments are melted together to create a mass confusion.

It's not void of originality because you have some real talent out there. The listener is really immersed in the atmosphere of the whole album and it makes for a rather gloomy experience and its like you have some malevolent force lurking in the background. The atmosphere is more important than the content on this opus. The songs rumble and pummel with a barrage of kinetic blasts and a very organic tone. It can be a bit unrelenting but there is enough good material to warrant repeated listening if you really enjoy the genre itself.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Angelus Lucis
2. The Black Sun
3. Gospel of Eternal Plagues
4. The Essence of Ages
5. Call of the Void
6. Astride the Wings of Decay
7. Blood of Qayin
8. Angel of Light
A – Guitars and Vocals
Frygt – Bass
Vakheimnir – Drums
Lake - Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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