“A Travers les Lambeaux”

By Dr. Abner Mality

SHEZMU is a great new band hailing from global metal hotspot Montreal, Canada. Named after the Egyptian god of wine and blood (two of my favorite red liquids), they play an extremely heavy, dark and brooding form of cavernous death metal that certainly has touches of typical sources like INCANTATION and DEAD CONGREGATION but also manages some quirks to keep original.

The main thing SHEZMU is about is RIFFS...ponderous, crawling RIFFS in both fast and slow mode. The title track starts with thick dissonance before resolving itself into something gloomy and massive. The vocals of Comte Bergaby are mostly deep bestial growls, but an odd kind of yelping clean vocal pops up now and then. Needless to say, lyrics are all in French.

The song construction here is outstanding. “Ceremonie Magique pour la Bataille des Megiddo” and “Ode a Hathor” both focus on the crushing, doomy side of things while “Les Secrets des Ziggurats” and “La Arrivee des Temps Dechus” are shorter and more violent, like faster BOLT THROWER with a touch of blackness. Final epic cut “Lex Talionis” puts it all together in a panzer-like rollercoaster of a song. There’s also an acoustic interlude “La Rage” that serves as a breather and divider for the album.

I had very little expectation when I popped this sucker in, but SHEZMU have wound up as one of the more pleasant surprises of 2020.