Frakasm - And So The Blood Was Shed

Great Dane Records have themselves another fantastic release from France’s Frakasm just 6 years after their debut on the label. These guys started out in 2015 and have been churning out a great blend of brutal but melodic Death Metal style since 2017. Heavy yet technical, ear scorching yet catchy, this five piece (though the status of their drummer is currently up in the air) mix the likes of Deicide and blend it with Carcass and Death for 8 tracks on “And So The Blood Was Shed” as a wild yet abrasive ride. The vocals are the most abrasive part with the vicious late 90s Glen Benton styled grunt, but that abrasiveness is offset by the guitars which have some of the better melodies. Just listening to a track like the opening ‘Unholy Sacrifical Eucharist’ displays this quite well and with the layered vocals, thunder machine gun drumming, and virtuous melodies, older listeners can tell that while some of the technical prowess has been shed compared the 2017 debut, the melody and groove factors have been upped quite a bit, leading certainly more towards a more 90s version of a group like Inferi (minus the keyboards of course). That’s not to say they’ve softened up, they just got more engaging. Other tracks like ‘Dilaceratio Corporis’ seem right out of the Deicide playbook but still have very catchy riffs and a bit more brutality to them. The bass is a little more audible too to add to the rumble of the drums.

‘Fire in the Sky’ is where Frakasm really gets their groove going. The shift towards a more Melodeath style of Carcass is certainly heard here but the melody is so infectious when that recognizable riff comes through one cannot help but headbanging. It is a bit more of a mid paced track but well balanced and a certain standout pick for the album overall. If Frakasm wanted to showcase a single, this would be it. It has all the right hooks to sink in for new listeners and even older ones will enjoy it. Other tracks like ‘The Dark, the Fall…’ are more Death influenced and have a bit of the all over the place touches with tone and pace. ‘The Last Breath of Life’ is perhaps the only ‘stale’ track as it tends to rely on the main riff a bit too much, but while the guitar work is less virtuous, at the same times the drums redeem it with thick, percussive work and just some excellent blast beats that carry well with the mid to slow pace of the track. There are even some thrashy moments halfway through the track with the chugging riffs, but again compared to the more technical/ melodic aspects of some the earlier tracks, it just doesn’t quite come off as strong. Some aspects of Frakasm’s music do tend to get repetitive, but like the riffs from ‘Fire in the Sky’ they try to make it so listeners want to hear those guitar lines over and over again. Kind of like the building churn of ‘Rituals of Time’ from the now defunct Dew Scented.

‘Sulphur Revenge’ and ‘I Curse You All’ are more groove oriented and sacrifice melody for just chunky, strong riffs. Vocals are still consistent throughout with the growls, and while not as layered or diverse as heard on the first track, these meaty pieces showcase some more of Frakasm’s nods to the likes of “Serpents of the Light” Deicide era. The bass is perhaps strongest on ‘I Curse You All’ which is just thick and crushing to go along with the bludgeoning riffs. Frakasm do end on a melodic note with the closing ‘Lunar Blood Obscession’ which has a good balance of mid to fast pace and again features catchy groove but adds in the melodies that populated much of the earlier half of the album. Still Carcass influenced, but still heavy, and certainly nothing to scoff at. While fans might be a little disappointed Frakasm did change things up a bit on “And So The Blood Was Shed” by opting for more groove and melody versus technicality, the result is still very satisfying. Fans of anywhere from Melodeath to Modern Death Metal to Groove Metal will enjoy this. Frakasm have given listeners 8 tracks of just solid Death Metal that can be enjoyed from all angles. If the song isn’t brutal enough, the vocals make sure that edge is covered. The instruments do their part to crate engaging and melodic tracks that even when repetitious are still enjoyable. Definitely worth checking out for those who like their Death Metal balanced and crushing without relying on the typical tropes of today’s titans in the industry to grab listeners.
4 / 5 STARS

1. Unholy Sacrificial Eucharist
2. Dilacératio Corporis
3. Fire In The Sky
4. The Dark, The Fall, And The Oblivion
5. The Last Breath Of Life
6. Sulphur Revenge
7. I Curse You All
8. Lunar Blood Obscession