Sharks In Your Mouth – Sacrilegious

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Self-released
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://sharksinyourmouth.com/album/1113425/sacrilegious
Band Website: Sharks In Your Mouth | Official Website

Band line-up:

Andrea “Andy” Pali – vocals
Daniele “Bobo” Monaldi – rhythm guitar
Valerio “Vaela” Quirini – lead guitar
Diego “Dydo” Nardelli – bass
Enrico “Enry” Rivetti – drums

Guest musician:

Daniele Gottardi – guitar solo (track 4)

Tracklisting:

1. Black Tears
2. The Covenant
3. Sacrilegious
4. Dethroned
5. Sinner
6. R.I.P.
7. As Above, So Below
8. This Is Gonna Hurt
9. Fear Me, Feed Me
10. Marked
11. Curtain
12. Fall (The Covenant Part II)

Review:

Sacrilegious is Sharks In Your Mouth’s sophomore album, released three years after their debut Promises. A band that has covered artists such as Linkin Park and Eminem, their sources of inspiration are clearly quite diverse.

Sharks In Your Mouth explains the story behind their latest release:

…we created what we call ‘The Covenant’ saga, which is our theme and concept. … The story brings us back in 1799, middle Italy,  where an elite group of rich and evil people are founding  a secret society called ‘The First Order’, they possess an ancient magical book that must be burned for not letting them dictate the socials and morals 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.

Black Tears’ is Sacrilegious’ instrumental opening track, its name hinting at what is visually explored in their music videos for the singles ‘Sacrilegious’, ‘Marked’ and ‘This Is Gonna Hurt’. In the band’s story for this album, The Covenant appear to have reclaimed the painting of black tears as an act of rebellion against the The First Order who traditionally marked their victims in this way.

Rivetti provides some relentless beats throughout the title track ‘The Covenant’, providing the backbone of its brutal approach. Beginning with a soft percussion-only opening, the title track ‘Sacrilegious’ builds to create a roaring sound, most notably featuring some impressive warped riffs from Monaldi and Quirini.

About 43 seconds in on ‘Dethroned’, a fantastic half-minute guitar solo from guest musician Gottardo can be heard, the band revealing that he used an “eight finger tapping technique”. The last chorus and verse where Pali’s clean and harsh vocals can be heard simultaneously wraps this track up nicely, unifying the melodic and manic voices, forming a bittersweet ending. There are other moments in ‘Sacrilegious’ where this technique is used, but it is done most cohesively here.

There is a superb “djenty” section in ‘Sinner’ (around the 1.36-1.54 mark) which really shows off the technical ability of the band as a whole.

The sixth track’s intro is very similar to Linkin Park’s ‘What I’ve Done’. One of the most sinister-sounding songs on the album, the lyrics suggest that ‘R.I.P.’ is told from the viewpoint of The First Order, the opposition of The Covenant:
Drink your tears, you’re not going anywhere / Say your prayer, save your soul cause your body will stay here with me / Let me in / Let me in and feel the steel on your skin / Drink your tears and pray

Dydo Nardelli’s bass-work on ‘As Above, So Below’ is particularly powerful, dominating its crushing sound. The lyric counting “1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6” is repeated a few times frenetically and although the delivery works, the repetition of the threes sound phonetically a little out of place.

The melodic singing in ‘This Is Gonna Hurt’ is definitely a strong-point, being its most memorable feature. 

The melodies in ‘Marked’ are extremely catchy and the clean vocals are the most successful. Its outro is a great transition to the following penultimate track. ‘Curtains’, only seconds long, serves as a reprise of ‘The Covenant’ and an introduction to the final track.

Fall (The Covenant Part II)’ is quite similar to part one apart from the choral and orchestral section in the middle of the song, which gives this last chapter a more epic and grandiose feel than its predecessor ‘The Covenant

Andy Pali utilises both clean vocals and possessed screams, the way he effortlessly transitions from the two techniques working extremely well throughout Sacrilege. However, the rapped and spoken sections do not convey the lyrics as powerfully as the sung and screamed parts. At times, all of the aforementioned types of vocal are rolled into one song — most notoriously in ‘Fear Me, Feed Me’— and tends to feel a little overindulgent. Overall, it is an ambitious performance by Pali, as many styles are delivered by a sole lead vocalist on the album, showcasing his vocal versatility.

Sharks In Your Mouth, as far as the music is concerned, have successfully fused symphonic elements that bring to mind the late 18th-century Italian time period Sacrilegious is set in with contemporary genres, spanning from post-hardcore to progressive metal.

Sacrilegious is for fans of bands such as Thy Art Is Murder, Bring Me The Horizon (circa Suicide Season-era), Atreyu, and King 810, since elements of these outfits can be recognised in Sharks In Your Mouth’s latest offering. It would also bode well with those who appreciate concept albums that bridge historic tales and classical compositions with the present day’s sound.

Review by Kira Levine

 

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