Reviewed: [August 2022]
Released [2022 Self-Released]
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Someone in our neighborhood has a “Great Lakes: Unsalted & Shark Free” bumper sticker that always makes me chuckle. Also makes me a bit curious about the Jaws-inspired schtick of Ontario’s Eaten By Sharks because, well, like the bumper sticker says.
Anyway, I guess everyone needs an angle. But, fortunately, these guys don’t lay it on too thick, despite titles like “Kill and Consume,” “Apex Predator” or “Megalodon” from their new album. Its their first new music in nine years, following up 2013’s even more obvious EP We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat.
At seven songs and 28 minutes, Eradication isn’t much more than an EP itself. But this is a quality over quantity proposition, because what’s there is pretty intense. It’s definitely heavy, thanks to the production of Cryptopsy guitarist Chris Donaldson who makes the band sound positively massive as they careen through the material that straddles the fence between technical death metal and deathcore, with a bit of groove metal thrown in on the Pantera-esque “Apex Predator.”
Indeed the band do a pretty decent job of marrying those elements together to capture the heaviest bits while leaving out the incessant noodling, rote breakdowns or irritating vocal gymnastics. Matt Sherriff’s shout/shriek/scream/growl delivery certainly is limber. But it fits and follows the music quite well here, a la late Black Dahlia Murder frontman Trevor Strnad, especially on friskier tracks like “Depth Charge” or “Dead Weight,” and never sounds like he’s simply throwing a shit fit.
He definitely doesn’t sound “schticky.” Were it not for the titles, you’d probably never know there was some sort of theme going on here, subtle as it is. And the band don’t betray their intentions and go off sounding all cheesy like some pirate metal outfit. These guys are all business, and put together a pretty compelling, often crushing effort that is way better than you might think it could be.