As 2017 hits its final quarter I was musing over how many great releases there have been so far and in any other year Frakasm’s debut would probably have been a very good one. However when put up against the glut of exceptional albums within the death metal scene in 2017 it is above average at best but not without its share of wacko ideas typical of French extreme metal bands. Frakasm do things a little differently just to shake things up a bit as only bands from France do.

Whilst the crackpot ideas are holstered ready for deployment at opportune moments the first one is loaded, cocked and fired immediately on opener “Reaper’s Return” which starts with what can only be described as a funky riff amid a running battle of drumming and growling, snarling and harshly splattered vocals. Sadly that unconventional riffing approach doesn’t continue throughout the album but a groove riff infestation saturates the release that makes it an easy set of songs to absorb that continues with “Cerebral Torture”. The opening riff has a stoner feel with a gnarly tone with only the vocals hinting at the death metal credentials as the speed is kept within mid-tempo for the majority of the album as whole. There are sporadic blast elements on “Orgasmic Plutonium Warfare” creating a frenetic assault which add some texture and aggression but it is the quirky riffing I like best on the album as this tune shoots the occasional one at you if you’re listening carefully enough.

“Treachery” has another one of those riffs that catches your ear momentarily before it dissolves into the body of the tracks death metal structure amidst a flurry of half blasted drumming. The abrupt change in riffing is excellent and will have that head swaying in unison to funkier riffing with some cool bass plucking that leads to a fine if short-lived lead break. “Inferia Gloria” starts inauspiciously utilising a similar structure to the other tracks by building the song nicely towards a fine melodic riff alongside a coasting double kick. The cohesion within this song is better as the fluidity scurries the song towards a fine lead break and subsequent cool riff break. The opening riff to “Nekrocannibal” is great, very gritty and memorable as the song diverts temporarily away from it for the lyrics before returning to it. The tune is catchy, with a pounding beat that is inherently groove metal rather than death metal unleashing a nice lead break making the song a standout on the album.

Whilst my claim in the opening paragraph that this is an above average album it should be put in the context of in comparison to this year’s releases as Frakasm have released a debut awash with ideas and created a platform from which they can propel themselves as it is clear they have plenty to offer.

(7.5/10 Martin Harris)