Eaten by Sharks – Eradication Review

It is actually surprisingly difficult to get Eaten by Sharks. Indeed, as those of you who regularly peruse the Indian Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care will know, there are significantly more deaths caused by selfies than by sharks. A concerning study entitled Selfies: A boon or bane? found that, between 2011 and 2017, 259 people worldwide died in 137 incidents related to selfies. 70 of those idiots drowned while trying to get that killer snap. For context, only 50 people died in confirmed shark attacks globally over the same period. The odds of getting bitten by a shark are 1 in 3,748,067, significantly lower than the chances of being killed by fireworks (1 in 340,733) or normal, non-selfie related drowning (1 in 1,134). Indeed, if you want a good reason to stay out of the water, it’s lightning, which is 47 times more likely to kill you than a shark. What then are the chances of St. Catharines, Canada natives Eaten by Sharks catching lightning in a bottle on their self-released debut album, Eradication?

The quintet plays a meaty, groove-heavy form of death metal channeling the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder and Cattle Decapitation, but touching also on Fit for an Autopsy-esque deathcore and even the techy aspects of Job for a Cowboy in places. Guitarists Chris Chaperon and Dan Okowinsky set up a churning sea of chugging riffs, with scattered noodly tech excursions and brief solos, all set to the insistent, pounding rhythms of Justin Whitehead’s drums. There is nothing too complex, nor subtle here and Matt Sherriff’s vocals follow that formula. Shrieks, barnacle-covered growls and snarling barks are the order of the day, as Sherriff spins the yarn of an attack by battalions of heavily armed sharks on human civilization. Chaperon’s jagged, staccato riffage is the perfect painter’s palate for Sherriff to spit salty bile all over the mic.

There is nothing progressive or new here but the muscular riffs turned out by Eaten by Sharks are fun and easy to bang your head to, even as Tyler Abrams’ buzzing, groovy bass on the opening moments of “Depth Charge” sets up a furious breakdown. Album closer “Megalodon” sees Eaten by Sharks allowing just a little more technicality and experimentation to filter into the sound but it’s still pretty safe and by the numbers death / deathcore. It’s also undeniably fun, with the one-two punch of “Dead Weight” and “Kill and Consume” a particular highlight, with the former hitting almost thrash levels of energy in its feeding frenzy middle section. That said, there are no truly memorable riffs here and Eradication is slightly too serious in its execution to really pull off its frankly amazing and ridiculous(ly loveable) concept. If you’re going for a concept album based on an all-out Selachimorpha attack on homo sapiens, you really need it to be either goofy fun or so fucking heavy and brvtal that no one will dare fuck with it.

Lacking both the melodicism of Fit for an Autopsy and the all-out brutality of (older) Cattle DecapitationEradication comes up slightly short but is nonetheless a muscular, heavy album. Even clocking in at just 28 minutes, which some would argue1, makes this an EP, Eradication has little by way of variation or tricks tucked up under its fins, the excellent middle and back end of “Kill and Consume” being the exception. It’s hard to get away from the conclusion that Eaten by Sharks has penned a very solid but ultimately limited record here. For a self-released album, however, a nod must go to the production, which is actually pretty solid. There’s a nice tone to the guitars and the drums sound pretty decent too. The bass does go wandering on occasion but it surfaces enough to not really be a problem, while Sherriff’s vocals have a great gritty edge to them.

The most common sorts of shark attacks are sometimes termed ‘bump n bite’ attacks2, which typically occur in choppy coastal areas with poor visibility. The sharks will bump up against their human prey, take a bite and then usually swim off having determined it lacks the necessary meat and fat content for a really satisfying meal. This is rather how I feel about Eaten by Sharks‘ efforts on Eradication: worth a little bump and bite but ultimately a bit lacking in the substance I need from this genre to really sate me. There is promising blood in the water though, as the building blocks are all here, the musicianship is good and next time I reckon Eaten by Sharks may well have something for me to really sink my serrated teeth into.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-Released
Websites: eatenbysharks.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/eatenbysharksband 
Releases Worldwide: August 26th, 2022

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Not wholly without merit.
  2. A term that could also be used to accurately characterize my style of dancing in my uni days.
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