The five members of Warside are all distinguished in the Lyon extreme metal scene in France. Formed in 2018 out of the ashes of other bands, they present their debut EP with a high level of anticipation in their own country and a sizeable curiosity beyond the borders of Gaul. You’ll be under no illusions when you hear their music – this is death metal in the vain of Aborted. And it’s fucking heavy.
Warside aim to bring out the anger festering inside you and do a good job of setting a high standard of maniacal aggression and cathartic rage. ‘Fahrenheit 451’ will shatter your ear drums and inject your nerves with chronic shakes once the vocals and drums lock in on the pounding guitars. Frontman, Jérôme, is more of a hardcore screamer than a guttural menace, like Rafał Piotrowski of Decapitated. The Polish titans are also a good comparison for the guitar riffs. These are neck-crushing in their intensity and chunkier than a Slimming World convention in Glasgow.
Just one song is enough to confirm this EP will offer no let-up in hysterical rage. ‘Shed No Tears’ is a death-grind affair in the style of Gorgatron with monumental drum work and an excellent medley of drop-tuned guitar rhythms. The deathcore breakdown at the end bludgeons like a demented schizophrenic lashing out at the people he mistakes for the voices in his head. Blast beats and double-bass kicks abound on this and on ‘History of Violence’, which mixes the hostile groove of Kataklysm with the technicality of brutal death metal. Fellow countrymen, Benighted, would make ideal touring partners on the evidence of this song.
The Enemy Inside tackles the themes of frustration and disillusionment with a society that looks after its richest citizens and cares nothing for the working classes who subsist on violent municipal housing estates. France is unique for uniting its socialist left and authoritarian right in vociferous hatred for the modern market economy, and Warside are no different. The race for profit and the soul-destroying enslavement to the rat race win no plaudits here, although you’ll struggle to decipher the lyrics among the extreme aggression. Sometimes, the words pulsate with too much distorted vitriol and distract from the awesome groove of the guitars, but that’s exactly what these Lyonnaise bare-knuckle survivors want you to experience. Theirs are the voices the elite would rather ignore than engage with in the French Republic.
It may offer little in the way of musical innovation, but Warside are invigorating and to the point. ‘Warside (II)’ thrives on a cornucopia of Whitechapel riffs and harmonized guitar lines with the added bonus of a finger-tapping solo and bass workout thrown in for good measure. You can tell these guys are veterans of their instruments.
If Carnation can rise out of their underground scene in Belgium, there’s no reason why these Frenchman cannot do the same when the times comes to unleash their debut album.
Release Date: 20/12/2020
Record Label: Self Released
Standout tracks: Fahrenheit 451, Warside (II)
Suggested Further Listening: Decapitated – Anticult (2017), Gorgatron – Pathogenic Automation (2020), Whitechapel – The Somatic Defilement (2007)