Shezmu is a Montreal-based doom metal trio — founding member Oliver Bérubé Emond a.k.a. Comte Bergaby (vocals, guitar) and Marc-André Labonne (drums), along with the band’s newest member, Sol Miracula’s and Aiauasca’s Yanick Tremblay-Simard (bass) — derive their name from the ancient Egyptian god of wine, oils, blood and slaughter. Founded back in 2016, the band released three efforts as a duo, a self-titled demo cassette in 2017, which they followed up with two mini-albums 2018’s The Scent of War and Breaching The Tomb. Interestingly, that same year saw the band expand into a trio with the addition of Tremblay-Simard.
The band has long had a deep and abiding love of history — and because the band’s name is inspired by one of the more contradictory Egyptian gods, the Montreal-based doom band’s sound can generally be described as contradictory, explorative, expansive and genre-defying: pummeling drumming, enormous power chord riffs and rumbling down-tuned bass help to create a murky and evil sound. Slated for a July 27, 2020 release through Krucyator Productions, the band’s forthcoming full-length debut A Travers Les Lambeaux, reportedly finds the band taking a much different songwriting approach. While still drawing from ancient history, the album’s material explores themes of rage, sorrow and madness — but the album features some of Emond’s most personal and urgent lyrics to date.
“Les Secrets des Ziggourats,” A Traver Les Lambeaux’s lattât single is a furious and forceful aural assault centered around pummeling drumming, enormous power chord-based riffage, rumbling bass and howled vocals. While the song — to my ears, at least — seems to evoke the gates of hell slowly being opened, the track is a howl of desperate and seemingly unending despair and of awe. “‘Les Secrets des Ziggourats’ talks about mental health — more precisely schizophrenia and epilepsy — and their roles during ancient times,” the band explains in press notes. “People with such mental illness were often portrayed as they came from the gods themselves.”