Review: “Promises” by Sharks In Your Mouth

Named after the I Killed The Prom Queen song and hailing from Ancona on the East Coast of Italy, Sharks In Your Mouth first came to our attention for their heavy Linkin Park cover which appeared in the build up to the release of this, the bands debut full length album in 2016. The video for their version of “One Step Closer”, which was professionally shot and saw the band playing through the song at an indoor skate park has interestingly been subsequently pulled from YouTube. However, this cut from the bands show in Moscow in November 2015 in support of We Came As Romans remains.

The album starts of with “Louder” which features guest vocals from Breakdown Of Sanity frontman Carlo Knöpfel. Straight from the off, breakdown with buried electronics before a guttural unclean sets the tone. But when mid-way through the track a clean vocal appears, it catches you almost completely off guard. The momentum slows to give the cleans breathing space before diving back into the uncleans with 20 seconds to go. “The Storm” then appears with a melodic Metalcore start and guest vocals from Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King fame. The track however soon picks up and brings back the heavier elements while sticking firmly to the clean vocal over the chorus. During some of those clean vocal parts it’s reminiscent of Alaskan Metalcore mainstays 36 Crazyfists in style, an influence perhaps.

“Insanity” then brings back the buried electronics and uses a speech sample to intro the track over an eerie riff before diving head-long into an opening guitar attack. It threatens Nu-Metal but is actually far heavier during the opening part, vicious and furious vocals over a fast paced and bouncy riff before a purposeful slow to allow a call and return part with a screamed line against a clean line. The next chorus part introduces a whispered vocal which helps to make the heavier parts sound heavier by offering huge contrast within the song. It’s here that the next surprise of the release appears. “Forgive” is an acoustic song with accented clean vocals that for the first time on the release remind you that the bands first language isn’t English. It’s an interesting touch as it showcases another side to the band and some more guitar skills. When the song bursts into life with a flurry of electric guitars and drums two-thirds of the way through for a pre-chorus and chorus, the song is made. The closing electronics are a music box treat that again is unexpected. “Your Ghosts” then picks up the pace again where the earlier material left off, Metalcore immediacy with bounce, verve and energy, before an interesting EDM vs guitar closing that leans towards the band remixing their material at some point. Again, perhaps a We Came As Romans influence creeping in, stylistically.

“#TrustNoBitch” keeps things flowing nicely with some tasty breakdowns and uncleans while a gang chant bridge section is a nice touch. The band demonstrate solid musicianship and song writing ability throughout. “Say It To My Face” is the third song of the 9 to feature a guest vocal, this time around Aaron Matts of Betraying The Martyrs lending the tones. Easily the heaviest of the songs on display and perhaps even the most accomplished, it’s a Metalcore song with Deathcore leanings which throws a curve ball with some vinyl scratching work towards the end. The contrast between the vocalists on the song is deliberately kept obvious with Aaron Matts delivering a fine performance and a decent amount of lyrical content. “Everything Ends” then brings us to what is and perhaps should be the close of the album. It’s a pile-driver of a song with a driving riff and lyrics about revenge. The clean lines are followed by a gang chant and the song itself takes all that’s good from the album and acts as a tidy summary. The repeated bass drops on the closing segment are a nice touch. The closing “Insanity” Remix by NREC is fine as remixes go but completely unnecessary here. Dubstep beats fused with the over laid vocal parts before introducing some broken guitar breakdowns later.

Sharks In Your Mouth have a lot in common with the heavier end of We Came As Romans, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the two bands have toured together. Their sound is distinctly Metalcore though there is a bit of Deathcore creep and some buried electronic elements that serve to lift and highlight some of the songs, providing a nuance. Only time will tell if the band are doing enough to separate themselves from the pack, but they certainly have enough high energy material to do so here.  [7.5/10]

Track listing

1. Louder feat. Carlo Knöpfel of Breakdown Of Sanity  04:20
2. The Storm feat. Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King 04:29
3. Insanity  04:34
4. Forgive  04:45
5. Your Ghosts  04:39
6. #TrustNoBitch  04:58
7. Say it to my Face feat. Aaron Matts of Betraying The Martyrs  03:55
8. Everything Ends  03:56
9. In Sanctity (Insanity Remix by NREC)  03:23

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