Review: “Piranha or Whale?” EP by Dehydrated

Having delayed the release of “Piranha or Whale?” in order to record “something special”, we’ve had to wait a couple of weeks to review the latest offering from Tomsk Serbian female fronted Death Metallers Dehydrated. They’ve been around for the past 5 years with a trio of albums (2010’s “Duality of Existence”, 2012’s “Zone Beneath The Skin”, 2015’s “Awake In Era”) and a pair of EPs to their name as well as appearances at major Metal festivals in Ukraine, Belarus and Poland and tours over Russia and Eastern Europe.

It’s been 12 months since standalone single “Parallels” appeared to tide us over while the band got some shows completed and with 70 seconds of eerie pick axe on stone in xylophone patterns refocusing the mind in “Reboot”, we get thrown into some Meshugga esq DJent riffs with bits of Death Metal and blast beats to accompany some skull crushing gravity defying vocals from frontwoman Ire in “Hell Doesn’t Exist”. Her gutteral growls are match for anyone but comparisons to Tatiana Shmaylyuk of Jinjer fame wouldn’t be too far from the mark, her uncleans a match for her on say “Sit Stay Rollover” and her cleans at the Eastern European folk music with jazzy hits break showcasing a range that you might not expect. Breaking out of that with a roar, full throttle footwork on the kit and some ripping riffs is done in masterful form. Introduced by a dark spoken word, title track “Piranha or Whale?” is a battering ram of chugged riffs with momentary breaks and squeals that breaks off into a “Master of Puppets” era Metallica inspired melodic instrumental bridge. That cycle is repeated twice with the “stop and think” message being the theme. It’s a powerhouse tune that pulls no punches and it seamlessly genre shifts musically while maintaining that brute force aggression and punishingly good vocals.

Slowing things back down for a classical Metal introduction passage with “Wall of Pride” gradually building to a blast beat crescendo and a glass shattering roar that breaks every window of a tower block, the musicanship on show is seriously impressive. Cutting between the melody and the Death Metal riffs for an intertwined bridge is a great fun and when it finishes it’s one that could happily go on for another verse chorus pair. The Russian language version of “Piranha or Whale?” is indeed the “something special” that the band promised with the vocals having an extra edge over the English language version as it clearly means that much more to the band themselves. The music works just as well in this version, there are no forced moments where longer phrasing is squeezed into a smaller frame. Overall, the EP is another fine example of a female fronted band from the region that should go global in the not too distant future. Hopefully Napalm Records are listening… [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Reboot (Intro)
  2. Hell Doesn’t Exist
  3. Piranha or Whale?
  4. Wall of Pride
  5. Piranha or Whale? (Russian Version)

“Piranha or Whale?” By Dehydrated is out now and available over at bandcamp

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