I’ve heard enough black and death metal from France to know how weird (or experimental, if you prefer) they can get if the French set their minds to it. Yet thrash is a genre that I hardly hear from the region, with Unscarred probably being the first French thrash band that I encounter. Fake Democracy is the band’s first demo, and it definitely is exciting to find out whether the French are as unique in their thrash, as they are in the other genres.
But rather than experimenting in any ways, Unscarred provides us with one hell of a ride, and right from the start of Fake Democracy with 100 Lashes, the listener is treated to a strongly Bay Area-influenced style of thrash metal, not unlike that of bands such as Exodus or Testament. The high octane, breakneck speed that Unscarred goes at provides for an extremely intense listening experience, and apart from the fast riff work of guitarists Bo Ris and Nico, the punishing drumming of Franck easily reminds one of contemporary bands such as Havok or Bonded by Blood.
At the same time, instead of just that aggressive thrash attack, Unscarred also includes more melodic moments throughout the album, with the band often going into more melodic and slightly mellower sections. Furthermore, with the vocals of Niloofars, the band at times almost goes into melodic power metal territory, reminding one of better days of bands such as Firewind, and this is certainly one thing that managed to capture my attention. Niloofars also proves her vocal capabilities, and apart from the soaring singing, she easily engages in a more aggressive, gruff growl as well.
Unscarred has certainly gone to prove that the French can be pretty normal at times also, and while Fake Democracy doesn’t attempt to reinvent the genre in any way, it is an extremely enjoyable release with the nice balance of aggression and melody.