System Shock

Hailing from the Mid-Atlantic United States, Desolus formed prior to the beginning of the pandemic.   I’ve known bass/vocalist Vivek Rangarajan for a number of years now seeing him at a number of shows in and around the MD/DC Metro area.  I actually was able to see Desolus live last year and they tore it up pretty nicely onstage.  Vivek is a huge thrash metal fan, even at his young age, and his battle vests are plastered with various thrash metal bands patches and he has done his homework in terms of knowing a good amount of the history of underground thrash metal.

Rounding out the band is Jimmy Frost (guitars/vocals) and Travis Stone on drums, who is also a former member of Noisem, out of Baltimore.  If you love old-school thrash metal, played with intensity and aggression, well you are going to love System Shock and quite honestly with the push they’re receiving from HHR and the quality of this album and their live shows, I expect Desolus to blow up, over the course of 2024 and into 2025 and can see them being on a multi-tier tour, of bands.

10 songs in 42 minutes the title track opens the album title and the immediate thing that will hit you is the production.  This sounds like a brand-new band issuing a statement to all other aging thrash metal bands.  We Are Desolus and we are here to punish you into oblivion and the instruments sound killer with the monstrous-sounding opening drums before the song rips right into the high-velocity speed.  The main scorching guitar riff jumps right out of the starting gates and brings you back to the Persecution Mania and Agent Orange era Sodom period.  That fast and ripping, as well as with the guitar tone.  Some groove, but mainly this opener is fast through and through and has some killer guitar solos.  Great opening song.

The next song “From Man to Machine”, something happens and it’s with the production or promo sound, as the drop in volume is quite extreme as it gets very low.  So I am unsure if this is with the digital promo or is this an issue with the recording.  I have pre-ordered the CD to show my support for Vivek and because this album is great, so I’ll know more once I get the CD. Regardless this second song is a fast thrasher from beginning to end.

“Metal Fetishist” incorporates more high-velocity chaotic thrash metal, with those Sodom leanings taking the stage and incorporating the Sodom era of Tapping the Vein and Code Red, where the guitar tone is extremely heavy and the deathly rasps of Angelripper made those albums bordering on death metal at times, that is exactly what this song has.  Vivek, letting out a Tom Araya type of scream of yore, mixed with a little bit of Schmier from Destruction.  Then the ultimate homage to Sodom happens after that scream and right into the Sodom-laced groove, which this section is literally a part of the “Magic Dragon” song, by Sodom, you will notice that riff and pacing.  I smile from ear to ear during this part.

“The Invasion Begins” has a great opening with the slow section and while I do not have the lyrics yet, I would imagine this may have some sort of science fiction themes with this being an alien invasion or invasion from the dark side, from the very pits of hell.  The song rips with the Sodom influence and Dark Angel moments too, their Darkness Descends album- which is their best album. A variety of vocal trade offs between the vocalists, scorching guitar solos, and thumping thrash speed.  I like how the song stops on a dime, and then gets back into the high-velocity speed.  Another high-pitched scream signals the song will slow down, which it does, then right back into the intense thrash.

System Shock rips from beginning to end with a production, other than the song #2 issue, allowing all the instruments and vocals to breathe and be heard perfectly.  The album cover goes nicely with the music as it brings back the post-apocalyptic terror of mutants and nuclear threats that bands such as Nuclear Assault, Municipal Waste, and Mortillery used to great effect on many of their album covers.  I have been listening to this album non-stop since receiving the promo.

If you love the thrash metal period from 1986-1992, especially with the above mentioned bands, you will thoroughly enjoy System Shock as Desolus are making their mark early on now, putting bands on notice with such an ass-kicking album from start to finish.  Intense, well-played and ready to burn a hole right down your throat and then body-slam you right through a nuclear reactor is the feeling you will get when listening to this album.  Buy or Die!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
May 6th, 2024


  1. Commented by: Claudia J Solis

    Necesitos dos entradas por favor

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