As Legends Fade And Gods Die
Review by Fernando on September 26, 2022.
New Zealand started making their metal scenes known since the mid 2000’s, and while many would point out acts like Diocletian and Ulcerate, today we have the black/thrash act Exordium Mors, a name that more people should be aware of, especially now since on Halloween they will unleash their sophomore record As Legends Fade And Gods Die, through Praetorian Sword Productions as that label’s inaugural release.
Exordium Mors was originally formed in 2004 and over the years they soldiered on in the NZ underground, until after a decade of existence they unleashed their debut record The Apotheosis Of Death, and that record, alongside their earlier EP’s and demos, displayed a style of unrelenting and blistering of blackened thrash with some death metalish leanings which made their sound very old school and purposefully inaccessible to both the uninitiated and even raw black metal diehards. This sound for this new LP is further refined and polished, and without the band discarding any of their savagery and rawness.
The most striking difference of this record from their debut is the production quality. This record’s sound is crisp but very natural sounding, very similar to the records of the 80’s, and this in turns perfectly displays not just the band’s sheer and uncomparable brutality, but also their excellent compositions, as each instrument has room to shine, from the dueling guitars of founding members Santi and Black Mortum which switch from piercing riffs and wailing solos, to the galloping and unrelenting drumming C. Sinclair which is both punishing and overwhelming in its speed and intensity, and of course the completely unhinged vocals of Scourge Witchfucker, as he continues display his throat-searing and screeching growls and he also flexes more guttural vocals for key moments and even some King Diamond-esque screams, and I also have to mention the bass work of Assailant, as he both matches the speed of the guitars and complements the brutality of the drums from his band members, but it's also surprisingly prominent throughout the album, which in my own opinion, is what gives Exordium Mors their old school thrash metal sound. All in all every member is operating at their absolute peak and the overall performances are excellent, and make this a record that would absolutely slay in a live setting.
Another major difference from the band’s debut and what makes this record so good is how the band continue balancing brutality and technicality, and in regards to the latter aspect, the band have certainly added more innovative elements, like abrupt changes of speed, a much stronger sense of melody and even employ some atmospherics to build momentum, but make no mistake, those elements are added to further enhance the band’s violent sound, and furthermore, the old school elements that hearken to early Kreator and Sodom as well as the cult masters of extreme metal Sadistik Exekution, are simply the band’s groundwork as their style and overall sound pushes the sonic extremity to its zenith and pummels it. Finally, the band are masters of pacing and composition, their first record displayed this well, but here the band deftly make songs that last as long as they need to, and never overstay their welcome, the main examples are the three longest tracks of the record, 'Flesh Of The Heathen', 'Crown Of Dust' and the album closer 'Triumphator', the band make the 7 and 8 minutes those songs length count and end at the right moment, as for the rest of the tracks, the same praise applies, and with a total running time of 43 minutes, this is a robust and complete package from beginning to end that will also be worth replaying.
Exordium Mors have truly outdid themselves and I genuinely can’t stress how more people should check as this is a band that truly and masterfully exemplifies the extremity of metal beyond any specific label. The one and only minor nitpick I can mention is that the album is very singular in its sound, but that’s not even an issue because it's a sign of how consistent the band are, and it completely sells this as a full album experience and with each song being able to stand on its own. It's easily one of the better albums of 2022 and I can’t wait to see what these New Zealand mad lads do next.
Best tracks: 'I Saw Oblivion', 'A Pyrrhic Sacrament', 'Flesh Of The Heathen', 'Crown Of Dust', 'Triumphator'
Rating: 9.8 out of 10575