Review by Tomek on May 6, 2011.
Discovering new bands is one of the guilty pleasures I take when it comes to music. New bands bring a lot of surprises but also comparisons. Older bands get “compared to” but can also bring surprises themselves - time and time again. Excruciation formed a long time ago and even though they’re being “compared to”, they surprise on many levels.
I can’t say that Death/Doom Metal that they serve is something I haven’t heard before, but there is something there, something that demands numerous listens, something that stays with you, something that keeps going around in your head. One of many treats is the vocals. As much as I like deep growls, the approach that Eugenio Meccariello decided to take fits very best in here. Vocals range from spoken word parts to Classic Doom growl, Rock or even computerized lamentation effects that remind me of Tom G Warrior and mighty Celtic Frost. Vocals in Doom Metal can either destroy or create the vibe and can differentiate band from being the leader or one of many. I haven’t heard anything even similar to what we have here in a long while.
Drum and bass are always big part of Death/Doom releases, and this one is no different. Both of them work together to create the heartbeat of the album and are pushed to the front to keep the music pulsating in the speakers. Guitar work is being delivered by three players here and melodies and sadness they bring never fail to stir emotions. It all sounds amazing, different and very mournful. I used to wish for guitar sound to be a little bit meatier but than it could take away from the rest and album would lose its magic. Heavy, chugging and fresh, atmospheric, progressive and emotional - it takes you back to the time when Doom ruled the Earth.
Even though Excruciation was formed in Switzerland around 1984 and it took them a few years to come around, this is the album all doomsters should be talking about. It has all the elements of great release and even though production is lacking in few spots, it sounds fresh and interesting. Whenever I listen to it, I get teleported back in time. I am back in school trading tapes, Xeroxing cassette inserts and drawing logos on the school desk. How many of the new bands can do that? If you read this and decide to never check out the actual music you’ll miss out on one of the greats in the ocean of sadness. Make your choice.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 8.4 out of 10