The ex-Hells Headbangers Records recording artists Expunged, hailing out of Ottawa, Canada, returns with a new album. This time released by their compatriots from CDN Records, who also released the split cassette tape/CD with Cruel Fate in 2021. Although the band has changed home base, the musical course has not changed dramatically at all, so fans of the earlier work can breathe a sigh of relief.
The Death Metal underlying the brand these Canadians bring still feels very European, with a clear Bolt Thrower vibe throughout the riffs and rhythms. But although the machine keeps rolling throughout the album, the band weaves enough other elements through it to make it by no means a copy of any other band. Tempos are sufficiently interspersed, but especially the use of some guitar leads, which incidentally do feel a bit more like American, bring the main variety to the music. That these slightly more dynamic pieces do not always necessarily work out well is shown by the droning intermezzo placed in the middle (at the end of ‘When Will It End’), which comes across as an annoying interruption of the otherwise pleasant drive of the album. In the vocal department, Expunged doesn’t bring anything new, a fairly standard grunt that basically fits the rest of the music, but its powerlessness also shows that this is the weakest link in the band’s game.
As a whole, Expunged delivered another decent album. Solidly performed, but not overly spectacular. Now I am also fairly sure that this was never necessarily the band’s aim either, so they have certainly succeeded in that intention. As this review also started, none of the fans of the previous work will have trouble recognising the band or be bothered by the criticisms raised above.