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Exsul – Exsul [EP]

exsul – exsul [ep]


Arizona based Death Metal duo Exsul released their debut and self-titled EP on cassette at the back end of 2020, and on the back of that Caligari put the EP out on CD the following year. The opening to this EP is sublimely brooding and oppressively dark, satisfyingly so. Thick chugging riffs soar on high before crashing destructively to the ground, whilst viciously callous growling vocals sound out powerful from the near impenetrable gloom created through the bands labyrinthine sound of churning guitars and thundering drum tones. For the most part the opening track is a monolithic slab of molten slag, a seething mass of boiling, festering spite. Yet there are occasions when their play slips the shackles of this sound and roar forwards with violent and deadly intent.

Almost in spite of the opening tracks sound, ‘Yersinia Pestis’ is a feral blast of disease ridden noxious extremity that blasts along at breakneck speed in a maelstrom of angry, cacophonous riffs and frenetic drumming, aided by a pulsing, gurgling noise from the bass. Only as the track develops does a more predatory aspect start to raise its ugly head. Proving that songcraft is vitally important to any great release, Exsul include a lingering, foreboding interlude before rising from this chasm with suffocating heaviness before embarking on a bout of furious, chugging savagery. In every aspect, ‘Yersinia Pestis’ is a fucking killing machine; apt of course as ‘Yersinia Pestis’ is the scientific name for Bubonic Plague.

Keeping things suitable dark is ‘Cocytus’, more commonly known from Greek mythology as the wailing river that bends and twists its way through the underworld. Now this track is a high energy barrage of maniacal grinding riffs and pummelling drum tones, aided and abetted by more thundering bass tones, savage guitar solos and crusty, grumbling vocals. Eventually Exsul insert more dominating, grim toned oppression in the form of some slower riffs, but slow or fast, this is another mountainous track. The EP is brought to a halt by ‘Inopia’, a sadistic and deranged sounding slice of brooding Death Metal that gives way to belligerent hammerings. What an EP this is, and a debut to boot. I’m very happy to have their second EP to review, I can tell you that!


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