Album Review – Exuviated / Déliquescence EP (2019)

Get ready to be smashed by 26 minutes of first-class Death Metal brought forth by a talented five-piece act hailing from “Hellgium”.

Forged in the fires of Marche-en-Famenne, a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Luxembourg, in the year of 2009, when they released their debut EP entitled An Era’s Condemned, the unstoppable Death Metal squad comprised of Jean-Philippe Sonnet on vocals, Cédric Grandhenry and Renaut Van Oeyen on the guitars, Pierre Pish Minet on bass and Ahephaim on drums, collectively known as Exuviated, are ready to smash our heads once again with the ruthless music from their brand new EP Déliquescence. Featuring a beyond obscure artwork by the band’s own vocalist Jean-Philippe Sonnet (Threadbare Artwork), Déliquescence not only cements the name of the band in the underground extreme music scene, showing why they’ve already shared the stage with several renowned acts like Six Feet Under, Dark Tranquility, Suffocation and Cattle Decapitation (not to mention their concert at the always insane Wacken Open Air Festival), but it also paves a promising path for the band in the future, all in the name of our good old Death Metal.

Get ready for a heavy and demonic feast of Death Metal made in Belgium (or “Hellgium” as the band likes to call it) in the opening track Rupture, with Cédric and Renaut initiating the devastation with their flammable guitars while Jean-Philippe growls in a true Unleashed-inspired style before a somber break brings fear to our hearts, exploding once again into visceral extreme music until we’re treated to the instrumental piece Trouble, showcasing atmospheric guitar lines intertwined with heavier riffs and tribal beats. And this grim ambience sets the tone for the berserk Errance, where Jean-Philippe gnarls and shrieks demonically while Ahephaim sounds like a stone crusher on drums. In other words, this is ass-kicking Death Metal with a modern twist, offering over seven minutes of intricate and devilish sounds, ethereal passages and sheer violence and rage.

The next track, entitled Absence, is a more cinematic instrumental tune where the band seems like in a musical trance, and with Cédric and Renaut, together with Pierre, generating a vile atmosphere with their stringed weapons perfect for the absolute destruction that follows in Abîme, a classic Death Metal extravaganza infused with several modern extreme styles such as Deathcore and Grindcore, feeling and sounding dense throughout its entirety, with highlights to the amazing job done by the skillful Ahephaim with his brutality and refined technique on drums. Furthermore, it’s impressive how Exuviated are capable of composing Death Metal songs with over six minutes each and never sound boring or repetitive, proving how talented those Belgian metallers are.

In a nutshell, Déliquescence, which is available in full on Spotify and on YouTube, will certainly please all fans of both classic and contemporary Death Metal, leaving us all eager for more of Exuviated’s music in a not-so-distant future. Hence, let’s show our utmost support to the band by following them on Facebook, by subscribing to their YouTube channel, and mainly by purchasing a copy of their brand new incendiary EP from BandCamp, from Apple Music or from Amazon. And may Exuviated keep turning Belgium into “Hellgium” for many years to come, filling our ears with the visceral and violent sounds of our beloved Death Metal.

Best moments of the album: Errance.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Independent

Track listing
1. Rupture 7:33
2. Trouble (Instrumental) 2:21
3. Errance 7:09
4. Absence (Instrumental) 2:58
5. Abîme 6:27

Band members
Jean-Philippe Sonnet – vocals
Cédric Grandhenry – guitars
Renaut Van Oeyen – guitars
Pierre Pish Minet – bass
Ahephaim – drums

Advertisements

Album Review – BlackWolf / The Hunt (2014)

If you think Rock N’ Roll is dead, think again. At least in the United Kingdom it is not only alive, but also stronger than ever.

Rating4

blackwolf_the huntDo you know that sad and annoying feeling when the specialized media insists on saying that Rock N’ Roll is dead, which gets even worse when we turn on the radio and realize the great majority of bands being played in Rock N’ Roll stations are too pop or commercial, not depicting at all the true essence of rock music? Well, if you’ve been suffering from that horrible “illness” lately and don’t know what to do, I have the perfect “remedy” for you: The Hunt, the awesome new album by British Hard Rock band BlackWolf.

It’s simply amazing how many excellent bands and albums are coming from the UK in the past few months, which is also true for this Bristol-based “Soulful Hard Rock N’ Roll” band as they like to call themselves. Mixing some great elements from classic bands such as Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath and Aerosmith, with a more contemporary sonority from Airbourne and Avenged Sevenfold, they were able to create “music from the 70’s” without sounding outdated or nostalgic, all thanks to the professionalism and creativity from all band members.

Their influence from the 70’s/80’s Hard Rock is evident from the very first notes of Mr. Maker, a song that could have been easily recorded by a band like Velvet Revolver, with highlights to its strong vocal work, or in the brilliant Keep Moving On, a song that was born to be a Rock N’ Roll radio hit due to its catchy chorus (you’ll start singing it without even noticing), lots of feeling and an excellent guitar solo. The groovy Moving Mountains, with its old school Black Sabbath riffs and an excellent work done by bassist Ben Webb and drummer Tom Lennox-Brown, will just make you more addicted to this album without any doubt and eager for what’s next.

And what comes after that is, of course, also very pleasant: Faith In Me is a kind of ballad with many elements used by bands like Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with singer Scott Sharp elevating the overall quality of the song with a great performance, while the fast and heavy Trouble, which is absolutely perfect for a road trip, presents a band entirely on fire. Moreover, it’s quite impossible not to get pumped up with this song and its awesome guitar solo. Things slow down a little with Only Said In Silence, a semi-acoustic ballad showcasing a more modern Hard Rock (with another powerful guitar solo by the end of it), but the band quickly gets back in full force with House of Emerald Wine, another memorable tune with an outstanding  touch of Blues Rock added to it.

blackwolfIf after all that awesomeness you still agree with the “specialists” that say Rock N’ Roll is dead, simply listen to Raised On the Sun and you’ll change your mind. this song is classic Stoner Rock at its best, with vocalist Scott Sharp killing it once again. Or maybe you should take a listen at the fast beats and awesome riffs from Black Hole Friend, another above-average Hard Rock track? But wait, there’s still more Rock N’ Roll to come with the very traditional approach and lots of feeling found in Dragging Ghosts and Relief, the latter being a very good proof that this band never gets tired of playing true rock music.

There are two more songs to go in The Hunt, the first called Sleepwalking, a ballad that will please most fans of that pure classic Rock N’ Roll, and Sea of Mercy, a high-end track that sounds more like a tribute to the 70’s than just a regular song. Besides that, the nice album art also seems totally inspired by some of the old Black Sabbath albums, such as the classic Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

In short, all I can say about this album is that if BlackWolf were born let’s say about 30 or 40 years ago, they would be for sure one of the greatest Rock N’ Roll bands of all time, a reference in traditional Hard Rock, and we would see lots of grown-ups and kids wearing their T-shirts on the streets today. And if you got excited with this review and, more important than that, with BlackWolf’s thrilling and passionate music, you can purchase The Hunt as a shrink-wrapped 4 panel Digipack packaging with CD or as a digital copy on iTunes. It’s because of bands like BlackWolf that we can joyfully ignore the media and rest assured Rock N’ Roll will never die.

Best moments of the album: Keep Moving On, Trouble and House of Emerald Wine.

Worst moments of the album: Only Said In Silence and Dragging Ghosts.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. Mr. Maker 4:00
2. Keep Moving On 4:10
3. Moving Mountains 3:28
4. Faith In Me 4:35
5. Trouble 3:16
6. Only Said In Silence 4:40
7. House of Emerald Wine 3:28
8. Raised On the Sun 4:48
9. Black Hole Friend 3:22
10. Dragging Ghosts 4:47
11. Relief 4:05
12. Sleepwalking 4:10
13. Sea of Mercy 4:50

Band members
Scott Sharp – vocals
John Greenhill – guitars
Jason Cronin – guitars
Ben Webb – bass
Tom Lennox-Brown – drums