Saturday, March 28, 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Extermination Angel "Demo 2015" *UPDATED*

Having played as the first band of the first day of my first Maryland Deathfest in 2012, Extermination Angel already has a special place in my heart. That said, their music has solidified that place in my regular rotations as well. They play a fast, barbaric type of Death Metal that still has Thrash elements and is brutal as hell! So many bands play 'bestial' or 'war' metal or some similar moniker, but deliver, basically, boring blast beats and fast but uninteresting guitar riffing and maybe bass so distorted as to be non-existent. Extermination Angel avoids those pratfalls and clearly understands exactly how to make a primitive but fast and uncompromising late 80's Death/Thrash Metal something like early Kreator, Destruction, Celtic Frost, and Sarcofago. As awesome as their albums are, their live show is FAR more intense as the whole band is very animated and the two times I've seen them (MDF and at the Acheron in Brooklyn, NY) their live sound has been even crunchier and heavier.

All that said, check them out here. Now, on to the current battle executed by Extermination Angel, their 2015 Demo. The intro is a melancholic, depressive guitar riff that builds to a cymbal smash as the guitars drop in and we get a vocal exclamation to start off the album proper with "War Torture." The song quickly builds speed, drops an "UGH!" and it's on! Fast and bestial with primitive arrangements and progressions, this is like Celtic Frost and Sarcofago in style and production! "Formation" has a more late 80's American Death Metal type riff in its chugginess and progression which speeds up and continues in an American meets Bathory vein (moreso in the vocal delivery). It grinds out any doubts as to its intentions to close out the track. "Exterminate" starts off with samples of the same word (possibly from Doctor Who???)... and then it's over. "Never Be Born Again" finishes the album with an initially clunking riff that speeds up into an American Death Metal riff, comparable at the moment to Massacre and Morbid Angel but far dirtier in the production. There's a return to the slower version of the riff at the end of the song to show some mercy. It's a short demo, with the acutal 'songs' totaling 7:20 in length (plus a 38 second intro and the 19 second "Exterminate") but it's potent. It crushes its enemies, sees them driven before it, and hears the lamentations of their women.

As of the time of writing, I'm waiting to hear back from the band if they have any cassettes left, as I just have the digital download now. I missed out on a hard copy of their 2009 Demo so, never again!

Addendum, May 14th 2015: I've been informed that Shawn is no longer fronting Extermination Angel, instead he is now working on a project called Bestial Evil (from Maryland, there is also one from Italy). My review of Extermination Angel's 2015 Demo with the current line-up stands, however my review of the band live is no longer accurate. I would definitely see Extermination Angel again with the new lineup, however I must add that Shawn added quite a bit to the intensity of the live show and any current live shows may be significantly different. A review of Shawn's new band can be found here.

I remain very excited for future Extermination Angel releases despite any line-up changes. Update regarding hard-copy cassettes versions of the 2015 demo: apparently there was an issue with production and instead CD-R's are available.

*Review and photos copyright The Samnambulist, 2015*

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