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Exessus - Asynapse

by Ricardo Casagrande at 30 December 2022, 12:08 PM

EXESSUS began in 2012 out of Barcelona, Spain. This thrash metal quartet released their first studio album in 2017 with Time In Coma. The ten track album was well received and helped the band gain a core fan base in Barcelona and the southern regions of Spain also. After releasing back to back singles with “Bloodshed” and “No King” earlier this year, the band now offers up thirteen new tracks of energetic and dynamic mix of various styles, each gravitating towards a thrash based sound.

The release opens up with the track “Bloodshed” and I think the group was aiming for more of an impact with the opening track, but it comes up a little short. Not in the musical sense so to speak as there is no shortage of riffs throughout the song, also including a duo of solo’s that are well played. It may be the clean vocals and the slight lack of aggression you come to expect with thrash metal these days, but all in all, not a bad track at all. The album as a whole gives you reason to bang your head and there are songs that are constructed to have the fans be engulfed and engaged with the tracks. Fan participation for the live shows with the vocals seem to fit the bill for these guys. “Oblivion” is an example of one of these, hard hitting, trembling bass line, backing vocals to chant to and catchy hooks to suck you in. “No King” also fits in this description but with a higher degree of tempo with galloping riffs and solid drum work.

Singular” starts off as a more heavy hitting track on the album before giving in to a catchy hook and radio friendly chorus. The song writing within the group is there, well structured and ventures easily between in your face old school thrash with some modernized creativity and singing along worthy choruses. The guitars are a stand out as there is no shortage of great solos and well matched duos that you usually hear with bands that have been playing together for decades. There are a lot of varieties of music that have helped make this record possible, take the track “Voyager” for example. A bluesy almost reggae opening leading into a ballad style track before being overtaken with a muted guitar riff. Some will argue that the track doesn’t belong, others can fairly debate, why not? I stand with the latter.

Welcome to the Hole” is the direct hit of thrash that you are craving for, along with some animal sounds to boot. For the first half of the track anyway, before coming back into the form of a DJ anthem. The last track, or tracks at this point is the song  “Paths” and the extended version also, which is the final song on the album. The song really involves every aspect of what you have on the album. The song is well written and is creatively pieced together to hold the listeners attention. The guitars are once again top shelf with a solid rhythm section of bass and drum to round it out. Chunky and greasy thrash riffs entangled with creative guitars that are in no rush to put an end to the song. A solid song, no matter how you want to label it.

Look, I will tell it as it is and to be honest a lot of thrash metal fans aren’t going to like this album. Most tracks have a radio friendly presence and when the songs hit a fork in the road, they tend to trail towards the catchy and clean instead of the crunchy and grimy. But you can’t argue that some of these songs are good and they grow on you. The first time I listened to it, I was skeptical and harsh, then I took away the label of what I know and want my thrash to be, and took the tracks for what they are and what the musicians wanted them to be. I am not going to kidnap anyone and tie them up and force them to listen to this, but I would say to give it an honest try before fully judging it. Tough one to rate to be honest.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Bloodshed
2. Oblivion
3. No King
4. Paths
5. Strength
6. Inner Parasite
7. Singular
8. Voyager
9. Leaving
10. Old Chains
11. Notes of the Soul pt.2
12. Welcome to the Hole
13. Paths(Extended Version)
Ivan Exe - Vocals, Guitars
Ferran Montasell - Guitars
Gerard Colomer - Bass, Backing Vocals
Victor Garcia - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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