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Exessus - Time In Coma

Exessus
Time In Coma
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 July 2018, 8:53 AM

The origins of Thrash Metal is a debated topic in Metal. Of course, we have the infamous “big four,” which is also debated heavily, and some other noteworthy acts from the 1980’s. The essence of the genre at the time was for blue collar bands who were in one sense rebelling against the excessive use of teased hair and make-up that the Glam bands were doing at the time. In another sense, they were expanding Heavy Metal with speed and complexity. For today, we have EXESSUS, a Thrash Metal quartet, hailing from Barcelona, Spain, and their debut old-school Thrash release “Time In Coma.” The album contains nine tracks.

“Leaving the Darkness/Genoicde” opens with doleful clean guitar notes. The simple melody here is actually quite effective. Distorted guitars soon join in, along with a scream from vocalist Exe. There is definitely some early EXODUS in the riffing, and a Chuck Billy element in the vocals. The guitar work is adept and they keep everything moving tightly. “Rage for Truth” also opens with clean guitar and an air of suspense. The clean guitars have an Eastern quality to them. A chunky distorted guitar riff then enters in, along with some thwacking bass notes. Though it keeps pretty traditional in terms of the genre origins, it also features some good creativity in the oft narrow borders. “Paralysis” comes hard out of the gates, with a mid-tempo groove and plenty of pig squeals. It’s a little bit bland however in terms of the riff.

“Eternal Injustice” has a speedier pace. I again applaud the band for the presence of the bass guitar, which some bans criminally underuse. The melodic passages are surprising, but great. They bring another element to the song. “Contaminated Mentally” is a seven minute beast, with some time changes and vocal snarls. The “shout and answer” vocals are reminiscent of bands like DEATH ANGEL for me. It takes a turn around the five minute mark, with some steady lean guitar work and a key change. “The Everlasting Sunrise” opens with clean guitars and the chords ring out like chimes in the wind. Clean vocals make an appearance as well, in what is at first a melancholy affair. Even when the guitars turn distorted, the clean vocals continue, in a despondent manner. It’s definitely the odd song out on the album, but I applaud the band for turning off the beaten path.

“Pitch Black Insides” is an instrumental song, and sounds about as you would expect, with a heavy and aggressive riff and some fancy lead guitar work. An overload of riffs here really makes an impact, along with some bass guitar taking the lead. “Piece of Shit” is about as down as you can get. It’s a fast moving song with sprinklers of lightning quick lead guitar work and the bottom end held firmly by drummer Ulisses Marti. They dial up the musicianship and technique pretty well here. “Notes of the Soul Pt. 1” is a near eleven-minute closing song. Again we have the clean guitar notes in the beginning, with a despondent sound, and more clean vocals. Old school left-behind purists might have an issue with this, but I think it only enhances the album.

I have to say this is one of the better Thrash albums I have heard this year, because of the diversity they present on the album. If you are expecting nine in-your-face replicative songs, you won’t get that here. What you will get however is the Thrash structure and features with a more modern flair, and use of melody, with clean vocals and guitars at times that refreshingly cuts some of the aggression. Well done guys.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Leaving the Darkness/Genocide
2. Rage for Truth
3. Paralysis
4. Eternal Injustice
5. Contaminated Mentally
6. The Everlasting Sunrise
7. Pitch Black Inside
8. Piece of Shit
9. Notes of the Soul Pt. 1
Lineup:
Iván Exe – Vocals & Guitar
Ferran Montasell – Guitar
Gerard Colomer – Bass
Ulisses Martí – Drums
Record Label: EBM Records
     


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