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Exxperior - Escalating Conflicts

Escalating Conflicts
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 25 October 2021, 1:21 PM

Sometimes, the ‘do it yourself’ saying isn’t enough, because some bands need to have their works sharpened by someone. And this ‘someone’ is a producer, and to be clear, a producer isn’t someone that sits on a studio to record, make the mix and master. No, it’s someone to make things work out in the best way possible, and even someone who cut the duration of the songs, put new arrangements, force the tunes to a higher (or lower) level. This is the reason that names as Desmond Child, Max Norman, Bob Rock, Robert “Mutt” Lange and others are behind many successful albums of the history, because their signatures can be a sign of an amazing album. And maybe the German band EXXPERIOR needs one to fix some aspects of their work, as can be heard on “Escalating Conflicts”.

They can be said as a member of New School of Thrash Metal, playing in a way influenced by names as MEGADETH, KREATOR, NUCLEAR ASSAULT (so expect some Crossover elements on the songs), and others on this way, but using an evident touch of sarcasm on their musical work. And it’s full of energy and with a set of good arrangements and solid instrumental parts, very good vocals, and even using some funny parts (hear “The Agnostic Jam” and have endless laughs). But their potential isn’t turned into music, because the feeling similar to ‘they can do better’ is clear and it’s where they need a producer to dry things up. They worked with Tom Liebing (recording), Dennis Israel (mixing) and Jens Bogren (mastering), and they did their best to create a sonority that could fit on what the band wanted. It’s done in a good level, clear and defined, and with that dry and tight sonority that Thrash Metal needs. On this point, the production is very good.

The songs are OK, but they could be better. It’s the clear sensation when one heard to “Escalating Conflicts… A World Goes Astray” (a very technical songs, with good harmonies and guitars), “Timeless but Mindless” (some traditional Heavy Metal melodies arises here, especially on the vocals), “The Agnostic Jam” (this one is really funny, inheriting the irreverence of Crossover, with a solid work on bass guitar and programmed drums), “Multidimensional Mindblow” and “About Peace/The Presence of Justice” (fine contrasts on the vocals’ tunes), “Masks of Men” (a song filled with a very good melodic energy), and “Join the Brigade!”. But if a good producer was hired, he would cut some songs that are too long, extract more of the band’s potential (that isn’t small at all), and maybe shorter the album a bit (the longer they are, the faster the fans become tired). And please, don’t come saying about METALLICA’s “Master of Puppets” and “…And Justice for All”, because Bob Rock was hired exactly to make thinks tight and clean (in other worlds, to help the band to go to the other level, what meant to shorten songs and make them more acceptable for a broader public) . In the end of this review, what this writer is trying to state clear: what is already good on the bands work could be excellent.

Once more: EXXPERIOR is a good band, and “Escalating Conflicts” shows it. But it could be way better, and let’s see what future will bring.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Exitiabilis Creatura
2. Escalating Conflicts…A World Goes Astray
3. Timeless but Mindless
4. A.A.A.
5. The Agnostic Jam
6. Spirituality
7. Multidimensional Mindblow
8. Transformatus Erat
9. A Murderer´s Excuse
10. About Peace/The Presence of Justice
11. Masks of Men
12. XX
13. Join the Brigade!
14. The Ethical Meaning of Success
15. Anything
Jaxx Basilisk - Vocals
Exx Tom - Bass, Guitars, Drum Programming, Keyboards
Record Label: Iron Shield Records


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