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Viogression — Expound And Exhort

Expound and Exhort
by Aurora Kuczek at 07 April 2020, 1:45 AM

A darkened path lights the way. There is a torment so unbearable that the eyes cease to open. In a vague brutality existing somewhere out of focus, VIOGRESSION (1989) climbs a ladder without rails. Their reissue of their 1991 album entitled “Expound And Exhort,” which also includes “Execution” and their “Perception Blur” demos, reminisces on past death metal productions. Sounding similar to OBITUARY, DEATH and MORBID ANGEL, the project from Wisconsin brings back an old order of musical styles.

Maggot Synod” begins a furious tale that sets the heart felt drums in motion, and bass that spirals throughout the album. And a similar pattern is featured in “Nothing (Psychosomatic Insanity),” with drums oddly repeating the track “Altars of Madness.” Beats stop and start, and almost seems an alternative song in the making. “Puritan Flames” decides an acoustic avenue, diverging from the other tracks of the album. In a vast chamber of shallow breaths and carbonated fumes, “Cross Spells” swallows the infinite. An ominous riff played in summer air with a climb so steep no one would care to step foot on, only watch from below. Harmonizing and echoed growls make for a tepid atmosphere.

And “As You Die,” continues the reverberance with synth-like swimming and dampened guitars. The waters channel the fire into smoke seen by the satellites. Similar bass and rhythmic voices sound in the depths as the tracks press on, with few variances and animalistic creations. The pace is startled in “Choir Of Loudun,” a retro-sounding static of church-like vocals combined with affectionate pain and chaos of human life. “Circle Of Divine” cuts in and out through a whirlwind of caving parallels, with a resounding pattern of rolls. The “Choir of Loudon – the Chanting” returns with a few strange words before transgressing towards the first demo. “Execution” begins raw and it is as if the guitar strings became loose, and the drums fall from the stand. The creatures walk the Earth as if nothing had happened before, and the wolves butt their heads with the others. “Fleshlords” sounds like a faster “Survival Denial,” and both mimic the ancient tunes of DEATH. There is a tree that falls as the anchor drops, and the chain wraps its ends around the base. “Nothing (Psychosomatic Insanity)”—the demo—seems much more fleshed out than the other. It fills in the gaps with melodic notes, and is played on a much higher scale than the other track.

Perception Blur” off the “Perception Blur,” demo begins majestic-like, converging from the start of the album. In a strange twist, death metal album molds itself into a more thrashy creation of loose ends, and classic, guttural-less, vocals. “Thirst For Blood” mimics the thrash style, with occasional harmonization. A little later, “Cryonic Death” features, perhaps, the most adequate and well-formed drums off the album, with interesting melody choices and riffs. The album ends without much chaos, in an instrumental track, “Xglbits.” It fades with a mere remembrance of genres past and genres formed, putting together a compilation of pieces of different beliefs.

VIOGRESSION’s reissue of “Expound And Exhort” including their two demo sections is a reminder of the days where metal originated. Styles of pioneers can be heard throughout the walls of the pages. Not very original it its sound, it could be considered original in its making, thirty years ago, in the time it was created. Given this is a piece of history, and not well known as alike projects, one should give this reissue a well-deserved listen.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Maggot synod
2. Nothing (Psychosomatic insanity)
3. Puritan Flames
4. Wind of death
5. Fragmented Carcass
6. Cross spells
7. As You die
8. Limb From Limb
9. Transmigration
10. Choir of Loudun
11. Circle of the Divine
12. Choir of Loudun - the Chanting
Jason Hellman – Bass
Matt Holtz – Bass, Guitars
Brian DeNeffe – Vocals
Duane Timlin – Drums
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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Edited 28 November 2022

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