Written by Zax
- Sequestered Sympathy
- Black Metal/Post Metal
- October 4, 2019
Opposites attract is a cliche that has long applied to metal music. Crossover and fusion genres are a huge part of metal and do a lot to keep the genre interesting. From crossover thrash, to the numerous core genres, to folk metal, the possibilities are endless. The band we will be talking about today mixes quite a few genres for a very unique sound. Their Facebook biography describes their sound a lot better than I ever could, so here’s a excerpt, “Exulansis forms a nuanced variation of antifascist black metal, doom, crust, folk and chamber music by presenting acoustic elements with rapid blast beats, soaring melodies and dark harmonies.”
That’s a lot to take in there, isn’t it? Might sound confusing on paper, but it is absolute metallic bliss sonically. There is a lot going on here, but it is still compact and focused. The folk sections on the record are haunting yet beautiful, and when you least expect it an avalanche of black metal rains down on you with thunderous blast-beats, sharp riffs, and some evil sounding black metal mids and gutturals.
The band is comprised of a violinist, a guitarist, and a drummer. The violin more than makes up for the lack of bass, it makes the melodic parts of the record pop, and even when things get heavier that violin soars over the riffs. The members share the vocal responsibilities, and they all do pretty great.
The album has 6 tracks, and 44 minutes worth of run time. It includes two shorter tracks that show the band at their folkiest. My favorite of two is the track, “John Bradley.” Violinist Andrea Morgan sings this one, her vocals are very whistful and haunting over the minimal acoustic textures that eventually blossom into a strikingly beautiful piece of post-metal. The other track, “Barren” is a pretty great little breather from the aggressive black metal stylings as well.
The rest of the tracks bring the full metal experience to us. The record starts out slow with the title track, a mellow guitar riff and some beautiful violin go on for a few minutes before blastbeats come out spontaneously. That makes for one of the most satisfying parts of the record, right next to the closing track, “Dead Can’t Die.” This song is pretty melodic and peaceful for the first half, then the music drops out completely and leads to a chilling brief acapella section lead by their violinist. Then, cymbals crash through the silence and an eruption of beautiful yet raw black metal barrels down on you. It truly is an epic moment to close off an amazing record.
If you’re looking for something experimental and out of the box this will definitely scratch that itch for you, if you like your metal melodic or folky, this will definitely do it for you. This was a great record that took me by surprise.