Album Review: Dead Exaltation – “Despondent” 8.5/10 (Death Metal)

Written by Carcassbomb

Dead ExaltationDespondent
Technical/Progressive Death Metal from Pune, India
Released February 5, 2021

A death metal album with an unexpected amount of melody, it doesn’t even present as melodeath, it’s far closer to straight slapping brutal death metal that occasionally shifts the tempo down into a straight up clean guitar serenade as if I somehow accidentally listened outside the album or the musicians forgot the set list. It should be a harsh comparison to then start up the death machine again but it just works so well, perhaps due to the tight guitar tones.

Honestly, track list wise this album is a weirdo mess, or a veritable fuckfest of styles – perhaps as an attempt to intently follow the lyrical concepts, a bit of added showmanship. It’s all around intriguing and draws you into headbanging one way or another. Insanely well put together for a debut album. When it does enter hardmode it goes harder than a concrete sonic with energetic tech licks and metallic rusty sounding bass lines. When it goes softmode, it does so with eloquence.

I keep finding myself in disbelief that it’s a debut and I looked around to see if maybe it was some kind of supergroup composed of people from other bands but it appears to me it’s simply a matter of sensible collaboration and delegating to people more suitable for the roles. All of the instrumental layers sound like they’re operating well within their element.

Artwork by Aaron Pinto

Conceptually the album follows an ongoing plot involving cannibal prison wardens and officers kidnapping innocent citizens and absolutely brutalising then eating them. It’s split up into three acts that cover the explicit details of said brutality, delve into the madness of the mind belonging to the warden, and finally the grizzly conclusion tot he horror show.

It’s generally impressive, not just musically but also the posturing of the band – the sheer readiness of the merch and the clearly laid out credits and band information. They’re clearly on the ball and prepared to enter the underground scene with obscene force.


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