Collectively, the founding three members of the Louisiana band Excommunicated have more than 75 years of experience in the metal underground. When you add in the balance of the line-up on their new album Death Devout, the combined experience goes well over the century mark. They’ve been involved in numerous other groups across a range of extreme genres, but it’s clear that they all have one passion in common, one that’s reflected in this new album’s title — a devotion to death (metal).
Excommunicated’s 2011 debut album, Skeleton Key, was a collection of 10 original songs conceptually making up “a dark treatise on the medieval Catholic Church; centering on corruption, abuse, as well as strange and ghoulish habits”, and they have plans to record a sequel in the near future, with the tentative title of The Exterminating Angel. But what they’ve done in the meantime, with Death Devout, is to pay homage to a pantheon of death metal greats. This is an album that consists mainly of cover songs, and we have the premiere of one of those covers today in advance of the album’s April 20 release date.
But before we get to that premiere, let’s take a look at the track list:
01. Excommunicate And Anathema (Intro)
02. Body Count (Morgoth cover)
03. And Here I Die… Satisfied (Grave cover)
04. Edible Autopsy (Cannibal Corpse cover)
05. Nightmare Lake (Cemetary cover)
06. For God Your Soul, For Me Your Flesh (Pungent Stench cover)
07. Inside The Torn Apart (Napalm Death cover)
08. Intoxicated (Obituary cover)
09. Lunatic Of God’s Creation (Deicide cover)
10. World Eater (Bolt Thrower cover)
11. The Invocation
12. Day Of Suffering (Morbid Angel cover)
13. Blessed Are The Sick / Leading The Rats (Morbid Angel cover)
14. Bone Fragments (Outro)
Length – 68:00
That track list ought to punch all sorts of buttons among the death metal faithful. The button puncher we have today is Excommunicated’s cover of Obituary’s “Intoxicated” from their 1989 debut album Slowly We Rot.
Obituary’s original is a nasty, gruesome, toxic, dynamic, and thoroughly electrifying piece of work (and a huge headbanger to boot), a song you don’t forget if you’ve ever heard it. Excommunicated do one hell of fine job with their cover; which is faithful to the original but sounds even more powerful and punishing, though no less electrifying. And fittingly, ex-Obituary guitarist James Murphy turns in a guest lead-guitar performance on the track.
For those new to Excommunicated, the band was formed in early 2010 by guitarist Jason McIntyre, a founding member of the brutal death metal band Suture (years active: 1995-2007); guitarist Jonathan Joubert, a founding member of Despondency (years active: 1993-2002), a melodic death metal band from the Lafayette area, as well as the progressive metal act Psychometry; and vocalist/keyboardist Chad Kelly, a founding member of Catholicon (years active: 1994-2009), a black/death metal band from the Baton Rouge area (he was also part of the black metal duo project Satanist (2005-2007)).
Rounding out the line-up on the new album are drummer Mike Heller (Fear Factory, Raven, System Divide, Malignancy) and bassist Bruno Muenzler (Suture, Slime In the Current). The album also features a number of guest appearances, including the one by James Murphy on the track we’re premiering today.
Death Devout will be released on April 20 by Satanath Records (Russia) and Metallic Media (USA). You’ll find pre-order info below, as well as a stream of Excommunicated’s cover of Morbid Angel’s “Day of Suffering”, along with our premiere of “Intoxicated”.