(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new third album by the French death metal band Exocrine, which will be released by Unique Leader Records on August 17.)
There’s a sort of hyper-manic, throw-in-everything-including-the-kitchen-sink school of death metal that, while adopted by few bands, has always been really appealing to me. The main two bands I think of when this approach comes to mind are the legendary hydro-grinders Cephalic Carnage and Cattle Decapitation since their reinvention, starting at Monolith Of Inhumanity. Cephalic Carnage have been out of the album-release game a long time especially, and I feel like they’re a definitely missed icon in extreme metal right now.
Exocrine, however, appear to be a band who’ve been working on usurping the throne of the legendary progressive technical death/grind behemoths by not only doing a convincing spin on the band’s sound, but taking the template Cephalic established and propelling it to an over-the-top extreme.
As a result, Exocrine’s music is faster, more technical, more ambitious, and might actually be more genre-inclusive than anything Cephalic ever produced. Exocrine have been around for a bit, boasting two previous albums, Unreal Existence and Ascension (both worth hearing). But so far, this band have been super-unknown as far as I can tell — no reviews on Metal Archives and not much mention of them on other metal blogs. It appears that their signing to Unique Leader for their third upcoming album Molten Giant will give them the notoriety they’ve needed to become significantly noticed.
This is a good thing, because Molten Giant, at least up to this point in 2018, is THE best death metal record of 2018. Period. There’s nothing I’ve heard this year so far that tops the pristine mix of composition, technicality. and overwhelming bestial brutality on display on this album.
At its heart this is definitely a death/grind album, but the elements of riffing borrow from all schools of death metal and the lack of fear in embracing progressive and sometimes delightfully melodic riffs and sections makes for an interesting, multifaceted listen. The album’s two singles currently out so far, “Hayato” and “Backdraft”, are pretty good introductory mission statements for what the band are all about. The triumphant melodic chorus of “Backdraft” is surrounded by torrents of technical utter fucking nonsense that sounds like the soundtrack befitting of an abattoir. The nonsense is just as tasteful and hooky as the melodic aspects, creating some truly angular psychotic sections of guitar fuckery punctuated by the M60 fire of drummer Michael Martin, who makes even the softest moments on the album sound like being in the heat of the French Revolution at peak chaos.
Exocrine’s sense of dynamics is very impressive. They’re not afraid to indulge in melodic clean guitar bridges, or to introduce sci-fi synths and other eccentricities into their sound only to accent explosions of extra-dimensional chaos, which gives them further emphasis. The band definitely try to emphasize the guitar aspect of their eccentricities, and rightfully so. Guitarists Nicolas La Rosa and Sylvain Octor-Perez rush you through grandiose melodic sections, alien, super-sonic-speed, dimension-warping abberations that are supposed to be riffs, and lots of enigmatic jazz-fusion-influenced wandering progressions. Combine all of that with the just straight ugly slam and grindcore styled riffs, and a single song from this band feels like A LOT even if the song is only three minutes long.
To repeat, Molten Giant is the best death metal album of 2018 that I’ve heard up to this point. It’s epitomized sonic cosmic chaos that never relents. I’ve not encountered an album this good that stands out this much from a band that’s this concise, perfected, and disciplined. Molten Giant is essential.