Death looms large in Exaugurate’s vision of death metal, but it is not a vision of sudden death or the endless void that would follow it. Instead, their malevolent and morbid music channels raging infection and delirium, protracted misery, the ravages of despair, the foul rot of untreated corpses, and the crushing grief of those left behind. Their death metal is a contagion shaped in sound, in the full expanse of its ravages, and so seems entirely appropriate for the current plague year.
Exaugurate’s debut EP, Chasm of Rapturous Delirium, will be released on May 29th by the Maryland-based label Rotted Life. It contains four monstrous abominations, and we’re streaming all four of them today.
Exaugurate hail from America’s Deep South, and their line-up includes members of Hollowed Idols, Ectovoid, and Seraphic Entombment. Their label explains that the music is “closely associated with 2009-2010, when the likes of Dead Congregation, Grave Miasma, and Cruciamentum were just beginning to break,” and it would be no surprise if it generates such comparisons.
“Clandestine Malevolence” kicks off the EP with the sounds of booming and hammering drums and twisted, squirming riffs that channel a feeling of cruel derangement, augmented by feverishly quivering leads and gruesome roars. Undergirded by subterranean bass lines and segmented by flurries of drum mania, the song is both very heavy and savagely scourging, and when the pace slows, the feeling of rampant disease turns to one of suppurating rot, with a solo that conveys despair, and a finale that wails in misery.
Slower in its initial pacing, the title track drops on the listener an oppressive mantle of dreadful gloom, but soon enough the song begins to race and ravage, with riffing that once again creates a feeling of roiling menace and drumming that’s trying to batter us senseless, segmented by slower movements (but with double-bass fusillades in the low end) that stink of a delayed autopsy, and accented by a shrieking solo and a heavy dose of pounding grooves
Speaking of pounding, “Labyrinth of Veins” hits like methodical sledgehammer blows and proceeds at a trudging pace, with a slow-flowing melody that oozes hopeless grief and groans with the weight of inexorable death. In the midst of this crushing, funereal plague-scape come bursts of morbid, maniacal riffing that spawn visions of maggots feeding in a frenzy. The song does eventually segue into a scampering and then a galloping cadence, and the whirring guitars sound almost joyful by comparison to the sensations of dragging calamity that precede and follow them.
To finish things off, “Ascendant Beyond Carrion” immediately goes on the attack, discharging militarized drumming and flurries of drilling, bone-sawing guitar. There’s a feeling of vicious ecstasy in the song, and it becomes still more inflamed when a freakish, wailing guitar solo makes an appearance. Dynamic as ever, however, the band decelerate into a more measured pace and pull the mood of the music into more cadaverous directions, but also lace it with flickering fretwork that again sounds like… contagion.
Chasm of Rapturous Delirium was recorded with Alex Parra at Second Sight Sound, and it was mixed and mastered by Dan Lowndes at Resonance Sound Studio (and he also contributed a guest lead in the EP’s closing track). Credit for the cover art goes to EVM, and to Justin Stubbs (Restless Nerve) for the layout and design.
Rotted Life is making the EP available on 12″ vinyl, cassette tape, and digital formats. All are available for order now: