Photographer: Aditya Ranga
It’s our pleasure today to premiere the third single from Despondent, the debut album by Dead Exaltation, a technical/progressive death metal band from Pune, India, who drew their initial inspirations from the likes of Cryptopsy, Cattle Decapitation, Gorod, Spawn of Possession, and Cynic.
As those references suggest, the band’s music revolves around intricate structures and technically demanding execution, without sparing the brutality, but as you’ll discover from today’s song, those aspects of the sound are not the ends in themselves but techniques for achieving other objectives, and they are not the only techniques evident in the band’s multi-dimensional song-writing.
The album’s title itself perhaps embodies multiple meanings. It connects with some of the lyrical themes, but perhaps also with tragic events that occurred during the completion of the album. When recording began, Dead Exaltation were a trio — vocalist Satyajit Gargori, drummer Aditya Oke, and guitarist Mradul Singhal (who also doubled as bassist). However, before production of the album was complete, Mradul passed away. As a dedication to his legacy, Satyajit and Aditya resolved to complete the record.
Mradul’s performances do stand out on the album, displaying ingenuity and inventiveness, impressive execution, and a welcome attention to melody and atmosphere, though the band’s old school death metal influences still shine through.
Lyrically, Despondent creates a chilling conceptual narrative that revolves around a psycopathic warden who runs a prison holding innocent people picked up from the streets. The guards of prison are psychopathic cannibals psycopaths who torture, kill, and consume the inmates. “Like every good tale”, we are told, “this story is divided into three acts: the incidents, the psychology of the warden, and an investigation leading to a brutal and bloody end of the story”.
The song we’re presenting today through a lyric video is “Omnia Mors Aequat” (which translates as “death makes all things equal”). It begins the final third of the album’s nine tracks, and it relates a particularly horrifying episode. Musically, it’s a constantly evolving head-spinner, a kind of musical chameleon.
At the outset of the song the reverberations of moody guitar notes and musing bass tones create an air of melancholy, mystery, and anticipation for what is to come. What comes, after a brief pause, is a storm of sound — a wash of ravishing chords, mad flickering leads, percussive bursts, and roaring vocals. The violence of that outburst transforms into a panoply of darting and dancing notes, brutish grooves, blaring melody, and blistering drumwork.
But this multi-faceted song continues to change, segueing into a soulful, jazz-influenced bass and drum duet, and then transforming into a disturbing, dissonance-laced sequence which seems to channel sensations of confusion and angst. Frenzied, angular fretwork and militaristic rhythmic discharges also ensue, as well as outbursts of insectile guitar skittering and unpredictable snare attacks, as that roaring voice continues to expel the harrowing lyrics in frightening growls.
Of this song, Dead Exaltation offer this comment:
“Omnia Mors Aequat is one of the most dynamic song that we have written. The song incorporates all the different influences each and every member had ranging from progressive metal guitars to old school death metal style vocals. The song also brings in some bass guitar solos and builds on the melodic guitar sections Lyrically the song talks about the escape from the merciless prison only to be facing anxiety and having a dilemma of survival. The video depicts the entire story with each and every scene describing the moments in the life of the escapee and the battle his mind is facing”.
Photographer: Aditya Ranga
Despondent is set for release on February 5th. It was mixed by Anomaly Sound Design and mastered by Aakash Sherpa. It’s available for pre-order now. And in addition to today’s premiere, below you will also find the first two singles from the album, “Coerced Sewer Ingest” and “The Transformation“.