Friday, March 8, 2013

Exodia - "Slow Death" (2012)

Album (Art Gates Records, April 2nd 2012)

Line – up (2009):          Amando Milla – vocals;
                                       Ciro Sanchez – vocals (additional);
                                       Pablo Tello – guitar;
                                       Rafa Las Heras – guitar;
                                       Victor Tello – bass;
                                       Pablo Vergara – drums.

Location:                      Valencia, Valencian Community (Spain).

Better song of the album:

“Ensure My Safety”.

Better feature of the production:

The great intense songs structure.
Cover artwork: Juanjo Castellano 

It’s strange but Timpani allo Spiedo (that is me) receives the thrash metal albums to review from the abroad, almost never from Italy, also if the Italian thrash scene is good. In this case, the request comes from the young Spanish label Art Gates Records, that released the ambitious debut album of Exodia. Ambitious? Oh yeah, it’s so because it contains even 12 songs (+ intro) for 56 minutes, an immensity for any extreme metal platter full of sonic violence. But don’t be afraid, the Exodia keeps high the flag of thrash metal, surprising very much the listeners. And don’t listen to Metal – Archives when it defines the Exodia like a melodic thrash band, since they often demonstrates the contrary… but that definition is true for an half. What is the truth? 

The truth is this: the album is divided in two distinct parts. Hence, for now I review the first part, that could satisfy the metalheads who wants violence plus a lot of technique and inventiveness. Specifically, the music is a modern thrash metal with some old – school intuitions. The songs’ structure is always complex and full of tempo shifts, all the more so because that the assault is closest to the technical thrash in certain moments (like in the hysterical introduction of “World’s Cancer”), while some songs have excellent instrumental fugues with whirling riffs (“Fight My Cock and Your Palate” and, above all, “Ensure my Safety”). In spite of this, the music is often fast, nay, ultra – fast since there are even pure blast – beats here and there in the album, the Exodia are one of few thrash band to use them with a good frequency. But this isn’t enough, considering the importance of soloist guitar for these mad guys. In fact, the solos occupy a remarkable slob in the music, they are both frequent (some songs have 2 soli) and very long but, fortunately, fanciful at the same times. Besides, the soloist axe often complete the main riff, hence the Exodia are been very attentive to fill the songs with those little details that makes the difference.

But also the melodies are important, so it’s time to face the tour de force of “Slow Death” called “Creating Addicts”, 6 minutes circa of excellent mid – tempo thrash metal with a chorus full of clean vocals (but they are usually aggressive and croaking) plus the incredible interlude made of acoustic guitar that accompanies an electric and romantic solo. However, “Creating Addicts” isn’t a ballad, considering for example its occasional fast moments. Instead, the following track “World’s Cancer” balance perfectly it with very intensity and violence, this time Exodia are similar to the Brazilians Violator, especially as regards some riffs.

On the other hand, the last 6 songs of the album are very different than the rest. Sure, the style is always that, there are inventiveness, complex songs’ structure and particular attention to the arrangements, but the music takes a more melodic way. So, you’ll don’t listen blast – beats (except “No Solution”, forget also the thrashing choirs in reinforcement of the main vocals. Fortunately, the quality is always high, the only problem concern the extreme sound diversity between the various songs, losing a bit in compactness being influenced by other genres. Well, the melodic death metal intuitions of “Push the Button” are OK, but I can’t say the same about “The Stark Reality”, where the Exodia shows their worship to Pantera, shooting a groove metal song. Another flaw of the album is the tracks succession, because this song follows to “Desire of Darkness”, a real ballad (oh fuck, a ballad in a modern thrash metal is an event!), so I think that “Stark Reality” should has been full of intensity and violence, making the right contrast with the ballad. Instead…
... instead, I prefer largely the first part of the album, I wonder why its brutal solutions aren’t used in the second one, except some rare moments. Anyway, “Slow Death” runs well in its whole, and I confess to appreciate the efforts of these guys, since 12 thrash metal songs are difficult to manage, but in this case, there is neither a singular drop tension. In spite of this, I have a precious advise to the band, and I hope they’ll follow it: chance a more resolute way for the next times, developing it for the entire new production, because muddle listener’s ideas is always dangerous. Consequently, there is need an album with less songs than the 12 ones of “Slow Death”.

Rating: 83

Flavio “Claustrofobia” Adducci


1 – The End/ 2 – No Rules No Kisses/ 3 – Fight My Cock and Your Palate/ 4 – Like a Rat/ 5 – Creating Addicts/ 6 – World’s Cancer/ 7 – Ensure My Safety/ 8 – She Begs for Mercy/ 9 – Push the Button/ 10 – The Desire of Darkness/ 11 – The Stark Reality/ 12 – You Lose Your Life/ 13 – No Solution