Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Album Review: Existentium, "Decadent Desecration"

EXISTENTIUM - Decadent Desecration
"Decadent Desecration"

- 9 out of 10

Existentium is a widely-beloved band born of our area that is, as some might say, "the total package". Their sound is hard to describe, but one thing is for sure - they bring a whole new dimension to death metal, and going to see these guys live is a fucking experience!

The bearded man and I have been fans of these guys for a long time. I even have a sticker of theirs we picked up from the merch table at one of their shows early on when we were dating.

So, when they approached me to do a review of their newest album, Decadent Desecration (released on March 23rd of this year), my first thought was why I hadn't thought to do that already! Of course! Everything I've heard from them in the past has been fucking excellent, so I was pretty excited to hear their new stuff.

Here is my review for Existentium's newest album, Decadent Desacration!

Track 1 - Equilibrium

Here was a slow, beautiful acoustic intro leading right into a heavy, melodic interlude that flowed effortlessly into the second track.

Track 2 - Decadent Desecration

The beginning of the title track is brilliant! Especially the drums, but they were phenomenal throughout the entire song. They carry a ruthlessly churning tempo that doesn't relent. Heavy and dark with just the right amounts of melody and change-ups to make everything feel just right. It reminds me a lot of Darkest Hour mixed with a little early Dimmu at about three minutes in, which was pretty awesome in my book. The melodies and solos nearing the end of the song, however, will fucking blow you away... and that last minute of the song is the big fat cherry on top.

Track 3 - Possession

Heavy, heavy, heavy. The guitars start dueling a mere thirty seconds in, and they battle throughout the track to an ever-changing tempo. They mix it up, but they do it without the feeling of it being thrust in where a change-up doesn't belong. That's one thing I love about these guys - everything fits so well, and yet it's still unpredictable and keeps you wanting to bang your goddamn head from start to finish. More delicious riffs ensue at two and a half minutes in before they end the track on a black metal note.

Track 4 - Death, Slavery, and the Pursuit of Misery

The opening of this track is a little reminiscent of Dethklok, but so much better than anything they've ever done. Try to refrain from the uncontrollable urge to start a fucking pit when you hear this, because you'll feel it no matter where you are. No use scaring the people in the checkout line - be prepared! This one is raw, deathy-blackness incarnate and is bound to please any crowd. They give a little reprieve with a slower tempo halfway through before slamming you with some of the killer blastbeats (and if you know I love me some good blastbeats) to get you back on your feet.

Track 5- Puritanical Submission

The opening ten seconds was a bit of a departure from their normal sound and I didn't dig it as much, but everything past it was in no way disappointing! Those guitars, man... those guitars! Great job with the vocals on this one as well, but David Morgan always does a solid job with those. Halfway in is a heavenly melodic combination of sweet darkness and simplicity while maintaining their carnal heaviness. I really enjoyed the power metal-ish solo afterward. The end of the song reminds you how fucking amazing their drummer is as they take over to play you out into...

Track 6 - Viral Fear

This was one of my favorites off the album. "Sexy" is an adjective I use to describe how some songs sound, and this track qualifies for that description. Just a flawless combination of heaviness and foreboding. The notes they used just resonated evil and dissonance. This one just keeps you hooked... hang on for the ride. Yet another pit-inciting track, and we're only on number six!

Track 7 - Prey for Peace

It gets off to a very black metal beginning, and right when you think it might be losing steam they throw in an absolutely incredible little bit of melodic perfection that ushers in one badass fucking solo. A perfect time to start the pit would be about two and half minutes in, where the conditions are perfect. I just loved the entire last half of the song. Nice and evil. Just how I like it!

Track 8 - Megalomania

This one is an instrumental. Plain and simple heaviness here, but a solid song nonetheless. At about two minutes in there's a bit lighter of a sound than they usually have, but it quickly disintegrates back into the Existentium we know and love and right into some more of those sweet, sweet blastbeats. Another beautiful melodic part follows before they end it on a heavier note.

Track 9 - Plague of the Malcontent

 I really dug the intro to this and the mystical, exotic sound they gave it. This is a really good track for windmilling, as I myself could not hold back the urge and simply had to do it for most of the song. Again... those fucking guitars! I just love how they toss in these absolutely sublime melodic riffs amid bone-crushingly heavy, face-melting and fucking evil-sounding ones. They know just where to put them and how to flow effortlessly between the two. This song showcases their ability to do that perfectly, and I already know it's going to be stuck in my head tomorrow.

Track 10 - Enslaving Creation

You know, I've really loved all of these song titles, and from what I can hear the lyrics are quite well-written. You've heard about "the total package" - well, these guys are it. This song proves it again in great capacity with a beautiful doomy intro that sacrifices no brutality. Really loved how they approached the doom sound, but it was short lived as the track changes up back to a faster and more death-y feel. Little snippets of mind-blowing melodies are littered throughout, and there's an awesome solo about four and a half minutes in. They throw in a little bit of everything we love about them, including those fucking powerful drum beats, in the last two minutes of this track and the ending just leaves you wanting more!

Overall, it was a perfect mix of heavy, beauty, complexity and simplicity. I really, really enjoyed it. There were a couple parts that seemed to drag on a touch too long, and a few riffs that just didn't quite fit, but you can tell they worked hard on putting this together and everything else is exactly on point and the goosebumpy vibes abound on this album.

All of these guys are supremely talented. They really have a great command of their craft and despite the complexity of some of their songs, they are just as good live as they are in-studio.

One thing that the last track especially had me hoping was that they might explore more of that doomy side to them, because while slower speeds aren't always favorable for a live crowd, they do the doom style really fucking well. We shall have to wait for the next album to see how they'll evolve!

You can pick up the album here for a mere $6 and you'll wonder how it's even possible you got such quality metal for next to nothing. Great job, guys! I'll be keeping an eye out for the next show, and we'll be enjoying this album for a while to come. \m/

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