The Hybrid Suns

Though not quite the tech-death onslaught that 2021 was, 2022 has still had some stellar releases from the likes of Aethereus, Inanimate Existence and GreyLotus. And while GreyLotus’ Dawnfall might be my top contender right now, Exocrine’s fifth album is certainly right up there as well.

France’s Exocrine got on my radar with 2020s Maelstrom, where they added some experimental elements to an already solid if straightforward tech-death foundation; female vocals, brass/orchestral sections, etc. And when these parts are introduced to super tight, punchy, and catchy, ‘slightly more brutal than country mates Gorod’, tech death metal, it’s where Exocrine truly shines as one of the unique leaders (*sighs*) in the genre.

Having the same core lineup since 2013 (other than a new drummer) since 2018, makes sure the material is consistent between albums, even with the added flare and brisk 34 minutes blows by with some stellar moments ( unlike Soreption’s Jord) that warrant revisiting. Whether it’s the immediate throttling sweep-filled opening bars of the brilliant, album-opening title track, the haunting vocals of “Dying Light”, majestic orchestration in “Horns”, stirring churn and programming of “Watchtower” or the acoustic start and experimental injections of “Burning Sand” and keyboard-filled, barnstorming standout “Blast”.

And none of it feels forced or a gimmicky, being exquisitely inserted into top-level tech death. And when they want to straight-up rip or in this case, shred, your face off, they do, with “Vortex of Shadow”, “End of Time” or closer ‘Shrine”. But even then, those tracks all have sneaky little slivers of experimentation craftily rendered amind the tech-death vortex.

As I mentioned earlier, definitely one of tech-death top releases of the year so far, and more than likely of the year overall when 2022 is all sad and done. Another winner for Unique Leader, and it’s not deathcore (not that there is anything wrong with that).

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 6th, 2022


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