Expound and Exhort (Reissue)

Viogression hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, began in the hey day of death metal and although they released a second album in 1992: Passage, and the album suffered a lot from production and song writing issues, their crowning achievement is the 1991 debut – Expound and Exhort.  A 12 song album that mixed a blazingly heavy blend of death and thrash metal.  12 song albums were uncommon and still are for death metal bands and Viogression ensured the listener would be able to remember the classic songs.

Hammerheart Records now brings this stunning and much overlooked debut to light in a double cd complete with a beautiful remaster.  With the band, having some thrash leanings on their earlier demos those thrash influences were still present on the debut, but really this is early death metal and some of the best you will ever here.  CD1 contains the remastered debut album.  With their combination of Obituary/Death/Autopsy based sludgy heaviness the opening “Maggot Synod” has some fast parts but stays in a moody mid-paced sludge ad drenched heaviness and Brian DeNeffe had such a great set of pipes, similar to Tardy, with the evil raspiness.

“Nothing (Psychosomatic Insanity)” is still a killer song with some early primitive and brutal blast beats with killer growls.  A lot of barking and berating vocals and some doomy parts which are super heavy and then back into the blast beats and then mid-paced heaviness and so damn heavy with excellent and memorable guitar riffing.  “Cross Spells” was another and still is a great tune with the blasting and doomy slowdowns.

CD2 is also remastered and contains the Execution and Perception Blur demos.  Sound quality is also excellent.  I will spare you the review, because I recently reviewed, on here, the HPGD Productions reissue Perception Blur which contained Viogression’s demos.  If you’re trying to decide on which way to spend your money, nowadays, then the Hammerheart Records deluxe is the way to go, but then you will be missing out on the HPGD demo packaging.

The sound on the demos is cleaned up and is louder than the original demos.  The remastering of the debut Expound and Exhort is phenomenal.  It keeps to the original true organic heaviness, makes things louder and crisper.  Trust me when you have “Transmigration” on in its opening doomy heaviness you will be glad it’s louder.  People will be falling into sinkholes with this remaster.  The deluxe reissue comes in a nice slipcase and the booklet is well put together.  The album cover looks a little crisper too.  I always thought the cover was kind of funny with the musclebound demon with enormous hands how he was so top heavy and he would probably fall down all the time because his little legs could never support that much weight.

When you look at overlooked albums and bands Viogression were one such band.  They deserved more credit, because Expound and Exhort had the heaviness and memorable songs to compete with the bigger bands.  Therefore I am glad that this album is properly reissued.  Excellent album and top-shelf reissue.  Buy or Die!!


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
May 5th, 2020


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