...Of the Ghastly Stench by Excoriate

Release date: July 14, 2017
Label: Nihilistic Holocaust Records

The band Excoriate is a unique entity. This band is from Chile and is not the other death metal band from Germany with the same name. Their latest venture into the swampy wastelands that inspire their artwork and sound is called …Of the Ghastly Stench. Is it wise to label a band so multi-dimensional and anti-typical? No. Excoriate is part old-school death metal, doom, first wave black metal a la early Varathron, besides others I can’t name out of consideration for the band’s originality and my unwillingness to pigeon-hole the band’s sound and approach to songwriting. Really, some folks may think of them as doom/death and may well have credence. But, I hear more than that in Excoriate’s platter of four tracks. It is wise to simply note that this band is old-school, and don’t simply subscribe to trends.

The guitars are captured by the production nicely. Not just gritty and sludgy, the guitar tone sounds like it was channeled out of outdated equipment. Even then, the guitar riffs aren’t muddled like they would be had they been outputted through a karaoke. The bass is audible, and both snare and bass drum thud in old-school death metal fashion. The vocals are part doom/part old-school death metal, and also remind me of Varathron circa His Majesty at the Swamp.

Did I enjoy this festering brew of unidentifiable, anti-typical elements amalgamated into an obviously-toxic substance? Yes. And while …Of the Ghastly Stench is nowhere close to His Majesty at the Swamp’s brilliance and grandeur, doom/death fans who like the sound of the early eighties Sabbath-inspired doom/death hybrids will love Excoriate to bits. In this day and age, most doom/death sounds rather same-ish. Excoriate doesn’t.

And, to add to that, Excoriate don’t intend to be compared to Varathron’s style on its landmark album, so it isn’t fair to do so and declare them unworthy of that comparison. …Of the Ghastly Stench simply reminded me of that lost recording, and that comparison should only be perceived positively. People inclined to misunderstand said comparison will declare Excoriate unworthy of said comparison, and I don’t intend to throw Excoriate under the bus like that. So, regard your lesser capacity at comprehension with responsibility for once and not make that mistake and take my words lightly, should you have little else to do but troll writers who don’t intend to defame poor young bands.

…Of the Ghastly Stench is not an album I typically herald with high praise, but I would like to emphasize to old-school doom/death fans that they should check this release out. I enjoyed my time listening to Excoriate, and doom/death fans who want to hear Sabbath groove and early death metal first fuse wonderfully should exert due effort to get a copy of this now.

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