Where better than Bangladesh to form a thrash metal band? A country where about four percent of the national political budget is spent on bribery for land use, water pollution oversight, and police corruption. After two formative EPs that garnered reasonable attention Exalter’s full-length is pure old school thrash metal personality that takes influence equally from classic German and North American bands. Their riffs might not be as bestial and urgent as say Explicit Hate or as throat slashing as Sacrifice but the album reminds me of Mortal Sin‘s ‘Mayhemic Destruction’ and Viking‘s ‘Man of Straw’ with some mid-paced riffing mixed in with the faster chuggers. ‘Persecution Automated’ is a careful study of classic thrash without any norm-busting movements or modernization and as such it might exclusively appeal to fans of retro trash rather than the current big-balls mover-and-shaker thrash names out there.
Exalter really shine most on their extended compositions, with only three of the ten songs over four minutes it is clear that extra minute tends to let their riffs breathe a bit more and fully develop. I’m not saying they need to write eight minute tracks but this style isn’t exactly pure street thrash and doesn’t focus on leads much, so the five minute mark is about perfect for their approach. The final two tracks are easily my favorite. Pairing “Pathology of Domination” and “Clandestine Drone Warfare” at the end made for stunning closure that kept urging me into re-spinning the album too many times just to hear them again. Like I said before the appeal of this stuff is definitely going to depend on your love for obscure or 80’s thrash in general.
So, I don’t know how much there is to say about very literal throwback thrash anymore. It is heavy and sometimes intense and it seems like the songwriting has been so well copped from groups like Infernäl Mäjesty, Gothic Slam, and Evildead that it doesn’t matter if I’ve heard it all before. I’m not going to be building an altar of sacrifice to Exalter and dancing naked around it while cutting myself, but I really enjoyed kickin’ the can around with ‘Persecution Automated’ for a few weeks.
|Released||December 28, 2017|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Exalter on Facebook|
Ritual stampedes at maximum occupancy. 3.0/5.0
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