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Excoriate : ...Of The Ghastly Stench (Demo)

Far more Death than Doom, but with a certain raw charm: Chile's Excoriate's latest demo.

You know you've got an underground release when it shows up as a CD-R and the inlay of a tape! It also took me a substantial amount of time to find anything about Chilean band Excoriate. Suffice to say that when this tape press is finished, I doubt copies will be found anywhere else unless the band goes on to become a big name in the Doom world.

On the inlay, the band cite Puerto Montt (Chile) as the place where the recordings took place. Interestingly, Puerto Montt is sometimes referred to as the "Gateway To The Andes" as it's a particularly picturesque part of Chile to the west of South America's famous mountain range. I'm not sure Puerto Montt is the gateway to a majestic Doomy mountain range for Excoriate, though. Indeed, I think they'd do well to find a couple of muddy hills.

In terms of production, '...Of The Ghastly Stench' sounds like this release was recorded and mixed in someone's garden shed. In certain musical genres (e.g. Black Metal) that would be considered a bonus. When it comes to Death/Doom attempts, I tend to need a little more to convince me that it's going to make the grade and I don't get that impression here. The vocals are far too low at times and although I will always give an invisible salute to bands that actually use a drummer, there still aren't enough pros for me to consider this a well-produced release.

Without wanting to be too harsh on what I can only assume is Excoriate's debut release, the entire album sounds like a group of guys have got together, started jamming, and decided to put something out there after a few beers. There's nothing wrong with that, per se - in fact, I would love to see the statistics for such because I am sure most bands started out that way. Indeed, I'm sure some bands still release albums that way without any greater thought process. However, in Excoriate's case, it doesn't seem like they've ever progressed from the guys fooling about in the garage, if that makes sense. There are some really nice elements to the music that I enjoy, especially the riffs and solos, but the song structure does little for me. It's almost as if this band don't know what genre they want to play in with the styles they veer between. Lyrically speaking, your guess is as good as mine as to what these songs are about but if their song structures are anything to go by, it's more a case of "let's see where this goes" than "here's the journey we're taking all listeners on" so I am not going to lose sleep over it.

To call this a Death/Doom release is a bit of a stretch, and that's me putting it mildly. There are some slower passages of play but for the most part, this strikes me as a Death Metal release. I don't dislike '...Of The Ghastly Stench' at all though, curiously enough. It's muddy, filthy, and raw enough to appeal to the side of me that enjoys early '90s Black Metal, even if it's got very little in common with the likes of Mayhem and Immortal - well, barring the broken English, of course! I daresay even fans of early Bathory or Celtic Frost might get something enjoyable from this album. Essentially, it's very old-school and raw so if you like that kind of thing then you'll most likely enjoy this release.

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Reviewer's rating: 5.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Teofisto
2. Oh! Peaceful Derketa
3. Black Streams On The Ground Of Cruelty
4. Ghastly Strench Of Mortal Remains

Duration : Approx. 20 minutes

Visit the Excoriate bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-02-01 by Ian Morrissey
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