Album Review: Maelstrom // Exocrine

Exocrine started in Bordeaux in 2015 as the brainchild of guitarist Sylvain Octor -Perez. The band also consists of Jordy Besse (bass/vocals), Nicolas La Rosa (guitar), and Théo Gendron (drums). The band’s take on black metal mixes atmospheric sounds and distorted guitars. They showed their potential on 2018’s ‘Molten Giant’ because it had sweep picking influenced by Necrophagist. They’ll release their fourth album, ‘Maelstrom’ on 26th June.

The opening two tracks, ‘Maelstrom’ and ‘The Kraken’ are both brutal and extremely technical. The guttural vocals carry an intense atmosphere. However, it’s on ‘Wall Of Water’ where things really begin to kick off. The lead and rhythm guitars work well together because they’re melodic. Towards the end of the track, there’s a trumpet solo. It’s jazzy and adds its own dissonance to the song, calming things for a brief moment.

‘Abyssal Flesh’ has a cinematic atmosphere that feels like a punch in the chest. When the brass section combines with the trumpet, it shows a stylistic diversity that makes the album special.

There’s a big range of sounds on this album, and mixing it with this brutality is commendable. ‘Maelstrom’ will appeal to fans of technical death metal, but the use of the trumpet could bring in a wider audience.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

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