I have only listened to Existentium as Alhazred (their former name), and only to a song called Viral Fear which James Spaeth, their drummer, had me listen to when they first recorded, and I distinctly remember getting so hooked on this song that it eventually went into my everyday playlist. So when he told me that his band were making an album I was stoked, and rightfully so. Before I go any further, I can say up front that save for some very minor issues, this album takes the cake. The whole damned cake.
Next to a demo they released back in 2012, Decadent Desecration is Existentium’s first full length album that has just been released this month (March 2014).
Right from the get go, the album deceives you with an acoustic intro track that, at first listen, gave me the impression that this would be a progressive death metal album a la Opeth, or even a doom metal album. Make no mistake though, this album is pure, hard hitting death metal with a LOT of thrash metal influences, and I’m not sure if they intended this or not, but TONS of Hypocrisy influences, mainly in Chris’ voice, and in some of the riffs. Also Obscura influences. The best I can describe Decadent Desecration is that it is what happens when an orgy between Scale The Summit, Obscura, Hypocrisy, and Exodus happens. Lots of beards in there. Lots and lots of beards.
The album keeps up the pace throughout all the ten tracks, with one instrumental in between to keep things varied. Marrying outstanding bass work from Josh with James’ blast beats and everything complimented with Chris’ and David’s melodic work, departing the album at times from the raw brutality it is incorporating to a more melodic death tone, and at times more melodic than death, which manages to keep things interesting.
The mastering and all the audio work really is superb here, save for a few seconds in one of the tracks where the drums could’ve used a little more reverb instead of sounding flat, but again, that was for exactly three seconds in one of the songs that if you are not an audiophile, won’t even notice.
I can’t think of anything wrong with the album, it is a perfect example of how good experimentation can go. In this case I ended up feeding my ears melodies akin to Scale the Summit’s with growls like Hypocrisy’s and riffing between Exodus’ and Obscura’s. It’s the beautiful love child of all these bands with enough substance to stand out on its own.
While Existentium may be new, they definitely have the technicality and sound to make an impact in the death metal scene.