Existentium – Decadent Desecration (Album review)

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.

Decadent Desecration is available for digital download here and for physical discs and merch here.

Vesperia – An Olden Tale (Album Review)

I had honestly never heard of Vesperia until Morgan Rider sent me an email with their latest album, and boy am I glad he did. Considering my love for epic music in general, and death metal in particular, this album was a breath of fresh air.


An Olden Tale is Vesperia’s (surprisingly enough) second full length album, and I say surprisingly because I honestly thought these guys would have had a long line of albums to have expertly crafted something as epic as An Olden Tale.

The album greets you with an atmospheric intro that sets the mood going into the onslaught of folk music to follow with the tracks seamlessly going into the next keeping the same atmosphere throughout the entire album.

Vesperia proceed then to bombard you throughout the album with tight riffage and drumming, with guttural growls you are more likely to find in technical death metal bands rather than folk inclined bands, which contrary to what your first instincts may suggest, actually works really well with Vesperia’s music. Most of the clean vocals work and compliment the gutturals really nice, however in very few cases the clean vocals just didn’t sound right to my ears mainly in Home For A Rest. You’ll also find some harsh vocals and screams mixed in for good measure, which only further prove the vocalist’s versatile voice range.

Guitar work is splendid throughout the album, Frankie Caracci and Casey Elliott do a great job in moving this album from merely a folk metal album to more of a melodic death album as well, which only adds to the concoction of genres An Olden Tale can comfortably fit into. Notable guitar work can be heard in the album titled track, An Olden Tale, which also includes bearded men cheering with mugs of ale in their hands. Beer (Because beer.)

The drum work by Cory Hofing is equally splendid, offering just the right amount of blasts, jazzy transitions, and powerful beats that just make you want to go pick up a double headed ax and go slay yourself a dragon or two.

Nothing much to say about the bass in here, mostly the bass line follows the guitar line (which is impressive still) with the exception of the bass interlude in An Olden Tale. Morgan Rider does deliver nicely on his instrument.

Mixing folk, death, and black metal in a beautiful medley that will keep your ears entertained throughout the entire length of the album. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Amon Amarth, TYR, Korpiklaani, and Immortal (yep, Immortal), the album presents such weird elements all mixed in together creating an even weirder combination that mainly works great.

An easier way to think of Vesperia’s An Olden Tale is that it is the lovechild that resulted from Amon Amarth, Korpoklaani and Immortal having some sort of a threesome. Which is a lot more awesome than what I just said makes it seem.

You can purchase Vesperia’s An Olden Tale through here.