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Yet another band from cobra records with strange circumstances, this time more of a side project than an actual ‘fake’ band. Basically traditional/power metal musicians playing occult speed metal, a combination creating a sound like a mix of a tighter version of venom and a traditional metal band with satanic themes such as Tyrant (Us). Call it old school black metal, speed, blackened thrash, thrashing black speed, whatever. It’s excellent. The cover art really mislead me; it just doesn’t fit what is played here in my opinion. I think you will be able to tell if you will like this band or not just by looking at the band picture to tell the truth. It should give you a rough idea of what Exorcist is all about.
What’s good about this album is there is a lot of variety. The vocals change from song to song (especially in the first half of the album) and there are some interesting interludes to help give the album a theme and atmosphere. A couple of the intros are pretty worthless but there are a couple well composed and entertaining. It sounds like they were having too much fun with the different studio effects on vocals and went a little overboard with them. The songs are pretty similar in style but some are faster than others and the riffs are pretty memorable and catchy for the most part. I sense a slight downhill effect with this album where the first songs seem more memorable and thought out than the second half of the album, they are all great however.
I have no complaints on the production, the only problems to speak of are the vocals are mixed a little inconsistently, most notably in the song “Lucifer’s Lament” where they alternate from being too high in the mix to too low in the mix. For the most part everything is mixed rather well. The drums can sound like they are programmed at times, I don’t actually know if they are or not but if they are they are programmed very appropriately. The only thing that even made me think they are a drum machine was some of the fills, which can sound very electronic at times. The vocals change from song to song but mostly are a harsh yell, similar to venom. They are gruff yet decipherable. On the first song “Black Mass” they sound different from all the others, almost a growl even. This is one of the more impressive songs; it is unfortunate that the rest of the album doesn’t sound very much like it. The chorus has very clean vocals which don’t show up very much on the album, layered to give a gang vocals effect followed by some funny harmonizing going “Whoa-o-oh-oohh.” The song “Burnt Offerings” sounds like a cross between BFD era Bathory and Piledriver, not a big surprise considering these guys wrote material for Cobra Records and Piledriver. The rest of the album follows a similar style of mid paced speed metal with venomish vocals, interesting riffs, solos, and the occasional growl even. The themes of the album are occult, mostly dealing with things related to witches. The lyrics Sound really well written, especially when compared to the other ‘fake’ Cobra Records bands, namely Convict.
The better tracks on the album are “Black Mass,” “Burnt Offerings,” and “Lucifer’s Lament,” despite its strange vocal mix. Overall this is pretty consistent so every song is gratifying if you are in need of total black speed metal. I definitely recommend this for fans of Venom, Piledriver, and Bulldozer who are looking for more like them. Curious Virgin Steele fans should only bother if you can handle something harsher, and even then you probably want to give it a listen first before you purchase it. Unfortunately this is easier said then done, it may prove hard to find.