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Arkham Circle > Exist to Exit > Reviews
Arkham Circle - Exist to Exit

Arkham Circle - Exist to Exit - 93%

Edmund Sackbauer, March 4th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Independent

Arkham Circle are a five piece death metal commando having been founded in 2012. After two demos in 2017 they decided it is right about time to present the world their definition of old school death metal in full length format. It seems as if they have digged deep in their collection of late eighties and nineties death metal collecting some of the best elements and putting them together again in a slightly adopted version. While the band members also mentioned that they are inspired by more modern bands as well “Exist to Exit” is pure and unfiltered old school death metal to my ears and just perfect the way it is.

The guys have a feeling for good songwriting varying between furious speed attacks and slower, filthy parts that give the whole affair the required dark and brooding atmosphere. The guitarists Paula (who is called Markus in real life for everyone wondering) and Tobias complement each other with one providing the mostly laid back and hypnotic main riffs and the other one fading in an out with some fantastic soloing work. Of course the boys want to show the world that they know how to play their instruments resulting in some pretty impressive technical pieces. Thankfully those sections never overstay their welcome. It is a bit of a problem these days that a lot of new bands try to compensate for their lacking songwriting abilities with additional speed, brutality and technicality. I am glad to report that this is not the case here.

Drummer Stefan and bass player Markus are building the rhythmical backbone for the riff attacks. Stefan always keeps things groovy with his tight and relaxed playing. There are some pieces where the tempo is upped and a few blast-beats are thrown in for good measure but overall the music stays in mid-tempo most of the time and never gets too chaotic or nervous. Overall bands like Bolt Thrower or Benediction will come to mind who had a similar style of groovy yet relentless mid-tempo death metal.

Singer Michael has a perfect voice for that kind of stuff. His growling tone reminds a bit of Karl Willets and thanks to his great pronunciation and articulation each word can be perfectly understood. His style fits the instrumentation like a glove making sure that the album sounds very intense in its entirety.

The production is punchy and modern without being too sterile. There is just enough filth and putridity lending the music a certain level of dirt without sacrificing any details of the instruments. Often that kind of production leads to muddy sounds burying some elements but luckily this has not happened here.

To summarize your enjoyment of this record will depend on what you are looking for. You can call “Exist to Exit” pure plagiarism as there is nothing really new or innovative to be found here. If you are like me always searching for new music in the tradition of the nineties keeping the original spirit with a fresher sound chances are good that you will find a new favorite here.