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Expulsion > Wasteworld > Reviews
Expulsion - Wasteworld

Hyper-Speed as a Tool to Lay Waste upon the World - 91%

bayern, February 1st, 2017

The Dutch speed/thrash metal scene really slowed down in the new millennium; Legion of the Damned (Occult earlier) have been the only regular presence, with Dead Head trudging behind with just two full-lengths released in the past 10/12 years. Thanatos, Led Astray and Warchitect are thrash/death hybriders with more adherence to the death metal arena… In other words, there’s a lot of catching up to be done by The Netherlands with the other countries, and not only in Europe.

Expulsion presented a valuable crash course in classic speed/thrash in the mid/late-00’s and almost woke up the dormant spirits in their homeland, Sadly, they only lasted for a couple of years leaving one EP and the full-length reviewed here as their legacy. The EP was nothing but a warm-up for the ensuing “madness” comprising three tracks with exclusive concentration on speed, albeit mixed with a hefty doze of technicality. It was a great introduction to their hyper-active style which came as a most delicious “salad” of Helloween’s “Walls of Jericho”, Angel Dust’s “Into the Dark Past”, Paradox’s “Heresy”, and Toxik’s “World Circus” with a pinch of Swedish melo-death ala later-period At the Gates and Darkane, mostly standing on the side as a side-dish. There was another outfit at the same time who were propagating speed as the new religion, the Japanese Fastkill, but their approach was/is much more orthodox. Mentioning Japan, another act comes to mind, the obscure thrashers Narcotic Greed whose debut “Fatal” (1994) is another exemplary display of very fast-paced thrash with more technical leanings.

And here we come to this “Wasteland” which is arguably the most fertile “land” for very speedy retro thrash of the new millennium. The opening “Land of Empty Graves” already blows socks off left and right with its relentless cannonade that threatens to break the speed of light minus the cool atmospheric serenity in the middle. It also perfectly sets the tone for what the listener will come across here: super-energetic tracks no longer than 3-4min, full of blazing guitars which at times merge into one big, very fast-paced melee that may be exhausting to the less trained fans. Almost every composition has a slower, stomping mid-section as the only number which lets the mid-paced delivery dominate in the second half is “Martyr”. “Messianic Shadows” has a brilliant cumulative beginning with a nice jumpy technical section following suit trying to break the insanely fast formula, too, and surprisingly remains relatively quiet with dramatic build-ups incorporated into the dynamic structure near the end.

“Promise Never Made” “flirts” with stop-and-go technicality, but still falls into the speedy “traps” which are set from the very start of the next “Police State Tranquillity”, a remorseless speedster where one can also hear cool clean vocals as opposed to the main death metal, semi-shouty ones. The instrumental title-track is full of infectious melodic hooks and largely remains an exercise in virtuoso pyrotechnics the guys shredding with all the passion they can muster. “Spirit Emission” follows the same trajectory only that the vocals return as well as the more laid-back pounding escapades. “Avidya II” (“Avidya One" was the very short intro) is an enchanting lead-driven instrumental lasting for 1-min; and the closer “Re-Examination” “re-examines”, and also sums up, all that was heard previously within just under 5-min also accentuating on the death metal flair which has been a mere “humble assistant” so far; it’s a formidable riff-fest also serving copious amounts of breath-taking melodies both from the lead and the riff department.

A fascinating album all over which suffers a bit from the lack of variety as the focus on speed “suffocates” most attempts at shifting away from it. Still, for 35-min of playing time it will thoroughly satisfy the need for speed of the fanbase, and will fully epitomize the message from Billy Idol’s hit “Speed”, better than any other band from the new millennium. To be completely fair, though, I’ll have to throw in one more name, the one of the Polish formation Hellfire, who are possibly the closest soundalike to Expulsion although their approach is more complex and progressive with longer compositions and more meandering song-structures; still, their obsession with hyper-active speed/thrash is very similar, and fans of the Dutch heroes should by all means check them out, at least those who manage to track them down as the Poles are also extinct with two full-lengths left behind.

Expulsion came unannounced, gave their precious lesson to those who cared, and “expelled” themselves from the scene with their job seemingly done. It wasn’t much they left for the fans to console themselves with, but at least introduced an invaluable tool to be used by the more misanthropically-inclined souls, especially the ones who have firmly decided that our world should finally come to an end.

Grisly roller coaster of writhing, spastic death - 80%

autothrall, December 30th, 2009

Because hearing one great new Dutch death metal record in a week was not enough (the other was the great new Devious), I present to you the full-length from Expulsion. This is a fast, fast band, who hitch explosive thrash metal bumpers onto their grisly roller coaster of writhing, spastic death. Their style feels a lot like the energetic Swedish melodic death of a band like At the Gates, Terror 2000 or the more frenetic tracks of The Haunted, injected with a hyperactive desperation, as if the world is about to end over and over again, and Expulsion has a lot that they want to get off their chests first!

You are first given a swelling, brief guitar instrumental before the band just nails you in the face with a powerful trio of "Land of Empty Graves", "Neoconomicon" (hahaha), and "End of Days", the latter of which is a thrashing eruption that could probably power most vehicles if its energy could be contained. I have rarely heard such spastic lambasting outside of the faster tracks from Darkane, Dimension Zero or Terror 2000, and yet even here the band has some great riffs like the dizzying bends after the 1:00 mark. I'd advise you take a breather after these, because "Martyr" is only mildly more forgiving, and "Messianic Shadows" slows down to a battlefield crawl before its great initial leads and savage thrust. There are plenty of quality offerings to compose the remainder of this debut, including the jumpy "Promise Never Made" and the storming onslaught of "Spirit Emission".

If there is any weakness to Expulsion, well, perhaps they just move too quickly too often. They do this with riffing fortitude, mind you, but a little bit of an additional dynamic shift here or there would not harm their writing. Like a testosterone rush, these songs can leave you in the dust feeling tired and less appreciative after the fact. Not to say that the album flies past for 100% of the playlength, but just enough that you can almost get bored by the speed. I also did not find myself completely falling for A.B.'s vocal bark, I'd almost expect something wilder to match up with the rapid riffing, but it's not necessarily bad. Wasteworld is a debut that should turn heads just sharply enough that the necks connected to those heads are strained or snapped, and the general quality of the freakish, terminal riffs is enough to recommend it by.

Highlights: End of Days, Messianic Shadows, Primise Never Made, Spirit Emission