Exarsis
The Brutal State


4.0
excellent

Review

by VisionsFromTheDarkSide USER (23 Reviews)
January 26th, 2014 | 19 replies | 971 views


Release Date: 03/01/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album which doesn't exactly redefine modern day thrash, but perfects it.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

When the New Wave of thrash first emerged in the early/mid 2000s, there was a huge buzz among the metal community. Bands like Evile, Municipal Waste, Toxic Holocaust and Warbringer were reviving the legendary sound once pioneered by legendary bands such as Slayer, Metallica, Exodus etc. However, as the decade progressed, the bands in this New Wave were starting to become insipid, uninspired and in some cases, plain rip-offs of the legendary thrashers of the 80s. It almost seems as if the new wave has died out as quick as it was born.

One band creating a glimmer of hope for the movement however is Greece's Exarsis. Dropping their album 'The Brutal State' in 2013, Exarsis take the speed, intensity and overall energy of Kreator and Exodus and entwine in with the modern-day production values of bands like Evile and Warbringer. It's easy to be turned off by this band before listening to them; you could be easily forgiven for assuming that this was yet another vapid New Wave of Thrash release. However there are multiple things that set this band apart from their counterparts.

For a start, this album has energy, and lots of it. 'The Brutal State' is such a refreshing listen when compared to other modern thrash releases plainly and simply because there is a genuine intensity and ferociousness behind the riffs and percussion with Exarsis. There is hardly any let-up in this album, just 40 minutes of straight, break-neck thrash. Songs like 'Surveillance Society', 'Apathy, Ignorance, Oblivion' and the hard-hitting (proper) opener 'Mind Poisoning' send the listener into a headbanging frenzy in such an easy way that it almost seems effortless. The modern day production actually helps this band to achieve a nice 'crunchy' sound to the guitars. Rather than coming off as over-produced and too clean, the production somehow emphasises the quality of the riffs on this album, and is one of the few examples where modern day production actually comes to the aid of a thrash band rather than hindering them. The production also manages to make the bass very audible without taking away the dynamics of the guitars, and all the instruments seem to be mixed to perfection.

There is just one glaring fault with 'The Brutal State': the vocals. Although the vocals fit the aesthetic of the band to a decent degree, it is easy to be put off by them. It seems like they are halfway between snarling and shrieking, and they just come off as very, very highly irritating. Some listeners may like them because of how well they fit with the chaotic nature of the instruments, but just as many (if not more) will be extremely put off the album purely for the vocals. If there is one divisive element of the album, it is definitely the vocals. It's such a shame because it really stops this album from becoming something truly special and universally likeable.

But despite this, there is no denying that this record is sure to whet the appetite of many a thrash metal fan. Don't dismiss this if you hate the New Wave of thrash for its tendencies to spew out insipid, over-produced bands; although 'The Brutal State' doesn't deviate away from its obvious influences with regards to sound, it doesn't sound forced, uninspired or incoherent. It's the knack for writing genuinely intense, frenzy-inducing thrash which really separates Exarsis from their contemporaries. The bottom line is that this is an extremely fun record to listen to whether you're a fan of the New Wave or not, and sees Exarsis ascending to near-kings of modern day thrash metal.



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user ratings (13)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2014



5895 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

Very well written review, pos.

Please separate the first two paragraphs in your text, so that it reads better.

I agree with everything you wrote, except for the vocals, which remind me of Tim Baker from Cirith Ungol, which is a good thing. However, I can see why they would feel as off-putting for a lot of people.

Digging: Electric Citizen - Sateen

VisionsFromTheDarkSide
January 26th 2014



1766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man, advice taken too!

I can't say I've heard of them, would you recommend them?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2014



5895 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

Hmmm... Cirith Ungol were a cult '80s metal band with progressive rock elements and lyrical themes that stemmed from fantasy literature, Michael Moorcock in particular. Their vocalist was a "love it or hate it" case, but I liked his work, because he sounded different from everything else.

Check King of the Dead for sure and if you like it, proceed to the rest of their discog.




As for Exarsis, this album is better than the recently released Suicidal Angels one. "Suicide Disorder" is my favourite from the album.

VisionsFromTheDarkSide
January 26th 2014



1766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh right, okay I'll check it out for sure seeing as I'm trying to get into prog rock a bit more!

Yeah it's probably one of the best on here, I think my favourite is 'Surveillance Society', as my review may have implied in places

Mister Twister
January 26th 2014



1488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thank you thank you thank you

I agree about the vocals being tough to swallow at first, but they grow on you over time and fit in really well. They had more typical vocals on their debut, and it just doesn't feel the same.

VisionsFromTheDarkSide
January 26th 2014



1766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dunno man I've listened to this a lot now and I don't think my opinion on the vocals will change, although they don't bother me as much as on my first couple listens.

tempest--
January 26th 2014



12491 Comments


Not a bad review man, there's quite a few things that I could point out, but I'm only on mobile atm so I can't be bothered lol.

Pretty cool album too. Definitely one of the better NWOTM bands.

manosg
January 27th 2014



5655 Comments


Nice review man, pos. This is a very good album.

Digging: Donovan - Sunshine Superman

Geadom
January 27th 2014



2807 Comments


good review, pos. I heard a couple tracks and didnt find anything special about this, Vektor still > * modern thrash.

VisionsFromTheDarkSide
January 27th 2014



1766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys, haven't actually heard Vektor, always put them off a bit

Mister Twister
January 27th 2014



1488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

dammit geadom

bloc
January 27th 2014



34649 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First album I heard in 2014.

Although the vocals could be better I think.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Mister Twister
February 8th 2014



1488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Just noticed in the recommended albums section, you said Walking instead of Waking Into Nightmares.

VisionsFromTheDarkSide
February 9th 2014



1766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All this time I thought it was walking haha, thanks for the heads up man

NonApplicable
February 22nd 2014



1924 Comments


I actually laughed out loud when I heard the vocals. You guys seriously must have a high tolerance for shitty thrash singers.

Digging: Monuments - The Amanuensis

NonApplicable
February 25th 2014



1924 Comments


I care. I like every aspect of the music to be well rounded... or at least up to a certain standard.

These arn't thrash vocals, it's the sound of air escaping from a freshly castrated balloon.

tempest--
February 25th 2014



12491 Comments


youre gay why was mmy comment deleted

Mister Twister
February 25th 2014



1488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

if you like all aspects of music to be well rounded

then why did you 5/5 sylosis

tempest--
February 26th 2014



12491 Comments


LOL get pwned noob



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