Considering the people involved in heavy metallers Exorcism, it is no real surprise that debut album I Am God is an impressive blaze of highly skilled and riveting adventure. It is a fiery encounter with a collection of tracks which for the main bring the imagination and emotions intensive satisfaction whilst taking them on incendiary explorations. The only uncertainty is why band and album are being classed as doom/heavy metal as though there are melancholic themes, slow and dark inciting shadows, and weighty emotional textures at work within the release, its sound is dramatically heavy melodic metal.
Exorcism was formed in 2006 by Csaba Zvekan of Raven Lord and Zvekan with many of the tracks on the album written in that period by the vocalist. Originally set to be part of his solo album, the songs were set aside as the always busy Zvekan explored and emerged with other projects across the years. Resurrecting the tracks last year after his management company Rock’N Growl and Zyx Records/ GoldenCore Records took an interest in the songs, Zvekan has filled out Exorcism with the addition of guitarist Joe Stump (Raven Lord, Holy Hell, Reign Of Terror), bassist Lucio Manca (Raven Lord, Solid Vision), and drummer Garry King (Joe Lynn Turner, Jeff Beck, Achillea). It is a mighty line-up bringing their experiences rigorously to bear on the album.
The album needs mere seconds to impose its stature and potential on attention and senses, opener End Of Days stretching over the listener with stern rhythms and wiry melodic teasing whilst riffs and bass offer bestial textures to their sound which grips the imagination as much as the sonic enterprise. It is a potent and intriguing start increasing its suasion with the ever impressive vocals of Zvekan. As the track expands its narrative and shadows it is probably fair to say that you can concede the doom reference though it is more a spicy flavour than an imposing presence within the heavy metal consumption. In many ways the album is like the song, making strong and captivating first impressions but evolving into long term compelling triumph over time.
The guitar craft of Stump veins and flares within the track, repeating the act time and time again as proven by the following title track, its dark canvas a provocative wrap stalked by bass and rhythms and subsequently ignited by Stump’s prowess alongside the ever rich vocal flames of Zvekan. The track is a weightier proposition than the first, its gait a lumbering instigation but with the gritty vocals aligned to melodically driven keys and guitars, there is more of a thick stoner/grunge feel to the scenery. It is a powerfully satisfying track though not as potent as the previous track and the brilliant Voodoo Jesus which steps up next.
The song is a bewitching mix of rich styles, enslaving textures, and enthralling invention, easily the best track on the album. From its first second, grooves and sonic lures squirm through ears on the way to slipping right under the skin, their intent skirted by crisp rhythms and the again carnivorously toned bass. The bait and toxicity that Manca brews with his string plucking is pure addiction across the album, a definite highlight and here making an irresistible allurement. The track rumbles and twists like a demonic temptress; a metallic medusa with rippling riffs and sonic snakes mesmerising the imagination whilst that persistent warped groove and imposing hypnotic rhythms chain the passions tightly. It is a glorious slab of melodic metal with the sinews of a bear and poise of a robust gazelle, coloured by mouthwatering malevolence and demonic seduction.
The pair of Last Rock N Roll and Master Of Evil are given a hard task following such a triumph but both make a formidable attempt, the first with blustery sonic weaves clad in a pleasing acidity as rhythms and riffs ravage the air around them and the second with transfixing flirtation and muscular enticements. A shimmering glaze soaks ears first before the bass once again steals focus with its rapacious almost portentous appearance. Both aspects continue to coax potently as scarring riffs and the expressive tones of Zvekan explore the corners of the song. The unpredictable turns and avenues taken by the track greedily hold appetite and thoughts gripped but it is the bursts of ingenious invention which spear the song and the anthemic lure of the Zvekan which lights the fuse for a lustful devouring of the passions. It is another scintillating pinnacle upon the loftily peaked release taking the listener on an incredible journey through dark innovative climates.
In some ways the album never finds the same plateau again but certainly never leaves satisfaction and enjoyment looking for their next meals, though the song Exorcism admittedly does not stir up much more than approval when it steps up next. It is nicely crafted vocally and musically though but too deep into classic heavy metal for personal tastes. Things lift again with the blues kindled furnace of Higher as it roars and stomps eagerly, again a grunge essence joining the blazing melodic metal fuelled charge, before Stay In Hell merges a cinematically seeded wash of sinister yet elegant keys with enveloping emotive melodies and scorching sonic enterprise for an absorbing flight through climactic skies and a sultrily flamed emotional landscape.
The album comes to a close with firstly the vigorously smouldering and intensively heated Fade The Day before the old school metal surge that is Zero G brings a thrilling finale. Striding with heavy rabid Sabbath-esque rhythms and riffs the track simply cages the passions, inflaming their ardour with sonic exploits from Stump which send tingles down the spine and an imaginative adventure which reaffirms the aggressively inventive and exploratory realms the album continually offers. It is a breath-taking close to a raucously exciting release, though there are moments when you feel the band do not go far or often enough into the vat of ingenuity which sculpted the major moments of the album such as Voodoo Jesus. Nevertheless I Am God is a real treat and the marker which suggests Exorcism could be Csaba Zvekan’s most important project yet.
I Am God is available via GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music now!
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