Genre: Death/Doom Metal | Label: Self Released
Location: Seattle, WA| Listen: Bandcamp
I seem to be on a roll with reviewing stuff from the Seattle area, so I might as well talk about one of my favourite demos from last year. Excarnated Entity play death/doom in the vein of early Paradise Lost (sans goth influences), and they consist of members that have been in a variety of metal bands in the area. Most notably (and relatable, sound wise), it features the bassist of Anhedonist, who is now doing vocals as well. While this does have some ethereal death/doom melodies like Anhedonist, “Stillborn in Ash” forges its own identity with powerful execution.
Right away, this demo sounds like something that would’ve come out on Peaceville Records in the early 90’s, especially the aforementioned Paradise Lost, early My Dying Bride, or even early Vital Remains. This applies to both the production and elements of the songwriting. It’s got this rawness to it that adds to its gloomy, imposing atmosphere that I always associated with said bands. Both the lead and rhythm guitar tone, the vocals, and drum sound all seem like they were aimed at recreating that unique atmosphere.
There’s plenty of great guitar work to sink your teeth into here. The riffs vary from slow, plodding doom sections, to full out evil tremolo riffs, giving the songs plenty of ground to cover, and effective contrast between tempos. There’s some pinch harmonic riffs that sound like they came right out of My Dying Bride’s “As the Flower Withers.” Furthermore, the lead guitar work is fantastic, throwing in plenty of ominous melody throughout the songs, and even getting into full out ripping solos. Again, these sounds a lot like the debut Paradise Lost at times. “Perverse Zealotry,” the longest track on the album, also utilizes some notable effects on some lead parts to further add character to it.
Excarnated Entity masterfully navigate through the ebb and flow of each song. Both the title track and the closing track, “Split Visage,” feature some of the fastest parts on the recording, utilizing blast beats and full out death metal riffage, only to break down into some more crushing mid paced riffs and eerie melodies. Nothing feels forced or out of place, likewise no part seems to overstay its welcome, which is easy to do when it comes to slow tempos.
As of writing this, “Stillborn in Ash” just recently received a proper CD/LP release on Nuclear Winter Records, and features new artwork and remixed version of the four songs. I can’t comment on this new mix, but I am certainly curious to hear it (and I need to get my filthy paws on a hard copy, so I’m sure I will soon enough). Fans of early 90’s death/doom should get familiar with Exarnated Entity, as this demo will not disappoint. Here’s hoping a full length is in the works, as this demo has certainly set a high standard for this new band.