To my ears, Colorado’s Excommunion presents a merging of brutal death metal and atmospheric black metal styles. It works best to describe them as skullfucking brutal as their latest release, Thronosis, is predominantly just that, regardless of the band’s obvious influences. Whatever you might hear in the band’s music, it’s genuinely hard to compare them with many other metal acts. Excommunion doesn’t sound like Morbid Angel, Deicide or Obituary, and they don’t sound overtly similar to brutal death metal pioneers Suffocation either. Known in the past for their landmark debut album Superion, Excommunion, needless to be said, escapes the trappings of present-day tributary death metal and has crafted an immediately enthralling EP’s worth of original-sounding music, eleven years since their latest, a split with the band Dethroned, was released in 2006.
What better label to release an album as interesting as Thronosis than Dark Descent Records, a label that has weathered the trends in extreme metal and death metal in particular to become one of the most successful and reliable small labels in the scene. To add more reasons to check this out, Excommunion doesn’t waste time with any ambient trickery to start or end the album. It dredges open graves from the start of the EP’s runtime, and successfully holds the listeners’ interest until the finish. I liked Thronosis a lot, but I am possessed of the notion that this band’s best has yet to come, so here’s to hoping that the guys will release more material soon.
If you want more reasons to check this out, a listen will suffice. Any death metal fan jaded with the onset of more tributary old-school death metal must give Thronosis a listen prior to harboring expectations. Excommunion is unique and their sound and style invokes swirling, billowing clouds of smoke for more atmosphere than most death metal bands attempt to create, particularly, bands that do old brutal death metal tribute. When the group hits blast sections, the music sounds fitting for a freight train ramming full-speed into a bank vault. They slow down intermittently in the doom/death fashion and the resulting blow from the rhythm section sounds similar to a wrecking ball leveling a building full of people.
Ritual-worthy because of the fast and slow tempos merging, Excommunion also plays chugging sections that contribute to the whiplash-inducing headbanging. Besides that, the artwork is killer, so if the record is available in analog, fans get to own a piece of history with a copy of this album, as originality is a fairly subjective exercise in judgement. But, almost everyone will agree that there’s no band like Excommunion out there. So what are you waiting for? Ready, get set, get EXCOMMUNIONated.
Thronosis Track Listing:
01. Twilight of Eschaton
03. World Crucifier
04. Blessed is the Epoch of Darkness
Run Time: 31:57
Release Date: May 12, 2017
Check out the track “Nemesis”