Release DetailsLABEL Battle Kommand Records
RELEASED ON 8/8/2007
We Are The Grim Throng
posted on 1/2008 By:
There’s something to be said for being ‘good’. Or in the case of Illinois’ black metal heathens Exalted, very good. When you sit there wanting to throw on something for a quick fix that recalls the true arrogance and furor of the early European kvlt black metal scene, but don’t really want to feel stuck in a time warp, then the brief We Are The Grim Throng is exactly what you should reach for in order to appease your hunger for blast-driven, groove infused misanthropy. It’s produced well, performed decently, and absolutely feral in delivery.
Firstly, quickly following the initial opening growl/scream that opens the album, I was struck with one of the most battering drum tones I’ve heard in a while. When tracks like “L+N+D” settles into a mid-paced, easy head banging groove, the matte-finished snare falls in line evenly and blends well. However, when things rev up to a breakneck speed (which is more often the case), the damn snare abuse Hecubus brings forth is a completely different, vicious animal on “And The Cinders Tell The Tale”, “Conquered Shores”, and the beginning attack of “Ride Of The Black Horde” among others. It was surprising these old speakers withstood such a relentless beating, and if the bass guitar had been any louder, it might have been a bit overwhelming.
Additionally, the riffs themselves bite with a searing tone reminiscent of Sear Bliss’ Glory And Perdition, with an overall feel not too far removed from that album, with hints of mid-era Immortal, and another local Illinois band, Nachtmystium (not odd, considering currently on hiatus Battle Kommand distributes the disc). Unchallenging, smoothly delivered, and sometimes piercing with rage, the guitars aren’t entirely unique stylistically, but never sound generic or mundane. The switching between vocals on the part of rhythm guitarist Arend, and bassist Azog is not only complimentary, but also fresh-sounding in arrangement, sometimes harkening back to an early Venom/Celtic Frost vibe when more laid-back, rending grooves roll on through. I can’t help but notice when they lose their timing occasionally how it sounds like this was recorded live in one take and left as-is, but this unedited deviation from the meter isn’t as distractingly bad as some of the less talented bands in the genre we’ve had to suffer through.
Even if nobody will call this record a timeless masterpiece, it’s safe to say there probably won’t be too many folks denying the genuinely flat-out hateful feel of We Are The Grim Throng, as this is one raw son of a bitch. Clean yet still somehow very earthy, direct but full of interesting side accents along the way, this is a 33 minute black metal adrenaline rush that leaves a satisfying, bloody swath of destruction in its wake. Despite Exalted's enjoyable but limited bag of tricks, this has the potential to be your favorite album for at least a few days if this is your kind of thing, and it’s definitely worthy of attention and money if you can find it anywhere. Go forth, and investigate further.
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