It took German death metal band Deathronation almost 5 years to follow up their debut demo, A Soil Forsaken… with Exorchrism, and now, a year after its original release, the demo is reissued under Iron Bonehead Productions and Metalhit.com, and includes the band’s A Soil Forsaken… demo as bonus material. The small lapse between the original release and the reissue certainly marks well, and personal expectations are certainly high for Exorchrism, being the first contact with Deathronation for me.
The gritty and gnarly guitar tone that greets the listener instantly reminds one of bands like their neighbours Asphyx, with the guitar playing a bombastic and prominent role in the band’s style of old school death metal, and Stiff Old’s vocal style is even somewhat reminiscent of Martin Van Drunen’s howling style. In particular, longer tracks like Scorn Dominion also displays the band’s rather Asphyx-inspired style. Drummer Michael displays his versatility throughout as well, alternating between simple, d-beat influenced moments to just straight, full-on blast beats with ease, like on Beg for Your God
Deathronation‘s style on Exorchrism is straightforward, filthy old school death metal and the intensity that is present throughout the demo is electric, with the guitars providing most of the high tension that is in the atmosphere. Songs like One Once Forsaken and Scorn Dominion even brings in a slight doom influence, with the mid-pace on the initial moments of the track and the heaviness and intensity taking the place of the speed. The mostly straightforward approach that the band takes in the writing of their music is obvious, with nothing that is on the demo being overly technical, with the band preferring to bring their message of death and darkness across in a more direct manner. Even the guitar solos that guitarists Cunthammer and Stiff unleash are rather simple and nothing flamboyant, preferring to let each note ring out, sending chills down the listener’s back and often providing a stark contrast to the biting and aggressive rhythm section. Curse from the Grave even has some haunting keyboards to enhance the already dark and ominous mood.
That said though, the band displays a maturation/progression in their songwriting, compared to their debut demo A Soil Forsaken… with Scorn Dominion, being the longest track in the band’s catalogue thus far. Unlike the approach that the band has taken so far, Scorn Dominion differs from the rest of the songs, with the structure being somewhat more complex, and the band taking the time to build up a climax before letting all hell break loose and is certainly a nice touch, allowing the track to really stand out from the rest of the tracks that are present on this release.
Also, part of the charm of Deathronation on Exorchrism is also that raw production quality of the release, yet not compromising any of the instruments. For example, bassist Muerte is clearly audible throughout, and the low, growling bass often helps to bring out the heaviness and brutality that is in the music, as though the music on Exorchrism weren’t crushing enough.
The included bonus demo A Soil Forsaken… also tracks the band’s humble beginnings and helps in letting fans see how much the band has grown over the years, with material on Exorchrism being written over the 5 years between the two releases, with A Soil Forsaken… presenting a more savage and less polished side of the band. There also seems to be a higher sense of urgency on A Soil Forsaken…, as heard on tracks like Realm of Shadows as well, though the pure evil that emanates from the band is still rather unmistakable. Overall, Exorchrism would be a pleasant experience for fans of old school death metal, and the reissue deal is made even sweeter with the inclusion of the bonus demo, providing more than 45 minutes of crushing death metal.