EXILED ON EARTH “Forces Of Denial” /CD/

The second full-length album by Italian Progressive Power/Thrash Metal band.
Founded by Luca Bianchi and Tiziano Marcozzi, Exiled On Earth has been in the Metal game since 1995 under the moniker of Maelstrom. Having spent 16 years together (1995-2000) has paid off in many respects; the guys are a tight unit and work well together musically. This band keeps alive a sound, which has offshoots from Thrash and Progressive Metal.
Exiled On Earth’s sound features the fluidly delivered yet demanding musicianship of bands like Coroner and Helstar, approaching the Prog/Tech Thrash Metal idea in a way that is smoother in its execution and more songwriting oriented as a whole. Their talents bleed through at key moments throughout each song, preferring to get a lot out of relatively little compared to say Vektor or stylistic pillars Watchtower. Shifting tempos and sharp flurries of demanding man oeuvres populate this release with upper-register lead riffing that melds the previously mentioned Helstar’s poetic melodic sensibility with the cutting precision of groups like Forbidden and Germany’s Vendetta. It’s not *quite* Power/Thrash Metal but it touches on that fusion more than a few times, something bolstered further by the resonant mid to baritenor singing, carrying quite a few fleshed out melody lines.
The vocals play a larger part than they do in Thrash Metal in general and tend to run contrapuntally to the riffs and adding an extra layer of melody, comparable to classic Watchtower or Toxik. Although this is much more consonant as a whole, capable of a smooth Power Metal character or at times a grit-inflected Thrashy snarl, sometimes going into proto-Death growl territory. The rhythm section are far from slouching either with careful harmonies from the bass slithering around the riffs, quite noticeable during the more harmony driven, less intense portions. Drumming takes advantage of frequent shifts in aggression levels to work in careful patterns with quick, deft fills deceptively easy to miss. This might seem humble compared to many other bands given the Technical or Progressive tag but its strength isn’t in raw quantity of notes hit but the steady deliberation and careful, subtle nuance that is all too often missing in today’s theory book sorcerers.
Apart from a few moments where the songs sounded too similar to each other, these guys have put together an enjoyable album that demonstrates their musical experience. Those who long for the days when the Thrash Metal genre was something other than a self-referential in-joke should grab this album as soon as possible!
Punishment 18 Records, 2016 (P18R 114). Made in Italy. First press.

1. Forces of Denial 04:37
2. The Glory and the Lie 04:00
3. Hypnotic Persecutions 05:25
4. The Mangler 04:03
5. Vortex of Deception 04:38
6. Underground Intelligence 05:32
7. Into the Serpent's Nest 05:41
8. Lifting the Veil 05:06
Total playing time: 39:04 min.

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