Just when you thought all the possible band names ending in “ation” were used up, along comes Norway’s Execration. With a name like Execration, I will give you one guess as to what style of music they play. Syndicate of Lethargy is the band’s debut CD and despite a title that seems to indicate that they are a bunch of lazy asses, it sounds like they put a decent effort into making it.
Execration’s style of death metal is not ground breaking, but they at least tread a path a little less worn than many of their peers in that they are neither spastic brutal death metal, nor impuissant melodic death metal. While Execration by no means eschews brutality or melody altogether, the band seems to favor the sullen trudge over the blast beat blitzkrieg and muted staccato riffing over Iron Maiden styled harmonies. Execration’sheavy use of dissonant sounding chords and the occasional mournful lead guitar line are quite reminiscent of Immolation, though the band’s rhythmically varied riffing brings to mind Suffocation. The band throws a lot of different riffs and tempo changes at the listener, but they always temper their manic intensity with moments of sinister simplicity.
While Execration’s songs are on the whole varied and dynamic, tracks like the eight minute “Swarming Locusts” and the eleven minute closer “Clinging to Existence” rely too heavily on a slow lumbering beats that drag on for too long. The minute and a half of noise at the end of “Swarming Locusts” doesn’t really help hold my attention, either. The band fairs better on shorter tracks where they seem to pack more interesting music in less time.
The production on Syndicate of Lethargy is suitably evil sounding. The guitars are dark and heavy without being too muddy. The drum sound is a bit rawer than the average modern drum production job, giving the drums more character at the expense of some clarity. The bass is a fuzzy rumble, but at least I can hear it, which is more than I can say for most metal records.
Execration is not going to blow anybody away with extremity or innovation, but Syndicate of Lethargy is a good death metal record. The band has a powerful, heavy sound and better than average song writing skills. This is not a “buy or die” record, but if you are in the market for some death metal, you could do worse than Syndicate of Lethargy.