New Zealand’s Exaltation have been smoldering in reclusion since releasing their first demo back in 2017. A promising slab of putrid death that falls somewhere between the demonic symphonies of Incantation and the punchier attack of Morta Skuld, the demo was but the first small offering on the pyre.
Take, for instance, the fourth track, “Ascension.” The weighted feel of the bass sinks its claws in, dragging the listener into the ominous feedback of the guitars. With a repugnant “OUGH,” the full band kicks in and the billowing black smoke washes across the soundscape in the form of the downtuned guitars. The notes of the riffs glide from one to the other fluidly as the rhythm section burns like the fiery source of the smoke. The bridge slows down to a smoulder, and the song’s title begins to make a bit of sense. Despite the doomed, sinking crawl, there is a feeling of ascension; a rising tension that builds as the rolling kicks find their groove beneath the crushing guitars. The vocals lash out, “Re! In-carn-a-tion of the funeral… PYYYYYYYYRE” in a combination of vomitous and furious growls–and the funeral pyre does just that. The noisily chaotic solo screams over an abrupt up-shift in tempo as Exaltation, powered by raging frustration, level everything in their path. Perhaps it would be best to burn it all down and start from scratch.
Check out “Ascension” here, and be sure to check Under Blind Reasoning in its entirety at the end of the month on vinyl, cassette, CD, and digital. The album can be preordered via the Sentient Ruin website and the Sentient Ruin Bandcamp page (lower shipping rates for outside of the U.S.)