Exilium - Heavy Metal Demon - (5.5/10)
Published on August 15, 2017
Genre:Heavy Metal / Thrash
Initially started as an amalgamate thrash/death/black metal band, Exilium formed in 2008. The band released a split that year and a demo the next before going silent for the better part of a decade. In 2017, the Venice-based group released a thirty minute EP, Heavy Metal Demon, which saw a stark departure from their early material.
As the title suggests, Heavy Metal Demon is a heavy metal release. Aside from some nods to their thrashy past, the album plays through in a traditionally charged style. While these guys are competent enough, their music is largely forgettable, coming across as second rate Mystic Prophecy worship with the occasional burst of excellence. Where Exilium excels is during the charging dual guitar harmonies and the select few moments of muscular, chest thumping thrash towards the end of the album. These moments are rather few and far between, though. That being said, the production is decent, giving the guitar tone a bit of bite and a rather warm mix overall, and the band members are competent enough with their respective instruments.
Unfortunately, the band isn’t able to keep things interesting throughout, sounding forced and ultimately vapid for the most part. While the vocalist isn’t terrible, and even belts out some decent hooks and sporadic vicious snarls, the choruses and vocal harmonies are flat and uninspired. The frequent gang shouts, a tactic typically used to invoke unchained energy when used correctly, sound contrived. The rest of the band gets the job done, but there’s not a lot one is going to remember going away from this.
Heavy Metal Demon sees the band taking a stab at something new, and while they didn’t fall completely flat on their asses, the growing pains are clearly evident; leaving one wondering if Exilium could put it all together and deliver an enjoyable outing. The harmonized guitars and thrashy undertones cut through the mediocrity, but it’s just not enough to carry the weight of an otherwise tepid and bland performance.