Following the latest EOUI and Cryptic Hatred releases, my foray into the new Finnish death metal scene continues with the Espoo natives of Exigenced. With ages ranging from 16 to 19, this five-piece machine plays a tainted blend of thrash and death that hearken back to the sound of the 80s.
While EOUI carried modern hardcore influences, and Cryptic Hatred paid tribute to OSDM, Exigenced packs its death metal in a barbed wrap of glasnost-era thrash. The first track of their latest EP, “Morals Forgotten,” instantly carried me back to yore with its machine-gunning and galloping riffs.
From the fast-paced energy to the crunchy guitar tones, drawing comparisons to the sound of the decade of greed is inevitable. There’s a bit of Slayer, Sodom, and Kreator in Exigenced’s genetic code, which fits the EP’s musical narrative perfectly.
On “Morals Forgotten,” the monsters are not zombies or ghouls, but men. Visions of apocalypse is a thrash metal staple, yet for some, it has become reality. Daemorph, a Kharkiv-based artist, painted the EP’s harrowing cover. Despite its obvious stylization, the work looks almost too real.
In some ways, the ideas and notions that inspired bands like Nuclear Assault in the 80s have sadly materialized. Today’s youth share many affinities with the youngsters that played thrash back in the genre’s heyday, facing an extremely shaky future, and finding the Sword of Damocles hanging above their heads.
“Morals Forgotten” does not reinvent the wheel, but that’s beside the point—the EP packs a punch in terms of energy and style. Chuck Schuldiner’s influence looms over the vocals and the leads, which, for me, are the highlights of this release. Listen for instance to the evocative Red Visions and its arpeggiated guitar solo.
I wrote about the Helsinki death metal scene in the past, and in some detail in my interview with Jad Batrouny of EOUI on Chaos Zine. We are seeing a new generation building upon the last, taking cues from legends such as Sentenced, Demilich, and more.
When you look at the median age of the band members, you can see that Exigenced has some space to grow, but with “Morals Forgotten,” they already managed to combine the right death and thrash ingredients to stand out in their hometown and beyond.
The 80s and 90s are old history. Tape-trading is gone, just as, some might say, MTV. A digital age is upon us, where one musician can craft an entire album solo. So there is a definite sense of nostalgia seeing youngsters writing and practicing in the same spaces, as well as performing live together. This is what “Morals Forgotten” is born of, a local, “analog” scene, just as our original thrash and death favorites were.