I’m not really sure if the extremely hokey spelling of this band’s name is meant to be ironic and over the top, or if these guys just have a knack for ridiculousness. Whichever the case may be, get past the fact that you’re listening to a band named Exxxekutioner and dive into a very dark and murky cave of blackened thrash riffs with their debut album titled Death Sentence. Exxxekutioner hails from England, and hasn’t recorded much material since formation back in 2013, but this album marks a strong, short start for what seems like a promising career.
With an album that only consists of eight tracks, and with half of them coming in at three minutes or less, it’s no surprise that this is a fairly easy listen with a digestible taste to it. No, it doesn’t really have much of a punk attitude; however, the main attraction is the thrash fueled riffs finished with a very hard production. “Death Worship,” one of the longer songs, takes a layered approach, keeping the rhythms very monotonous while maintaining momentum. This then allows a heftier bridge to take charge and help cut through the night with thunderous drums.
Harder productions and dirty riffs just wouldn’t feel complete without those burnt, raspy black metal shrieks, right? Well this is a constant that doesn’t die off at all, and is able to match the music very well, whether the songs use the slower and more suspenseful approach or that straight to your face thrash metal loaded artillery. The intensity, atmosphere, and delivery are what makes this shine brighter than your average riff monster. Solos are seldom and variety isn’t at a high, so every band member very much needs each other in order to remain focused. “Blood Vengeance” definitely does have a pretty banging solo, though, and it’s also one of the longer ones.
Had Death Sentence been a long album, it would get old fast. Since they’re pretty straightforward and accomplish what they need to in a short amount of time, it’s fairly accessible for this type of music and makes for a fun spin. If you seek consistent speed with a rocky and rigid surface, this is the album for you.
Death Sentence will be released on October 19, 2018 through Ulthar and can be picked up through the label.