Hells Headbangers Records
The only death metal band out of Norway that really captivated me so far is Kraanium with their relentless, brutal style of death metal. Apart from that, my knowledge of Norwegian death metal is as good as zilch. Yet here we are with Execration, already on their third full length album with Morbid Dimensions.
First impressions of the band was one of uncertainty; not knowing what to expect but already knowing that this was gonna be something vastly different from the brutality of Kraanium, with that abstract and somewhat psychedelic album artwork giving a slight clue to the band’s sound to first-timers. Opening track Cosmic Mausoleum immediately displays the quirkiness in the band’s songwriting and playing, with the doom-pace and the riffs of Jorgen and Chris reminds one instead of the early doom material of Black Sabbath or Saint Vitus. But soon enough, the band goes into a slightly lighter, though not necessarily less chilling segment, and over here one is reminded of the softer, but darker moments of bands like Opeth – clean guitars, chill beats on the drums, shrouded by that dark atmosphere.
Just as one wonders where the death metal in Morbid Dimensions is, one is presented an aural assault in the middle of Cosmic Mausoleum. The death metal style of Execration fuses a number of old school elements, ranging from Autopsy to the style that Swedish bands tend to experiment with like on Morbus Chron‘s, Tribulation‘s and Horrendous‘ last records. Apart from the playing style of the band, the entire record is like a roller-coaster ride, and the band often changes pace and mood, going from a blastfest to one that sends tingles down one’s back when least expected, leaving one always on the edge of his seat and in constant suspense.
Yet the band still retains the old school element in their playing, preventing Morbid Dimensions from being a completely experimental record, with the more thrashy moments being somewhat reminiscent of bands like Master and the likes. There is also that slightly blackened touch that the band has added to their writing, and often it is this that gives that haunting touch and atmosphere to Morbid Dimensions, especially with the riffs of Jorgen and Chris like on Ritual Hypnosis. Moments on Doppelgangers at times even reminded me of Behexen or Horna, with the cold and hostile atmosphere.
If one expects a completely fast or brutal release from Execration, then prepared to be disappointed as what Morbid Dimensions present is something far more diverse and displays the versatility of the band both in terms of musicianship and songwriting. Certainly one of the more interesting death metal records that I have chanced upon, and those enamoured by the Swedish trend of experimental death metal will certainly find this one hell of a release as well.