A return had been hinted for a while, but it was still a surprise to hear new material from EXCESSUM last month. Over ten years have passed since the release of Death Redemption, their last album.
Released in 2005 amid an abundance of Swedish black metal releases, specifically the sound and ideology associated with NED and Sweden’s SPR. EXCESSUM belong comfortably in that set, comparing favourably to some of the NED roster, early WATAIN, and DISSECTION to a lesser degree. It does feel more measured and less chaotic than their contemporaries, partly due to the slightly muddy production, but principally the sombre atmosphere filled with great riffs as on the triumphant Lies of the Deceiver.
Guitars bring consistent, evocative Scandinavian black metal, the bass is steady, drums natural, vocals hoarse and shrouded. The lyrical content is and remains consistent, most members have formed or continued bands exploring the same strains of forbidden knowledge.
Originally overlooked or frequently dismissed as derivative, this album does deserve attention approaching that still granted to bands from the same era.
Before and after EXCESSUM members have been active in the Swedish underground with bands such as MATRICIDE, HUMAN DEATH and THE ASCENDANT. Most recently guitarist/vocalist D.C. has been playing live with GRIFT.
Death Redemption remains a great work. The two new songs released this year are excellent, familiar EXCESSUM with 10 years of growth. We will see if this remains their final full length…