Exarsis is exactly the type of band that is somewhat a victim of their time. If they had been around in the 80s, they would be forever hailed as a hidden gem of the era because of their distinctive sound. Instead, as a modern band, they sometimes seem to give off a cartoonish vibe to their music that likely doesn’t jive for thrash purists. Look beyond the era, however, and you’ll find a band that manages to stand out without radically altering the thrash formula. “New War Order” is their fourth such effort, and while I can’t claim to be overly familiar with their back catalogue, it is a worthy addition nonetheless.
The band’s current fame is somewhat due to their erratic singer. High-pitched vocalists are not uncommon in thrash, but this guy is completely off the rails. He switches between an underdeveloped harsh vocal, and totally insane air raid siren screams. Much of his lines are delivered in the latter style, though he switches between the two seemingly at random, making for an even more out of control sound. If you can’t deal with 40 minutes of a Greek madman shrieking at you,Exarsis is not the band for you.
With this in mind, it’s easy to lose sight of the music, but Exarsis excels in this realm too. They don’t reinvent the wheel, but they opt for a rhythm-intensive brand of thrash that would put even the most experienced riff gods to shame. The band’s guitarists love throwing gallops into riffs, making even the simpler riffs more complex. The band has little patience for anything other than thrash, rarely slowing down or letting up. The result is a series of songs that hit incredibly hard, causing immediate whiplash.
“New War Order” wouldn’t be complete without all of the other staples of thrash. Gang vocals are in high supply, though they are admittedly outclassed by any of the frontman’s shouts. Social and religious commentary is likewise prominent (both the album cover and the song titles should give that away). As always though, it is the quality of the riffs that matters most, and Exarsis has no shortage of great riffs. The songs have their memorable moments, but as the band’s sound is one-dimensional, the real value comes from the unrelenting thrash assault. Regardless, Exarsis is so effective at creating musical mayhem that “New War Order” is an essential purchase for all modern thrashers!
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“Prophet For Profit”
4.0/5 or 80%.