|Review: Excommunicated - Death Devout|
Label: Satanath Records
Year released: 2018
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: October 12, 2018
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)
First off, I must say I am not a fan of cover albums anymore. I'd rather stick to the originals than hear any stuff covered by a band. Then again, sometimes the bands and songs covered pick my curiosity...
American Death Metal torpedoes, Excommunicated, featuring Chad Kelly on growls, Bruno Muenzler on bass, Mike Heller on drums, Jonathan Joubert and Jason McIntyre on guitars (and bass in some of these songs), decided to put out a cover album instead of a release of their own material this time around (the band's debut album, Skeleton Key, was released in 2011). It should be mentioned that these lads have many other bands/projects on their merit list: Fear Factory, Suture, Satanist, Despondency etc., so we are talking about a bunch of experienced musicians who certainly know where they are coming from.
As for the covers, well, wow... just... wow! I actually am amazed by the decent treatment they have given the songs covered, which are some of their personal favorite tunes. Let these guys to cover your own Death Metal song next time if you want it to get suitable and respectful treatment. As much as they want these 16 covers to sound as close to the originals, they still put their twists into them, which is how a cover should be done in the very first place: add something of your own into them because it makes things a bit more interesting for everyone.
I have no intention of giving you a track-by-track analysis, so I'll only mention the ones that hit me like a 20.000-ton hammer. The first is Morgoth's "Body Count", in which Chad sounds deceptively like ex-Morgoth growler Marc Grewe. If I had heard this cover song on a radio, I would have said immediately, "hey this is fuckin' German Death Metallers Morgoth...". It sounds so close to the original version. Next is a cover of Napalm Death's "Inside the Torn Apart". I am warning you now... do not expect to hear it played faithfully because the song got a very experimental twist in the hands of these fellows. The end result sounds more like Fear Factory than Napalm Death, but you can still recognize the original song. The cover of Obituary's "Intoxicated" sounds really good to my ears, not having that muddy sound that original version has. Chad is also a pretty amazing guy in sheer aping: he sounds almost exactly like John Tardy in this cut. And when "Lunatic of God's Creation" kicks in, the song from Deicide's debut album, I was about to lose my marbles. The cover just rips your tongue out of your fuckin' mouth!
Talking about downright truly heavy shit, you've got the mighty Bolt Thrower's "World Eater", which destroys. Well done, Chad and co. Also, they do an absolutely killer job with the Morbid Angel song combo - "Day of Suffering" and "Blessed Are the Sick / Leading the Rats", which are some of the finest moments in the band's career. Is it Mr. Vincent behind the vocals here? Sounds much like it but, of course, he is not. Chad truly knows how to change the tone of his voice in order to sound someone else. What a vocal chameleon he truly is!
There are a couple of 'hidden songs', Anal Cunt's "Radio Hit" and Samhain's "Archangel", which unfortunately didn't do much for me (no matter how much I like Samhain), and I was wondering why on earth they even put them on here in the first place? Well, maybe they have their own reasons for doing so, but they don't fit here at all. But that's just my opinion.
End of this rant. Get this if you can, because most likely you won't find any better Death Metal covers album than this.
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