Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: I Exist - From Darkness

I Exist are a somewhat new stoner/sludge metal band from Australia who've previously released two full-length albums along with a demo, EP, split and single. While their content is released via Resist Records in their home country, the band have recently found themselves under the wing of Prosthetic Records who've issued their third album, From Darkness, in North America. For those of us in the latter region, this album is our first true taste of I Exist, just how well will it be perceived?

Genre: Stoner Metal, Sludge Metal
Release Date: December 3rd, 2013
  1. Lightning Curse
  2. Heal Me in Smoke
  3. Sorrow On Hill 105
  4. Rituals
  5. In My Head
  6. Bloodlust
  7. Eternal Reign
  8. Obsession
  9. Tear Down the Crucifix
  10. Ride to Hell
  11. Cold World Vermin
  12. From Darkness
  13. Fool for Death
Total Playtime: 52 minutes, 29 seconds




Rating: 7.0/10




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I Exist are a somewhat new stoner/sludge metal band from Australia who've previously released two full-length albums along with a demo, EP, split and single. While their content is released via Resist Records in their home country, the band have recently found themselves under the wing of Prosthetic Records who've issued their third album, From Darkness, in North America. For those of us in the latter region, this album is our first true taste of I Exist; just how well will it be perceived?

Unlike most albums of its genre, the material starts off with "Lightning Curse" and "Heal Me in Smoke" which are two unexpectedly fast paced tracks; but soon the latter of the two starts descending gradually into the familiar sluggish pace that's well associated with the sludge genre. From here on out the content takes on a variety of tempo fluctuations and composition changes that range from upbeat stoner metal grooves to laid back doom inspired dreamscapes that will take the audience on a relaxed trip.

Barely into the content, by the time that "Sorrow On Hill 105" hits the material picks up a distinctly Orange Goblin cross-bred with Entombed influence that the album can't shake off for the remainder of the ride, unfortunately the material is little more than band worship with less savory compositions with the exclusions of "Ride to Hell", "From Darkness" and "Fool for Death". The hardened death n' roll style of Entombed hits its peak in "Ride to Hell" and "Tear Down the Crucifix", and even shares some of the same riffs that are found in the album Inferno. Oddly enough the drums are pushed to the front of the mix on this album, which further endorses the Entombed vibe that is given off.


When it comes to the production of the album, the content has a slightly grainy quality that adds an additional fuzz to the already heavily distorted guitars and bass. The guitar riffs and overall track compositions are pretty standard cut and dry hard rocking stoner tunes with some rarely heard doom escapes and heavy metal influences that are easy to get into but fail to hold the listener's interest after elongated periods of time. There are a wide assortment of solos which dance in the background and add a dreamy feel to the tracks. The bass is pleasingly audible but does little more than follow the change and patterns of the rhythm guitar, backing the element with deep walking twangs. The vocals are generic, gritty growls that are typically associated with sludge/stoner/doom metal and, while performed well, add nothing spectacular to the content; more passion and varying octaves could liven up the content significantly in future releases. The vocals further add to to the Orange Goblin worship that the material takes on as the vocalist sounds similar to Ben Ward.

Unfortunately From Darkness is little more than standard tried and true stoner metal with compositions that aren't all that exciting. There's an overwhelming lack of originality that leaves the content sounding like the lovechild of Orange Goblin and Entombed with very minuscule hints of Electric Wizard having spilled their seed in the womb. Not all is lost in the material however, as "Fool for Death", "From Darkness", "Ride to Hell", "Tear Down the Crucifix" and "Sorrow On Hill 105" are all enjoyable tracks, just don't expect any groundbreaking originality from this album.

Digital Download Provided by: Prosthetic Records

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