2014 is an important year for the New Zealand metal scene, especially since seeing the release of the first full-length from the country's premier Blackened Thrash band, EXORDIUM MORS; musically drawing from artists such as BEHEMOTH, VADER and BATHORY, there is something contained within “The Apotheosis of Death” for every extreme metal fan. This band is a testament as to why the NZ metal scene should not be underestimated.
Building on the primordial force from hell that was their previous EP, the full-length is brandishing a fresh kind of grandioseness that I did not expect layered above the brutality; “Axiom” projects this right from the start. Reminding me a little of IMMORTAL, the riffs unfurl with a dark and infernal purpose, contrastingly ordinal in its delivery. “Ascension through Vanquished Flesh” invokes the raw vitriol that we heard on the previous effort; it is arranged in such a way that it progresses through evolutionary stages; a deliberately uneven orbit through periods of unbound chaos, frantic scrapings at unstable, cracking footholds, until the system crashes around it, almost in profound realisation. It is perhaps the band's best testimony to their technical skill, especially to that of the vocal delivery: primeval and erratic snarls, unconfined by structures that I promise are most unlike many extreme Metal bands you have heard.
“Abandone all Hope” is a unique amalgamation of genres, with a strong Thrash Metal presence down to a hypnotic, group chant, layered under the hellishly fast riff deliveries. It features an intriguing duality between two contrasting vocal presences, which works to add a new, unforeseen dimension to the track. The stellar lead guitar work percolates as lava through fissures; one of the strongest, if not my personal favourite, tracks on the record. “Blade of Brutus” is the album's Leviathan, running for over 8 minutes, and sums up the album in all manner of ways. Representing a message of philosophical significance, it simultaneously progressive and bombastic, and gathers together a myriad of soundscapes from the heavy and claustrophobic, to the chest-beating and fire-spitting.
It is no wonder this band can be proud to claim as once sharing a stage with BEHEMOTH; well-established in their home country, Metal of this calibre deserves not to be restricted by geography and communication boundaries, but to be experienced by all the world's lovers of the blackened, the deadly, the thrashing and the downright evil.