Album: Hell’s Manifest (EP)
Released date: January 25th, 2018
Genre: Black/Death/Thrash Metal
Label: This Metal Lust Productions
After three demos, one extended play, and a couple of split releases with Armaros, Bloodreich, and Explicit; Exitus have brought us yet another filthy offering for the fourth consecutive year (2015-2018) since the band’s existence in 2001. “Hell’s Manifest” is the latest odium that this trio of Filipino extreme metal maniacs had crafted to spread their brand of high-intensity and savage metal music. Released last January 25th of 2018 with a limited 66 cassette copies, this new EP holds five off-color, including a cover of Hellhammer‘s ‘Messiah‘, black/speed metal tracks with a rugged touch of straight-up rock ‘n’ roll.
In my own opinion, Exitus is one of the few modern metal bands out there who, in actuality, can incorporate a lightened up beer rock ‘n’ roll element to their evil sounding music and not get lame or boring. And they had once again proven that with the release of “Hell’s Manifest“. See, every tune in this latest offering is catchy, purely fucking nasty, and entertaining at the same time. Jay Orosa‘s vocal delivery is one of the things that will send shivers down the audience’s spines in this record as he spits venom with his high-pitched traditional black metal shrieks.
The ax department, also handled by the band’s frontman, is loaded with some headbanging thrash and black metal guitar work merged with that haunting old school heavy metal and Motorhead-esque rock ‘n’ roll riffs. Now, even if the riffs here are rather no sweat and straightforward, Jay‘s execution of using those basic driving rhythms of the simple riffing make the songs in the album heavy and it is not monotonous as it keeps the listener’s entertained throughout the EP’s running time. Yes, the guitar sound might be dirty and distorted, but that rock ‘n’ roll essence that the band wants to conjure is still very coherent.
The tempos of the tunes are mid-paced and in some moments a bit slower, which makes it fully convenient for headbanging. This timing and speed are perfect to give the listeners a chance to hear that cranked up and loud bass section, which is rendered by Jay himself since Jerome Alcantara is on indefinite leave during the recording of “Hell’s Manifest“. Though Jerome did make some contributions to the lyrics of the tracks in this EP even with his absence during the recording. Jay‘s bass playing stays chugging with every song along with the perfectly syncopated drum hammering of Joal Eduarte. Joel does bring the speed metal style to the table with his performance behind the kit, but that more classic rock ‘n’ roll nature always stands out because of the more groovy, mid-paced, and simplistic style that he carries out throughout the EP.
Production wise, Exitus had once again brought that empowering the whole ‘old school metal essence’ concept as the offering is still in that classic extremely-muzzy-that-it-makes-it-all-sound-good sound mixing like its predecessors which makes this opus an ideal record for fans of raw and despicably buzzing extreme metal music. And though it is done in this muddy style, the instruments and vocal lines (in spite of the fact that it is embroidered on each other) are still distinct from each other.
So, what do we have here? Well, we have simply five tracks (four, if we don’t count the Hellhammer cover) of pure black/thrash metal aggression, fused with some intelligible speed metal traits and rock ‘n’ roll melody. If you fellas like your extreme metal music memorable, straightforward and relatively fast; then I suggest that you go and get this EP. Man, this right here is fucking rock ‘n’ roll in its ugliest form. I bet some of you had even already figured that out by just looking at the killer artwork of this EP which also, by the way, tells us a lot of Exitus‘s strong anti-Christianity lyrical themes.