Exortum – City In The Dead Mask (2009)


This month we find ourselves reviewing another band from the country that makes up 1/5th of the world: Russia. Hailing from Moscow we have Exortum, and band that plays Melodic Death Metal with plenty of clean vocals and even some breakdowns (but not in a really bad way).

The band’s four song EP is called “City In The Dead Mask”, yep, that is what is called. But don’t be fooled by the odd WTF title, the band’s music is very good, in fact the album could be called “Raping Clowns” for all we care and this will not take anything away from the quality of this band.

Since we only have four songs in this EP, we will go with the traditional but dreaded song-by-song review method (hey I have to fulfill my word quota for this review). So let’s start with:

Track 1 - “Forget the old world”. As the opening track of the album the band is out to make a solid impression with a strong riff and some electronic keyboard sounds that grab your attention very quickly. The vocalist’s harsh vocals are not exactly great, but they get the job done and go well with the music. The clean vocal chorus is very catchy and in Russian so it grabbed our attention and is still lingering after a few days of listening this album.

Track 2 - “People thrive on vengeance of others”. This track opens a bit more bombastic than the first one, and here the screamed vocals kind of kill the mood since they sound pretty odd. But this is later fixed with the relentless drumming and the riffing. Here we also have the most ‘commercial’ section of this song around minute one with a very well placed clean vocal part and it gets repeated. We say it sounds kind of commercial, but it’s not that bad and gives the song a different sound than the other tracks.

Track 3 - “City in the dead mask”. Here the band goes for a quick aural assault, filled with catchy riffs that start the song strong. The song gets better around the 2:40 minute mark with a  very atmospheric melodic part that shows some good guitar work, and then it gets a bit Metalcore sounding around the 3:00 mark. This is probably the best song of the album and with a few more tweaks it could be an even better piece.

Track 4 - “Deceit burned love”. This song features more keyboards than the rest of the songs, and it also showcases the band’s abilities at creating very catchy and memorable chorus sections. This song in our opinion shows the band’s current potential and some hints of what can be incorporated to their sound to make them even better.

In overall Exortum has created a very solid EP that will surely be a solid presentation card for them with labels and should get solid reviews with the press. I think this release is available for free on their myspace page, so head over there and check out this modern sounding Melodic DM band from Russia before they are famous.

Band: Exortum Album: City In The Dead Mask
Label: Unsigned

Release: 2009

Official Site myspace
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Country: Russia

Rating: 85/100

Recent Image Galleries