Exalted - _We Are the Grim Throng_
(Battle Kommand Records, 2007)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (7.5 out of 10)
Damn, but there seem to be an increasing number of releases slipping through the mail drop sans any kind of biographical info (what used to be known in journo-circles as a "press sheet"), and when that turns out to be the case you can bet a dollar to a dime that their website -- if there is one -- will be useless as well, except perhaps to pimp shittier quality MP3s of the music you already have, and are trying to find out more about.

Oh well, guess we can chalk it all up to some scheme for all these underground bands to try and outdo each other in terms of being the next out of nowhere success story. Makes it easy for guys like me, too, since this here review's gonna be short and to the point.

Exalted are a four piece Chicago ensemble that do raw, misanthropic black metal pretty much the way it should be done, cacophonous and trenchant, achieving a hallucinatory back wash of ambiance by means of true blue guitar riffs rather than the usual trebly triplets and monotonous blast beats. Occasionally the paucity of the recording budget is laid bare, as on the indiscernible spoken word mumbling beneath the opening chords of "Caves of Lost Rejection", and the drumming throughout is more muffled than I'm sure the band would like it to be, but overall Exalted show a lot of promise in the writing dept. Album opener "Blood Magick" is borderline classic, and follow up "And the Cinders Tell the Tale" ain't too shabby either. From there on in, the quality control slips a bit, even if the energy level doesn't, but at a mere 33 minutes it's hard to get too worn out on the band's charms, and in all fairness they make it up to you at the end with the brilliant "Tyranny of the Bitch Queen".

Time will tell what will become of the band and their label, Battle Kommand Records, as the latter is apparently on the ropes financially after having their offices flooded. Indeed, their website announces the label as indefinitely closed until they get back on their feet again, but current releases are still available for order through the website should anyone want to lend them a little support.

Contact: http://www.battlekommand.com

(article published 14/1/2008)


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