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Review of the Album "Sentenced to Life" by Exarsis

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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Who Is Exarsis?

Exarsis is a thrash metal band that is from Kiato and Athens in Greece and they have been active since 2009. Their latest studio album called Sentenced to Life is an example of thrash metal that is modern, melodic, and aggressive at the same time. These three attributes are three attributes that will make a thrash metal album stand out on top. Exarsis is another addition to the surely growing Greek thrash metal scene and folks, this nation in Southern Europe is becoming a breeding ground for new talent and this bodes well for the future of thrash metal in Greece.

Sentenced to Life was released the day after Thanksgiving on November 27, 2020 and we have to take a moment to be thankful that even in difficult times, music is still being written, produced, and released.

What Is the Musical Style of Sentenced to Life?

The lead vocals are similar to the Greek bands Amken and Typhus. However, what we hear on this album is Iron Maiden influenced melodies while sounding like thrash metal at the same time. In the song “Mouthtied” there is a distinct feel of a modern punk/thrash song reminiscent of early Iron Maiden along with a touch of Judas Priest in the mix.

Greece Is a Nation That is Growing in the Thrash Metal Genre

However, it is now time for other bands to sort of assume the role of trying to show the world about the impressive evolution of the metal genre and Exarsis does just that with this album. In life it is very important to fight for our rights and what we stand for even if others will not agree with us. In 2020, we are hearing bands that are not only showing their modern skills but these bands show that they are able to really move past the kind of thrash that we heard 30 to 40 years ago.

The vocals by Nick J. Tragakis are similar in pitch to the vocals of bands such as Attomica although we did make reference to the vocals of the other two bands Typhus and Amken.

The 2020s is a decade that started off very strongly for Greece in the area of thrash metal. If the previous decade was strong for Europe and Japan in the genre of thrash which it certainly was, then Greece is making some serious strides in the right direction. Gone are the days of fast, raw thrash metal and in comes modern thrash which is continuing to solidify its hold on the genre. After all, most fans these days would prefer thrash metal with melodic brilliance as would I.

"Sentenced to Life"

The guitars are fast, fluid, and sharp. There is a lot of heavy flow to the album but it all works out well. The song “Interplanetary Extermination” in the beginning has that early Annihilator influence with that raw, razor sharp riffing similar to the song Human Insecticide. However, Sentenced to Life begins in a rather unusual fashion with the track “Cen$ored.” The track is just a short narration about the fact that freedom of speech has become so politically correct that its value has been diminished. Then after that, fans can put any feelings of apprehension to rest as what follows that is a very melodic song called “Another Betrayal.” What is clear is that Exarsis has not betrayed thrash metal but they have stayed true to form. This song is very much in the early 1980s style because of the tone and or the way that it sounds. I discovered this after the 4thlisten through this album! Think of the album Sentenced to Life as having that 1980s sound while still having been released in 2020. This may sound contradictory given the fact that the sounds of thrash metal albums in the 1980s were rawer in some cases and the guitar sound was more primitive.

There is still some semblance of melody such as the interludes in the song “The Truth is no Defence” and even a little bit of tapping in the mix.

Exarsis Discography

Year ReleasedAlbum Title

2010

Demo 2010

2011

3 Ways of Thrashers (split album with the bands НAANMAY and Kasatura)

2011

Under Destruction

2013

The Brutal State

2015

The Human Project

2017

New War Order

2020

Sentenced to Life

Final Thoughts

The album Sentenced to Life isn’t Reign in Blood quality, good but it is an album to be appreciated. “The Drug…” is a beautiful two minute (plus instrumental) song that is progressive influenced and it offers our eardrums a sort of break from the relentless play of heavy songs. There is not one bad moment on the album Sentenced to Life as it an album that deserves a score in the very high 90s on a 100 point scale for sure.

Rate the Album "Sentenced to Life" by Exarsis

© 2020 Ara Vahanian

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