24 Aug 2013
Old Stuff: Excision - The Drowning Tear [Demo] (1993, Self-released)
For some reason there aren't many Dutch bands in the international metal world. The few that have made it are mostly great, but the Netherlands has a virtually untapped reservoir of awesome underground metal. A band such as Excision never really got an international break and as such are more or less completely unknown to the vast majority of metal fans around the world despite the vast quality of their material. The few that do know them most likely do through Excision's split with Paul Speckmann's Master from 1996.
Excision only had a few demos, an album and a split under their belt, and the release in question here is the last demo before releasing their only full length "Dreamality". The demo is entitled "The Drowning Tear" and in congruency with that title does have some minor melancholic doom influences, but for the most part the four tracks on the demo consists of semi-progressive death metal - Progressive for the early 90's anyway.
The demo has unusually good production for a dutch demo tape from '93. Do you expect a dutch demo tape from '93 to be any good? Hell no you don't, but Excision hit the nail right on the head with tracks like Melancholy and My Black, Shining Sun. They had a pretty heavy sound and a unique mix of melody and death metal for their time, rivalling most of the contemporary American bands in brutality.
It is the little things on in the big picture that makes Excision's demo stand out. The little things such as in The Burning Mirror where they gradually increase the speed. Unfortunately it is also the little things that in turn subtract from the greatness of The Drowning Tear. The Dutch band has a small tendency to put in some pretty cheesy stuff amongst all the goodies, such as a bland piece with clean guitars in Melancholy (which are luckily screamed away by the masterly growls of the lead singer after a short time), and My Black, Shining Sun took some getting used to with the cheesy synth intro. Again, Excision comes through by sporting some seriously groovy death metal riffing that they made their trademark on The Drowning Tear. Definitely a hidden gem worth checking out if you're into early Deicide, Morbid Angel and Nocturnus.
1. A Light Without Shadows
2. The Burning Mirror
4. My Black, Shining Sun
Listen for yourself