Greetings tech fiends, it's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's column, here's the usual weekly reminder that if you're looking to find even more sick bands, you can do so here.
This Friday, June 17th, Unique Leader Records will release The Hybrid Suns, the fifth album from French shredders Exocrine. We've got the early full stream of it for you today embedded at the end of this post. Like a lot of people, my first experience with Exocrine happened in 2017, shortly after the release of their 2nd album, Ascension. I covered it here for us, and it only took the band one year to come back with their 3rd album, Molten Giant, and I'm glad we did the early full stream of it for this column. I didn't get around to covering the band's 2020 album, Maelstrom, but I enjoyed it a lot, and it seems a lot of other people did as well.
For those new to the band, let's back up and explain what Exocrine is all about. The band plays a heavily progressive death metal-influenced take on tech-death that's also speed-addled and quite chaotic at the same time. So in essence, they're a tech-death band that revels in excess and thrives on being even more over-the-top than most, and yet they're an extremely diverse and dynamic group with songwriting chops lightyears beyond most of their peers. Some of the label's promotional material for The Hybrid Suns does a great job at explaining what the album is all about and who it will appeal to. Part of it explains that The Hybrid Suns sees Exocrine "Continuing to push the boundaries of extremity and precision playing, Exocrine is the bridge between the ferocity of Archspire and Cryptopsy, and the potent progressive leanings of Obscura and Gorod." I'd also add Beneath The Massacre and The Faceless to that list as those influences and bands this will appeal to and that's not an insult!
I reached out to see if we could get some new information from the band for this premiere and guitarist and vocalist Sylvain Octor-Perez was kind enough to share the following statement. Sylvain says: "For our fifth album, The Hybrid Suns, we decided to try to explore something that was more organic feeling whilst still retaining the core Exocrine elements of speed and technicality. We also allowed ourselves to create a more complex album concept with a particular timeline. And, for people who have followed our progress across several albums, we've added some concealed nods to previous work. We feel that this album is our most epic and maybe even our most expressive."
The Hybrid Suns clocks in at a swift 34 minutes spread across nine dense songs with the majority of them landing at under the four-minute mark. I'd urge anyone who checks this out to at least give it a few spins since there is so much going on and it requires your full attention at all times. This album is fucking excellent and will most likely be one of my favorite tech-death releases of 2022 by the time the year comes to an end. I suppose my only real complaint about it is the same one I've always felt in regard to Exocrine, that I wish they'd rise above sounding like a mere composite of their main influences. But, at the same time, the myriad of ways they mix prog-death and frenetic tech-death together is in itself unique. So it's not as if the band is a hollow imitation of others really, it just feels to me like they're capable of so much more, and I want to see them deliver on that. The band's potential and consistent upwards trajectory is far from being maxed out, and I look forward to seeing what Exocrine delivers in the future.
So be sure to check out Exocrine – The Hybrid Suns below. If you like what you're hearing the album can be pre-ordered here. You can follow the group over on the Exocrine Facebook Page and Instagram Page.