Exterminated – The Genesis of Genocide Review

Look, you know as well as I do that this is going to be brutal death metal. The cover, the band name, the label, and the album title all definitively point in that direction. No amount of clever misdirection can draw anyone who’s spent even twenty minutes listening to some “intro to brutal death metal” playlist astray from this fact. Even the biography of Exterminated – two members, one doing all the guitars and programming the drums, the other doing vocals – screams brutal death metal. This setup has worked for plenty of brutal bands, and for me Agonal Breathing and Anomalistic jump immediately to mind.

Tried-and-true formula means, hopefully, the tried-and-true results of good riffs, pong snare, and grotesque gutturals. From a fifty-thousand-foot overview, this is what we get with Exterminated’s debut full-length Genesis of Genocide. This is something akin to aughties brutality, recalling the first couple Pathology records, Guttural Secrete, and Short Bus Pile-Up. The mighty Disgorge is a big influence on this type of sound. Naturally, Suffocation is a major influence as well, and the faster riffs of Terrence Hobbes seem to be a particularly huge influence on Exterminated.

Deep gutturals, pong snare, non-stop barrages of riffs – what’s not to like? When it comes to a song like “Murderous Intent,” very little, as it runs through the usual brutal death beats and does so at a decent level. It’s some point near the end that really sells it though – a huge Dying Fetus style thuggish slam comes seemingly out of nowhere and clobbers the listener like Gallagher and Co. are apt to do in their best moments. Sure, it lacks the requisite technicality of Dying Fetus elsewhere, but this specific element of that sound was done rather well. “Abyss of the Dead” whips out some riffs reminiscent of Suffocation as if they were playing Butchered at Birth and has some effective modern slams baked in for good measure. Another thuggish beatdown riff of the Dying Fetus variety appears in “The Art of Mutilation” and packs a solid punch. I also enjoy the vocals, which employ almost exclusively Matti Way’s style of “wet” sounding gurgles.

Now for what’s not to like. I’m mindful of the distinction between “dislike” and “find uninspiring” and Exterminated fall squarely in the latter camp. All the pieces are here, and the riffs and songs aren’t bad, but I’ve heard this type of brutality done innumerable times in ways frequently more compelling. Defeated Sanity made aping Suffocation remarkably interesting on their debut before defining and essentially perfecting their sound on Psalms of the Moribund, but here Exterminated sounds like they’re going through the aesthetic motions with very little to say beyond “we like brutal death metal.” Listening through Genesis of Genocide, the average fan of brutal death metal won’t find much outright objectionable but will struggle with a reason to put this on over any of its influences or quality modern Suffo-core like Relics of Humanity and Kataplexia. It’s just all so unremarkable and forgettable and acts as brutal window dressing with alarming frequency – Genesis of Genocide is agreeable to a fault.

Exterminated have provided us with an exercise in genre aesthetics that, while competently performed, delivers little beyond the basic sonic qualities of brutal death metal. I don’t hate Genesis of Genocide, but there isn’t much of a reason beyond this review for me to give it more than one listen. As usual, it’s the little things which make all the difference. The programmed drums reside in the uncanny valley, sounding too robotic to be human yet not robotic enough to capitalize on the peculiar charm of Anomalistic and Mortician. The quasi-Suffocation riffs often reside right there in the uncanny valley too, being a little too technical to be consistently brutal and not quite technical enough to cross over into true Suffocation territory, instead being an aesthetic facsimile. The production is quite clean overall, and the modernized and nearly sterilized sound clashes with the gross vocals, the opposite of how Cranial Impalement (for one example) saw those elements work in tandem to nail down a brutal sound. This is basically a gas station sandwich in musical form: it’ll do if you’re in a pinch, but you’re not going to go out of your way to choose it.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 319 kbps mp3
Label: Comatose Music
Website: facebook.com/ExterminatedPH
Releases Worldwide: April 9th, 2021

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