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Skeleton Key EP
September 2012
Released: 2012, Underworld Records
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: UK Team

Excommunicated are a young blackened death metal band from the deep south US state of Louisiana. The Bone Fragments EP has been made available for free download to promote the band’s debut album ‘Skeleton Key’. This free EP contains demos and unreleased material from the Skeleton Key sessions.

The first track ‘The Incorruptibles’ is standard extreme metal fare with mostly indecipherable lyrics and a lot of angst. Next up is ‘When Death Claims Its Most Righteous Dead’, which possesses some cleaner vocals (lyrics are available on request apparently) from these it is clear the band are not all that keen on the Catholic Church. There are a few ‘Sieg Heil!’s’ in there too, which are a slightly lame attempt at being shocking. Next the EP takes a change of direction with ‘Visions and Ecstacies (DJ Moon remix)’ an Industrial Death Metal track. Reminiscent of Skinny Puppy due to the use of break beats, but end up sounding like an amateur remix by one of their small town mates, due to the overuse of a dubstep scratch. Surprisingly we are then given another change of direction with ‘The Abandonment Of Hope (demo) + The Burning Eclipse (demo)’. The previous is a prog rock intro and but latter takes us back into death metal territory not dissimilar to the opening song. ‘Cry to Heaven (rough early mix)’ is the most melodic so far and almost catchy. It has to be said Excommunicated’ are difficult to pin down as either death or back metal, as their sound wildly deviates between the two. ‘The Vatican Orgies (rough early mix)’ follows along a similar theme but with occasionally rapped lyrics. ‘Keys To the Kingdom Of God (demo)’is more of a death affair lasting over 10 minutes. It all ends with ‘In the End, We Die Alone (outro) which features some great blast drumming. As an epilogue the band have provided us with the self-indulgent ego trip of ‘riff jam’.

For a release with started out as standard blackened death metal fare, it ends up surprisingly varied. One for fans of the genre to check out, however be warned: it would have benefited from higher production values but they are demos after all.

Review by Victoria Fenbane
Track Listing

1. The Incorruptibles (alt mix version)
2. When Death Claims Its Most Righteous Dead (alt mix version)
3. Visions and Ecstacies (DJ Moon remix)
4. The Abandonment Of Hope (demo) + The Burning Eclipse (demo)
5. Cry to Heaven (rough early mix)
6. The Vatican Orgies (rough early mix)
7. Keys To the Kingdom Of God (demo)
8. In the End, We Die Alone (outro) + riff jam


Jason McIntyre (guitar, bass)
Jonathan Joubert (guitar, bass)
Chad Kelly (lead vocals)
David Kinkade (session drums)

Other reviews

» Skeleton Key EP
by UK Team

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