Local Review: Exaltation’s ‘Beckon the Blood Moon’ Single
The deserts of Southern Nevada may not induce visions of warriors and freezing darkness like the Norwegian wilderness, though the night that blankets the scorching landscape spawns it’s own creatures of the void. Some of these creatures can be found in the blackened conglomerate known as Exaltation.
Las Vegas based Black Metal quintet have been in existence since 2013. Fairly hidden, though steadily releasing more content in the last 3 years, the band is starting to move in a tighter, more consistent direction. Most recently, the band had put out their newest single “Beckon the Blood Moon” debuting their newest addition to their ranks: vocalist Pat Neiweem, who offers a heart-wrenching array of screeches and gloomy grunts to the mix.
Beckon the Blood Moon will probably strike some listeners as “familiar” upon being met with the opening riff as well as the following. It’s dark, it’s raw it’s black metal to it’s core and that’s exactly what the band has set out to accomplish, and accomplish they very well have. A dark, gloomy atmosphere, alternate picked riffs slashing through, the occasional ride cymbal driven verse groove. They type of riffing that would make Infernus proud and Euronymous weep.
One thing I noticed immediately is how surprisingly well-rounded the guitar tone is. Though maintaining a sharp edge that cuts through the mix there’s a nice fullness that fills out it’s occupied space beautifully. The guitars definitely seem to be doing more work in the low-end factor than the bass but in this scenario you could argue that it paid off.
When it comes to the drum mix, I particularly like what they did in the cymbals area. The crashes, hi-hat, ride, all cut through with clarity. In my personal preference, the snare could use just a bit more body and the kicks tend to get lost in faster parts of the song. With that being said, I’d say this is fairly close to the ideal drum mix as far as the raw end of Black Metal goes.
As was mentioned previously this track is the recorded debut of Exaltation’s newest vocalist, Pat Neiweem, who delivers an excellent performance with such a murky, caliginous character to it. Power and ferocity, almost exuberantly, bellow from the abyss and, in my personal, pays off as far as Black Metal vocal performances are concerned. Mix-wise, the vocals sit atop everything as is standard practice.
Bass is pretty buried underneath everything else and doesn’t do too much in the way of filling things out as the guitars seem to take up more space. Certainly doesn’t scream out as a “Llars” move by any means but a little more bass in the mix keeps the bass players coming back to practice. In all seriousness, of course, I’m sure any choices on how to handle the mix were made out of the best intentions as they always are.
If Beckon the Blood Moon proves anything it’s that the Exaltation boys got the Black Metal formula down pretty proficiently. It’s nothing new or spectacularly grandoise but it kicks ass and it’ll definitely get the crowd going. Overall I would set this single at a cool 7.5/10. The band is currently working on an EP set to be released next year and has plans for a couple of upcoming shows in October and Novemeber. In other words: big things coming.
Follow the band on social media using the links below and check out the newest single ‘Beckon the Blood Moon’ on spotify and all other streaming platforms!