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 Tracklist - all songs written by Lionel Marquez and Yves Balandret

01. Help Me
02. Don't Forget Never Forgive
03. Haunted House
04. God Is Mine
05. Open Your Eyes
06. We Are Bound
07. Let Me Go
08. Power
09. You're My World


Drum sessions recorded by  Kevin Paradis

Guitar sessions recorded by  Eloi Nicod

Acoustic guitar on "Open Your Eyes" by Guillaume Aldebert

Guitars, bass and vocals recorded at  Little Big Music Studio (France) by  Christophe Darlot and Hubert Harel


Released on 1st October 2021 - M&O Music - Season of Mist distribution - Replica Promotion

Exhorted are:

Vocals - Yves Balandret

Bass - Lionel Marquez

Drums - Edoardo Panepinto

Exhorted - Startseite | Facebook

Exhorted (@exhorted_metalband) • Instagram-Fotos und -Videos



            Do you like mighty riffs, badass tempo changes as if they were created by an imposing engine, guttural sour vocals, hammering guitars, and truly powerful drums? Do you like Kataklysm, Bolt Thrower, Loudblast? And if a couple of songs would be spiced up with just little drops of dark Metal?

If yes, go and check out Exhorted without losing time! We cannot deny that in 2021, Thrash, Death, and Black Metal are experiencing a kind of new flowering of enthusiasm and interest, especially in Europe. Many bands launch new music within the framework of extreme genre, and it's with pleasure that I like to introduce my readers to this powerful French Thrash/Death band: Exhorted (not to be confused with Exhorder).  What I'd like to underline is that Exhorted is a band of real metalheads, who play for metalheads. Yes, Exhorted are "real": a band grounded by friends who shared and share the same musical tastes, who attended together tons of metal events, who had and have the same objectives. In 2020 they began a journey that has led them to their  "Old Bastards Never Die", OBND.

And now fasten your seat belts, please, because this album has been mixed and mastered by Oli Beaudoin in his Pirate Studios Quebec (and Oli is also the producer). I imagine you all know that Oli Beaudoin has been for eight years the drummer of Kataklysm, working with Kataklysm on four albums.  And there is more: OBND can boast the participation on drums of Kevin Paradis, drummer for Benighted (watch the third video embedded at the end of the review)

             The album opens with the song "Help Me", which has been also the first single, released on Monday May 31. "Help Me" is so massive and bone-crushing with a fast thrash rhythm in the phrase and turns into a refrain based on a melodic- death pattern. This structure is very particular and makes this song unmistakable. The result is a track that hammers upon your neck till the moon and back. I can imagine what a giant impact can have this song when played live. Just only for this song all possibilities to reach this album (cd/vinyl or streaming services) should be activated in order to seriously maltreat "Help Me" by abusing the repeat button. In this song, vocals remind me of the style of Kataklysm and so does the instrumentation in the chorus (refrain).

If "Help Me" tends to catalyze the attention, it doesn't mean that the other tracks are not relevant. On the contrary.

"Don't Forget Never Forgive" is a good song, with mighty drumming and bass and guitars that master ponderous rhythms.  Melodic chords of the lead guitar appear in some moments of the song, for example in the call and these chords let remind to gothic/doom-death trajectories, enriched with a final echo at the very end of the song.


"Open Your Eyes", the second single, released on September 2021, starts with a slow and inspiring acoustic guitar reached very soon by a vivid electric distortion and, together with the spoken words, all this gives (too) shortly the atmosphere of a cold Finnish sunset. The song gets propelled then into the usual weighty rhythmic abyss. Open Your Eyes gets accelerated and decelerated in stages, becoming wonderfully brutal with its pounding up-and mid-tempos, marked by the gorgeous drums.


Let's speak now about "We Are Bound" which should be the first option for all those who like a fierce melodic death/thrashy heavy metal able to become an earworm due to the excellent massive riffs and pleasant patterns. I must say that I am so surprised by We Are Bound that I'm listening to it while I write this review. Somehow it enhances strength and ability to think, or, at least, this is how this track acts on me. To abuse it with the repeat button is a thing I will do very often. Only a few bands and songs have this power over me.  A certain similarity with the sound of Bolt Thrower is evident as well as in the song "God Is Mine".


"God Is Mine"  unleashes an instrumental upheaval given by all instruments indeed that can slaughter, perfectly coordinated,  with only a few moments of breakdown: The music lets appear a catchy line that slays, so headbang-ably compelling. As mentioned before there is much Bolt Thrower in this song, above all in the massive rhythmic stomp. Sound and vocals are here sourer. And indeed in these two songs ("We Are Bound" and "God Is Mine") vocals are just a bit less bursting than in "Help Me".

 Concerning vocals, I would have preferred more variety in the whole album. Yves Balandret`s sung is absolutely dominant, therefore it should have been emphasized even more by a kind of turnover with screams or by contrasting backing vocals, or even by some (short) points sung in clear. 


In my opinion "Haunted House" is not bad but doesn't add anything to the album. The fact is that Haunted House comes as the third song in the tracklist, and if you listen to one song after the other in the given sequence, "Haunted House" can be perceived as a kind of intro for the next ones or can, unfortunately, stop the interest to go further. That's why I never listen to an album respecting the sequence of the tracklist.


"Let Me Go" starts slow and impending, yet the feeling of impending disaster remains monolithic even when the song gets faster. And I like this feeling. The bass finds in this song its triumph, tempo changes are again the trademark, but, all in all, there is a deep continuity (and also a great maturity) in the structure.

"Power" is a strong good song with (maybe too many) stressed tempo changes. All in all enjoyable anyway.

"You 'Re My World" fits as closer: there is something hypnotic, something dark, something desperate and punching within its massive walls of sound, something that is truly melodic and remains as such. 


          In conclusion, let's give a well-deserved shout out to Exhorted and to France that is no longer the "Gojira-only" Land!


dalia di giacomo









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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Exhorted (@exhorted_metalband)

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