Sunday 17 January 2021

Escarion - Pillars Of The Faith

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: Digital

Release Date: 29 Jan 2021


1. Inferno

2. Envy

3. Gluttony

4. Lust

5. Greed

6. Pride

7. Wrath

8. Sloth

9. Home (Where The Heart Is)

I guess I should write another review, seeing as I'm putting off committing my face to Youtube for the first time (it's something I'm thinking of doing in 2021). Anyway, back on the 2021 release trail with this, the debut album from Australian death metal band Escarion. Pillars Of The Faith will be self-released by the band on 29th January. Though t's subject matter focuses mainly on the seven deadly sins and the album title points towards a religious leaning (I don't care for religion at all), there's no evidence of it taking centre stage on this self-professed concept album, In fact, Escarion count the likes of Behemoth, Death and Trivium as influences so this should be a really good listen.

Escarion’s take on death metal is a technical one and despite the melodic intro to ‘Inferno’, their musicianship is filled with off-kilter phrasing and time-signatures. That said, it’s more old school than it is brutal here, as they slow things down and use atmosphere from the guitars to paint the scene. The drumming is spot on and the vocals are delivered with power and control. ‘Envy’ is where their obsession with the seven deadly sins begins and ignoring the concept for a second, it’s the instrumentation that really captures your attention. The guitar work is fantastic, while the low-end and drumming stays the right side of clinical, which is great as sometimes overly technical bands can sound like that. So far so unholy.

Escarion teases with their slower-paced intros, like the one at the beginning of ‘Gluttony’. From a fan of the slower, murkier forms of death metal I was hoping the song would go in that direction and it kind of does, albeit for a brief passage. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy the song as it is though, as the progression and fretboard wizardry at play here are very impressive to say the least. Even the shorter playing time doesn’t harm it and the band manages to fill it’s bars with plenty of variation, musically. It’s at the point of ‘Lust’ that you really get truly sucked into Escarion’s sound and as the title suggests, you start to want it more and more. It’s infectious to say the least and even with the volume turned down (because I realised I was in danger of angering my neighbours) it still sounds excellent, which isn’t often the case with extreme metal. 

At the mid point of the album you’re greeted by probably the most brutal song on Pillars Of The Faith, ‘Greed’. It’s just wall to wall kick-drums and low as hell growls, coupled with a mix of buzzsaw and harmonic guitars, dragging things in a more modern direction again. Angular at times, but also satisfyingly thrashing as well. Also, it’s towards the end of ‘Greed’ and during the next song ‘Pride’ that you being to hear a bit more of the Trivium influence within Escarion’s sound, which is no bad thing at all. Kinda reminds me of ‘Ascendency’. There are some symphonic elements within ‘Pride’ but they’re overpowered by the heft of the band’s death metal so don’t worry too much. It is one of the longest songs on the album and while it is stop/start in places, there’s no holding back the momentum of things so far. In fact, Escarion manage the whole album really well considering it nearly reaches an hour in playing time across it’s nine songs. You’ll never be bored with this, put it that way. 

I know that sometimes my reviews can be a bit too long for your attention spans, but I don’t care one jot. Just keep listening to ‘Wrath’ and eventually you’ll come across a solo that’s worthy of repeat listens all on it’s own. That’s before you even get to the mammoth time changes and frenetic fret movements. It’s incredibly hard to balance the differing variants of death metal and keep them cohesive, yet Escarion manages it so well. On ‘Sloth’ there’s a definite turn towards something more mid-paced, at least for about a minute, before another blast of math-like technicality quashes the illusion. I like the technicality, don’t take my previous sentence the wrong way, but I guess I’m realising that the nasty, murkier old-school sound is the one for me, though I’d never advocate a band change their sound at all and Escarion do what they do exceptionally well, especially considering this is their debut!

And so it’s left to final song ‘Home (Where The Heart Is) to unleash one final blast of brutality upon your ears. It’s strange though as it’s also the most mainstream mid-section of the whole album (that was way too much alliteration for one evening!) but it leads to one hell of a majestic second-half and it closes out Pillars Of The Faith brilliantly. Overall, this is a fine debut album to put it mildly. It’ll appeal to fan of both the old school and also modern death metal and shows that 2021 is starting off strongly. If new bands like Escarion sound this good, what are more established band’s going to should like!

You can stream both 'Envy' and 'Greed' below, where you can also digitally pre-order the album:-

Escarion -

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