August 6, 2013 Exilia – Decode (Album review)
Milan Italy is considered to most the fashion capital of the world. Another association less known to main is metal music. Exilia have been part of the rock/metal scene of Milan since 1998. With their debut album Rightside Up (2000) the band received praise throughout Europe. Since that time the band have released 3 more full length albums. Their latest work being Decode released in 2012.
Decode starts us with the high energy track “Satellite”. Setting the table with crunching guitars and dark atmosphere. Vocalist Masha showing the listener her dynamic range, going from a soothing harmony to sore throat chants and back again. “Over The Edge” is a great hard rock track with catchy harmonies and live vibe. You can’t help but want to sing along with this memorable chorus. The track “Unconventional” taking things up a notch with soft vocals, eerie whispers, and intense screams. “Invisible” is possibly the most complete track on the album. With passionate vocals, meaningful lyrics reminding us of our mortality. “My Exception” keeps the vibe of the record going. Dark melody, atmosphere, and passionate vocal delivery. The track’s atmosphere is on par with their country mates Lacuna Coil. “Myself” is a dark track similar to that of the best of early 2000’s nu-metal. With throbbing bass line and electrifying chorus. “All in Vain” is a track that takes the listener on a roll coaster of emotion. Combating the heavy nature of the music with equally as heavy lyrics. Touching on the idea of looking beyond our own self gratification and recognizing the tragedy and suffering in others lives. “In My Veins” closes out the album with a sorrowful piano and vocal combination. It’s in this track we hear the enduring quality of the human aspect Masha vocals provide.
Now 4 full length albums deep into their career Exilia appears to have struck a new nerve with Decode. The album has a steady balance of aggressive and melancholy atmosphere. Each song is well composed and stand alone strongly. The most intriguing aspect of Masha’s voice is it’s imperfections. Too many times now a days we hear vocalists performances over edited and auto tuned taking out all the human qualities. Years ago we could relate with a vocalist most because of their imperfections and this is not at all a negative thing. Exilia is a strong band and with Decode displace their great song writing ability. Cryptic Rock give this album 5 out of 5 stars.