"Age Of Annihilation" By Creature Of Exile (Danville, KY)/Metal/Released Feb 2017
Formed in 2011, Creature of Exile has grown to be one of central Kentucky’s most prominent metal bands. The quintet features ex-members of other notable metal acts from the area such as Behind The Beheaded and Succumb To Demise and have shared the stage with international bands such as Dying Fetus, Fear Factory, and Abigail Williams. After five years of growing a fan base the band released their debut album Age Of Annihilation in February of 2017.
Creature of Exile’s punishing sound is rooted in modern death metal. However the band blends in elements of groove and thrash that makes for a sound that is diverse and dynamic. Frontman Johnny Martin is a powerful vocalist capable of monstrous guttural growls as well as higher raspier screams. All whilst keeping his lyrics easily discernible. The band often employs guitarist Jerrod Messick as a backing vocalist creating another unique dynamic to the group’s sound.
Rather than dwell in fantasy, Age Of Annihilation’s eleven tracks keep its narratives rooted in the horrors of reality. War, human nature, and religious criticism are all touched on within the record and Martin’s intelligible lyrics broadcast those messages loud and clear. After a brief intro the album begins with “Fatal Dismemberment”. A classic, no frills death metal track that beats the listener over the head with its intensity. The production on the album is top notch with the guitars loud and powerful, the vocals front and center, and every drum and cymbal strike clearly heard, Drummer Eric Lyons is the engine behind the band’s power with his double kick heavy play and affection for his ride cymbal sounding like machine gun bullets falling to the floor. The title track “Age Of Annihilation” showcases the band’s thrashier influences and is kept at a trim two and a half minutes. “Nightshade” puts a large influence on groove with catchy chugg riffs being interspersed with tremolo picked death riffs.”Cruci-Fiction” and “Entertainer Of Fools” deliver back to back thrashy offerings lyrically based around religious denouncement and criticism. The album closes on its longest track, “The Victim”, a seven minute ride that showcases every element of the band’s sound. Dynamic death metal song changes, atmospheric softer parts, direct thrash metal riffage, melodic guitar solos, and finally closing on mosh pit ready chugs.
Age Of Annihilation is a meat and potatoes metal album that combines the best of the classic sub genres. Equal parts shred, groove, and mosh all delivered with intensity and proficiency. Many metal debuts are more potential than excellence but Creature Of Exile already appears to be firing on all cylinders. If this record is just the base point the future is shining bright for metal in Kentucky.