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Exocrine – Legend

Exocrine – Legend

Exocrine - Legend

Death metal comes in many forms, such as old school, progressive, symphonic, technical, melodic, experimental etc. A few bands manage to include a selection of these elements in their material. French unit Exocrine seems to incorporate more than most, weaving them into a solid death metal backdrop. Their reputation for invention and complexity precedes them and now with album number five “Legend,” they have evolved further. The CD version has 11 tracks (including one bonus track) spanning around 45 minutes.

Record company Season of Mist have some fantastic acts on their books and Exocrine are another that have come to my attention. Their biography describes them as “architects of sonic transcendence, explorers of the uncharted, and pioneers of the unimaginable.” Hyperbole maybe but listening to this new album you may conclude that it is close to the truth. The first taste of the complexity and diversity comes in the opening short instrumental ‘Presage’ and following title track ‘Legend.’ Unusually, the latter contains a trumpet solo which adds a Latin American element alongside the blast beats and growls. It all motors along at top speed with little guitar licks at every available opportunity.

Continuing forward, tracks rumble on like a juggernaut, pausing here and there to grace us with some new embellishment. I like the fact that the production is crisp and clear, and the precision throughout is spot on. The second single to be released was ‘Life’ which has several gear changes along with some satisfying riffs and solos.

There is more urgency and pace to ‘Eidolon’ and that also applies to the guitar solos. A very short breakdown provides a breather before they are off again as if something nasty is in hot pursuit.

Much the same can be said of ‘The Altar of War’ except that I find the solos more satisfying. Just as I was thinking “It’s all beginning to sound the same,” something different arrived in the form of ‘Dust in the Naught.’ It is still predominantly fast and heavy but there are slower and mellower parts.

Photo Credit – Jonathan Arnould

‘Warlock’ is one the shorter numbers on the album, but it punches above its weight. Unfortunately, by this point I found myself wishing for some clean vocals for a sense of balance. Alas it was not to be. A brief but stirring guitar intro to ‘Dragon’ brings some relief before it descends into complex heavier realms. The middle section has a short breakdown giving enough room for some intricate guitar work from Sylvain Octor Perez.

Photo Credit – Jonathan Arnould

As the tracks start to run out ‘The Oath’ manages to fit in much more diversity, time changes and complex solos. All this is accomplished in less than four minutes as well.

An ominous orchestrated intro to ‘By the Light of the Pyre’ suddenly explodes into a series of varying segments. Rapid fire double bass drums, heavy riffs and guitar lead breaks all come to the fore alternatively. The vocals swap between growls and screams and you never quite know what is coming next. An acoustic ending, though diametrically opposed to the main body of the track, is not totally unexpected. This is how the album ends if you only purchase the digital version.

The CD bonus track is ‘Cryogenisation’ and adds just under an extra five minutes. It is also going to set you back a further $6 though. It is as varied as any other song on the album with some nice mini guitar solos between the aggressive bits.

This is another one of those bands that have passed me by until now. Legend is their fifth album in just under ten years. So not only is there a back catalogue to explore, but it shouldn’t be too long before album number six. Bring it on I say because the pros far outweigh the cons on this release, so it’s thumbs up from me.


  1. Presage
  2. Legend
  3. Life
  4. Eidolon
  5. The Altar of War
  6. Dust in the Naught
  7. Warlock
  8. Dragon
  9. The Oath
  10. By the Light of the Pyre
  11. Cryogenisation (Bonus Track With CD)

About the Author


I’m Bob, I hail from Robin Hood country (Nottinghamshire) in the UK. Rock and Metal music has played a big part in my life for many years. From playing guitar in local bands, to attending dozens of Festivals and countless concerts. I have been taking photos at gigs (whenever possible) for a number of years now, and as the camera gear has got better so have the photos. I continue to seek out new Bands and tend to prefer the more technical and heavy stuff these days. I live with my wife Sarah, who fortunately likes the heavy bands as well, and our cats who have to listen to it, whether they like it or not. Apart from gigs and photography (not just concerts) I also enjoy hill walking, films and discovering new beers (and drinking them).

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