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Album Review: Exterminator – Total Extermination

It has been an awful long time since I delved into the labyrinths of first-wave black metal but when I read about Exterminator I was intrigued to learn of their connections to that short-lived eighties movement. ‘Total Extermination’ is an album that has been widely sought after by fans of this niche genre, and while I too considered myself to be fairly literate as far as first-wave BM groups go I was surprised to discover that there was indeed a group from that era that I was unfamiliar with. Originally released in 1987 but re-released on August 5 via Greyhaze Records, the album is almost a definitive staple of how average extreme metal band sounded at that time: – Raw, unpolished, under-produced and not that great in all honesty. But what I like and what many others will like is that it’s self-confessedly mediocre and almost kind of glorifies it in a humorous way. Don’t get me wrong, – they’re a product of their time and they were part of a movement that was pretty much characterized by a juvenile kind of enthusiasm in contrast with the now overtly cringe-inducing allusions to Satanism and the macabre. But in those days it wasn’t so cringe-inducing because it hadn’t been done before and it was still a moderately new thing. It’s not a crime to say that if a lot of those groups ala Hellhammer (pre-Celtic Frost) and NME were around now they wouldn’t be romanticized or bestowed with the same coloration, – and that’s not particularly a bad thing but rather an inevitable consequence seeing as these type of groups paved the way for the more sophisticated brand of black-metal that would blossom in Scandinavia a couple years later. But this album itself obviously isn’t very good – the riffs aren’t memorable and nearly all of the crash-cymbals aren’t synchronized correctly. The rhythms are sloppy and the solos are frenetic, detuned, dissonant and at times grating. Though having said that almost all extreme metal groups from the eighties were kind of devoid of the ability to solo properly and melodically, – (and if you disagree try singing me a Slayer solo from that era – I’ll be waiting!). But nonetheless it’s an inoffensive record if you’re into this type of thing and it’s an enjoyable album to listen to analytically for the sake of introspection. But overall it’s a fairly dull twenty-nine minutes of material if you’re unfamiliar with the scene it came from and of course the groups who were later influenced by it.

Track list:
1. The End
2. Nightmare
3. Exterminator
4. Marchando Para A Morte
5. Voyage To Hell
6. Speed Metal
7. March Of The Exterminator
8. Pro Inferno Vou Te Levar
9. Haunting The Church
10. Fighting Against The Sky Angels

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