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Exorcism - "I Am God" (CD)

Exorcism - "I Am God" CD cover image

"I Am God" track listing:

1. End of Days
2. I Am God
3. Voodoo Jesus
4. Last Rock'N Roll
5. Master of Evil
6. Exorcism
7. Higher
8. Stay in Hell
9. Fade the Day
10. Zero G

Reviewed by on May 15, 2014

"It’s all about how you market a product, and anyone expecting a strong doom element may find glimpses of it scattered around, but this is just a hard rock act with decisively darker lyrical content."

When I first heard about the concept of an ultra-evil Csaba Zvekan and Joe Stump (both of Raven Lord), I came into the album thinking – doom? OK, well I am never one to shy away from a good dose of well-played Candlemass or early stoner Black Sabbath. After all, Raven Lord’s debut – “Descent To the Underworld” - was highly impressive, so the pedigree was there to create something special. By the time I was done with the debut “I Am God,” I was trying to figure out what, if anything was that much different than just calling it Raven Lord’s second album. It is nicely played and a bit more rockin’, but the closest it comes to “doom metal” was persistent shades of Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath. Not that there is anything wrong with that…since the Martin age was actually my second favorite era for the heavy metal icons (Dio being the first). It’s all about how you market a product, and anyone expecting a strong doom element may find glimpses of it scattered around, but this is just a hard rock act with decisively darker lyrical content.

It is one thing to see some of the world’s finest musicians having multiple acts going at the same time – sometimes it’s more metal than many of us can handle. It’s another thing to have multiple bands with many of the same members, who appeal to what appears to be wholly different styles. Oddly enough, in many ways Exorcism is a lot cooler than Raven Lord – “bad assery” is abound and that Martin-Sabbath vibe is really cool – had I not already heard Raven Lord. I just cannot shake the notion that there are two bands with similar paths and half of the same members to view them any more distinctively. I would have liked to see the band take all of that creative energy and flood it into one monster Raven Lord album and take whatever differences there are and make a bigger variety of tracks.

Now, does this mean that “I Am God” is not worthy of any attention? Absolutely not. There are songs here to impress, so I guess it would be down to a personal choice: occasionally faster, slightly more melodic? Or a slightly slower, bad ass rock ‘n’ metal with darker lyrics right in your face? You can find songs on both albums that can fit onto each respective album. Actually, you can put together the best of both and have one album with the strongest material. Highly enjoyable tracks on “I Am God” include “Stay in Hell,” “Exorcism” (the track that truly sounds the most like Sabbath’s “Tyr” and “Headless Cross”) and the sludgy riffs in “Voodoo Jesus.” The remaining tracks are decent enough, but don’t jump out to me as exciting standouts.

Exorcism’s debut is an admirable hard rock/metal album that will please fans looking for a secondary alternative to Tony Martin era Black Sabbath. For those having heard Raven Lord, you will find more similarities than differences, which left me wondering why there couldn’t just be a second Raven Lord album with ideas drawn from both. In terms of “doom metal,” the Martin/Sabbath reference is the closest it comes. With a smattering of tracks that rise above the rest, the album is a decent debut from an otherwise talented act.

Highs: Martin-era Sabbath might not be what I was expecting when I heard "doom," but it was enjoyable.

Lows: The songs are not all that different than Raven Lord, which begs the question....why?

Bottom line: Csaba Zvekan and Joe Stump "exorcise" little more than a second Raven Lord album.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)