Country: Italy
Title: Excommunica
Label: Nero Corvino
Year: 2021
Style: Black Metal

Not sure if the band name is connected somehow, but there is an important river and also a county in Romania called Arges (to be read like this: argesh), but anyway Italian band Argesh seems to be around from sometime before 2010, so this debut album is severely overdue and surprising at the same time since I'm sure everyone of their followers had their doubts they're going to see the band debuting on discographic level anytime. Only 6 tracks featured here (actually 5, as one is an intro) with a total duration of half an hour, so not at all what you'd expect from a band gathering a decade worth of experience, but luckily the music itself confirms the technical and composer level one would guess. We're dealing here with fast uncompromising Black Metal with plenty of melodic harmonies, impressive outbursts or hyper-speed that sound totally killer, and an overall epic, grandiose atmosphere that reminds Behemoth. The lyrics are totally blasphemous, anti-christian, but lack in proper grammar, that's why I hope the band decides to play in native Italian next time, or maybe hire a copywriter to oversee the lyrics, I think that would greatly benefit the band next time (this is a problem I myself have, and it's pretty common among non English speaking territories, obviously). The instrumental part is excellent, melodic, fast, technical, pushing boundaries especially with those hyper-speed passages I have already mentioned, and the vocals are at par, hateful and diverse (from shrieks to powerful shouts, to epic clean choirs). What I've noticed is the tracks are somehow linked one another, so this might well be a concept album, and that would make sense looking at the big picture. Released in Digipak CD format with 8 pages booklet featuring all lyrics, and here I have two mentions to make: first, I think the album was meant to be released in 2020 as the release year on the digipak is 2021 but on the CD itself is 2020, and second the cover artwork is sensational, one of the best, most expressive covers I've seen in years, absolutely perfect for this album, blasphemy at it's highest peak! Also worth mentioning is the fact they have a lot of guests featured on this album, and that only contributes to the overall complexity level. What a debut, I just hope they won't go silent for another 10 years now.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10