Exit Strategy - United State of Amnesia
Self-released
Grind/deathcore
9 songs (37'20")
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

In this season of politics in the US the CD by the Canadians from Alberta’s Exit Strategy was very timely. Not to mention my personal thirst for something brutal, yet not mindless. These Canucks, while not angry, are definitely socio-politically concerned. You could easily judge from the title, United State of Amnesia, that their utmost concern focuses on their neighbor from the South, or more specifically on its government’s stance on a range of issues from Iraq to global warming denial to religious push-it-down-the-throat attitude. Most importantly, Exit Strategy want people to think for themselves, something I personally strongly recommend as well.

Musically, the album is a very professionally produced, powerfully sounding mixture of downtuned death metal and brutal NY style hardcore. More rhythmically straightforward songs (New World Disorder, title track) pummel steadily with the downtuned sound bringing on the sense of foreboding, not to mention the spoken samples in the middle of New World Disorder. Sometimes it may feel that Exit Strategy is going for the breakdown too soon (The Duality of Man) or the aforementioned breakdown splits the song in half (The Hand of Victory Holds the Pen of History). The album, however, does not lack at all in the sweeping grinding velocity or unrelenting machine gun-styled riffing intensity.

Without being cacophonous Exit Strategy delivers solid deathcore, which makes you want to smash the nearest solid object one moment, only to move to the air guitar of Saber Dance the very next (Just?). In the span of one song you are being both dragged through the bottom and allowed to release your innermost frustration. There are periodic At The Gate dashes andDying Fetus onto Suffocation brood (Terrify) or devilish bouncing motif of The Divine Ignorance. Whenever the proceedings take a turn for the ‘core, syncopation is the name of the game. Exit Strategy stutter is kneecap breaking, and only further emphasizes the bass solo (title track) or muddy guitar melody flowing underneath (Blood).

It is rather obvious that Exit Strategy musicians are not novices. My unfamiliarity with Western Canada grindcore scene has to be excused as their previous bands don’t ring any bells. Yet, Joe Sikorski has the chops down, and spices things up with harmonized runs (The Duality of Man) or noisy discordant riffs (The Hand of Victory Holds the Pen of History). Casey Rogers’ blasts are simply sickening and Shane Hawco vocal high-low bark is both legible and convincing.

All in all, I would not recommend this to extreme metal neophytes, but the fans of anything from techdeath to brutal hardcore can count on the explosion of well executed menacing social fury.

Killing Songs :
The Hand of Victory Holds the Pen of History, War Torn Gaze, United State of Amnesia, New World Disorder
Alex quoted 83 / 100
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