Excoriation hails from Russia. A three-piece band from the Moscow area offering up splattery and slammy death metal. Their self-titled debut album on New Standard Elite remains one of my favorite death metal albums to blast in the car. Heavy, unrelenting, absolutely bulldozing music which puts me in a nice meditative state! Perfect driving music! Keeps me sane in a world of terrible drivers. I mean seriously, would you rather sit in traffic listening to some blabbering on the radio or put yourself in a mental trance of heart-pounding blastbeats? I choose the blast.
I bought the excellent “Eviscerating Contemporary Values” CD last year and with the impending new full-length “Salem” (I just saw the artwork and it looks beautiful) I thought it may be time to interview these dudes.
The band today consists of:
Dmitry Avdeev (guitar)
Daniil Marchenko (drums)
I’ve asked for all members to answer these here questions I’ve got brewing…so let’s begin!
Excoriation started in 2012 and there have been a few line-up changes since, with Cyril being the only constant member since the inception. Am I correct in assuming this project is the brainchild of vocalist Cyril alone, or possibly a collaborative creation between Cyril and guitarist Ivan Medvedev, who was also there in the beginning?
Cyril: In the beginning we played with Ivan, but after a while, due to chronic goregrind and autism, he plays alone now. We are moving into our own direction now, and the music is being written by all members of the band.
New Standard Elite is the leading forerunner in modern extreme death metal, and a label I can always go to if I need to hear good and consistent death metal releases! There isn’t a band I’ve heard from the label that sucks (yet) and I have to ask, how does it feel to be on a label this good?
What was the signing process like? Did you send in a demo/promo pack or did the label seek you out?
Cyril: Here’s how it happened: we uploaded the track to YouTube, the label found us, Dan (Daniel Osborn, NSE owner) contacted the band and proposed the signing. It’s a great label, we are happy with all the support we get, such as promotion, album release, merch manufacturing, etc. Dan is the boss!
How would you compare the sound of the band on the first full-length to the sound of today, specifically the sound on “Eviscerating Contemporary Values”?
Cyril: I like both, but the EP is a ‘progressed’ version of Excoriation material, so I like it a little more. The new album is going to continue this progress.
And about “Eviscerating Contemporary Values”… after buying it, upon first listen, I said “Fuck!!!It’s only 10 minutes long? I have to drive another two hours!” as I was traveling that day. So I listened to it again…and again. This song defines what Excoriation is. The doomy breakdown before the end of the song’s violent blastbeating is a nice addition. It ends up kind of coming off as a quite technical outing, even though I’m sure no one would compare it to progrock, or even rock’n roll, but I sure as hell would.
It’s an instant classic for me. I have to ask you… Why just one song? When you prepared to record it, did you think “Let’s just do one 10 minute long song” or did it just kind of happen that way?
Cyril: It just sort of happened this way… The concept idea appeared during the writing process, together with the EP name.
After the full-length “Excoriation” and “Garotte Vil” single, there was a four-year hiatus. “Eviscerating…” came out in 2019 with a completely different line-up. What prompted this long break? Did the line-up change occur in 2019 or before?
Cyril: The lineup change occured due to some disagreements within the band. But anyways, because of these conditions we currently have a great lineup since 2018, and we are moving forward with Daniil and Dmitry.
Dmitry Avdeev steps in on guitars for “Eviscerating…” and does a fine job, I must say. Where did Cyril meet Dmitry and how did they come about deciding to work together?
Dmitry: I was a fan of Excoriation since the beginning, I was attending their shows and buying merch, talking to all of the guys, Cyril invited me to their rehearsals, and so on. They kept asking me to mix their EP – then the lineup changed and it moved the plans a bit. But in 2018 they asked again, and this led to me playing the guitar and writing a part of the new EP as well.
Dmitry has a few other projects, Ethology and Bodysnatch…and Cyril was in a band called Days of Our Mutation (who released an intriguingly titled e.p. “Rubber Chicken Fight Club” in 2012.)
For Dmitry, let us begin with Bodysnatch. The sound is very much more old school death and some very cool styles of riffs in there with tinges of rock and classic style metal. Even some clean vocals from singer Livio! Interesting shit! I hear some rock and roll and heavy metal in the playing…Who are your top three favorite guitarists? Tell me about how Bodysnatch began, and what lies in the future of the band?
Dmitry: Well, you better ask Livio about this, since this is his band since the beginning. I’ve only joined in 2020, we recorded a single called ‘Merciless Extirpation’, and currently writing the material for a new release. Let’s keep in touch and Livio and me will tell you about that one after the release!
(Ok! – J.R.)
Cyril, what prompted the end of Days of Our Mutation? RUBBER CHICKEN FIGHT CLUB is one of the best album titles I’ve ever heard. I’d also like to ask who your musical influences are.
Cyril: My main influence is copro-jazz lol… I simply got tired of playing 5 same notes all the time.
Dmitry’s other band, Ethology, is very riff-driven death – again from the old guard style of sound, reminding me of the 1990s wave of Florida in many, many ways. It is slammy in parts but also nostalgic. Brings many memories to my old spirit! What’s in store for Ethology in the future? Another album on Pathologically Explicit?
Dmitry: I haven’t thought about it yet, but for sure this wasn’t Ethology’s last release. We might release a split with my mates band, and for sure it would be nice to write another full-length. But first things first, Excoriation full-length is in priority, then there’s Bodysnatch that I mentioned earlier and after that I’ll focus on Ethology again.
Cyril has a nickname “King Bong.” In the state where I live, marijuana was recently legalized, but is still recognized as criminal by the federal government of the United States. This creates a conundrum: If you are caught with marijuana in my state by state police, you are okay because it is legal. On the other hand, if the feds catch you – you’re going to jail. I don’t mind saying that I have been arrested for marijuana possession in my youth and I was made to feel like I was a murderer by the police and court system. Although I do not smoke marijuana anymore, I do believe it should be legalized EVERYWHERE. Marijuana is a good tool for creativity, and it can be found in almost every band’s creative process, whether or not they want to admit it! What are your thoughts on the decriminalization of marijuana in many parts of the U.S. (and Canada) and do you foresee a future where it is legal globally?
Cyril: Yes. (Good answer – J.R.)
Back to the current line-up of the band. Is EXCORIATION Daniil Marchenko’s first band? Is “Eviscerating Contemporary Values” his first appearance as a drummer on any recording? Who are Daniil’s drumming influences?
Daniil: Yes, it’s my first ‘serious’ band, glad to be a part of Excoriation. My main drumming influence is Polwach Beokhaimook from Ecchymosis. I also enjoy such bands as Wormed and Nile.
EXCORIATION HAS A NEW ALBUM COMING… entitled “Salem.” The artwork harkens back to the US Salem Witch Trials, a terrible time in the history of America, and an absolutely unneeded barbaric chapter in the story of humanity. Is this album going to be entirely based around the trials (a concept album)?
Cyril: Yeah, this is gonna be a concept album about that historic period, but we don’t want to reveal much – the full artwork is already there to give the hints. Those times were definitely horrible, but well it’s brutal death metal after all, we can mention anything!
Anything else the band has to say, say it now. I just want to thank you for the music, and I wish you continued success with this line-up. Thanks for answering my questions. I can’t wait to hear the new stuff. Plug anything you want to plug that hasn’t been covered here… and I will review the new album when I hear it.
Dmitry: Support New Standard Elite and all underground bands!
Cyril: Got something to smoke?
Daniil: I wish to meet Polwach.
(Hahah, same here Daniil. Same here. We all can agree: Polwach is the master — J.R.)
Thanks Excoriation for answering these questions!