It's been three long years since Excision's last album, but the day fans have been waiting for since 2018 is finally here.
Kicking off 2022 with a meteoric bang, Excision has unveiled Onyx, which features 17 tracks of instant classics, long-awaited IDs and high-profile collaborations. Excision's fifth album to be released on his Subsidia label is the long-awaited follow-up to 2018's Apex LP.
Like a ride through a post-apocalyptic Jurassic Park, Onyx' Opener "Decimate" takes listeners head first into a mechanical labyrinth of cinematic and intense sounds. His signature powerful bass fire similarly pulverizes the arrangements on songs like "Demisaur" (featuring Kai Wachi), "Clockwork" (featuring Kompany) and "Hypnosis" (featuring Hairitage).
In addition to the hard dubstep, Excision's affinity for metal is also well represented on Onyx. "Our Fire" is a flawless fusion of the two genres with the help of crossover superstar Sullivan King, while "Plague Doctor" feels like a testament to his favorite death metal glitches.
The album is a treat for those who have attended Excision's tours or major bass music festivals, Lost Lands and Bass Canyon, as some of the most anticipated IDs from his sets have now been released in their official capacity. Let's get it out of the way right now — yes, that actually includes "Cough Drop," a song that fans have obsessed over for years. Beyond the immense hype that surrounded its release, the wobbly track and headbanging it will inspire will be of great concern to chiropractors around the world.
Of course, as you'd expect from an Excision album, Onyx is packed with bone-crushing, prehistoric-inspired sounds. However, one of the most impressive aspects of the album is how willing he was to embrace his emotional side.
One might think that this would open the door to a more stripped down or mellow sound, but that is not the case. Aside from the sounds he creates or dives into, the backbone of any Excision production is energy. The consistent line of each of his releases is a larger than life presence, enhanced by voluminous soundscapes and textured sound design.
This becomes clear in "End of the World" (with Dion Timmer and Donna Tella). The song's bio-music, warm synths and uplifting, melodic bass drops that are heartfelt to the core feel like they were designed to mark bonding moments at music festivals. Those feelings are shared on Onyx tracks like "Back to Life" (featuring Sarah de Warren), "Salvation" (featuring Timmer and Alexis Donn), and the shaky, atmospheric "Temporary Blue." With effervescent melodies and vocals, the songs will touch the hearts of fans looking for an introspective listening experience.
Those familiar with Subsidia know that the label's compilations are released as chapters under the umbrella of three unique series: Dawn, Dusk and Night, each representing melodic, experimental and heavy bass music, Onyx's tracks follow the same protocol and reinforce Excision not only as an experienced curator, but also as a creator and storyteller.
A tour de force in his illustrious career, Onyx feels like Excison's most cohesive and refined record to date. You can stream the album here.
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