A relentless assault of crushing riffs, grooves and savagery

All of this band’s previous output has been excellent, so I Exist’s latest album has a strong reputation to live up to.

From Darkness takes less than a second to grab the listener by the throat and from that moment I Exist commit a sonic beatdown for the duration. For every upbeat fusillade of damaging riffs like ‘Lightning Curse’ there’s a counterpoint attack like the very next track, ‘Heal Me in Smoke’ that evokes a slow Down-style groove. Only the brief instrumental track ‘Rituals’ serves as any kind of temporary respite from the Canberra guitar army’s constant barrage of sludge-ridden riffs.

The almost careless way the band pulled together a variety of styles and influences on their other releases has been risen to the status of an artform on From Darkness. I Exist unleash a full scale metal onslaught with the likes of ‘Eternal Reign’ and then rip through ‘Tear Down the Crucifix’ with a savage hardcore ferocity; ‘Ride to Hell’ sounds exactly like the title suggests, all delivered with fat crushing guitars and a healthy serving of Jake Willoughby’s vocal venom. ‘Sorrow on Hill 105’ and the title track are the album’s crowning moments, the first a rambling excursion through driving stoner rock, harrowing ambience and back again, and the second an immense and sprawling epic that shifts gear constantly.

From Darkness is the pinnacle of I Exist’s career, a relentless assault of crushing riffs, grooves and savagery that is almost overwhelming in power and scope. Everything they’ve done before is on display once again, just better and with more maturity and depth. Australian heavy music is in excellent hands.

1. Lightning Curse
2. Heal Me in Smoke
3. Sorrow on Hill 105
4. Rituals
5. In My Head
6. Bloodlust
7. Eternal Reign
8. Obsession
9. Tear Down the Crucifix
10. Ride to Hell
11. Cold World Vermin
12. From Darkness