Exotype is a prototype for what can be done with metalcore, and, in terms of mindless sheer enjoyment, this LP does deliver the goods.
Exotype’s self-titled debut album is a blend of metal and synth pop. They’re not the first band to come up with this mix, but it’s still broadly alluring to a point. Also, the band features emo-ish vocals alongside the usual metalcore screamo vocals, and these two paths cross with a natural ease. There are plenty of interesting moments on the record, such as “Familiar”, which comes close to sounding like ‘80s power rock along the lines of Rush. On the other hand, you get “Red Pulse”, which is almost pop punk meets a video game run amok. Still, Exotype is a band that will make you harshly nod your head, and the blend of commercial aspirations by forging a path towards keyboard-led pop, while keeping a foot firmly in the metal genre is interesting. Obviously, the band is still finding its footing, as some of this comes across as a parody of the metal genre -- anguished vocals, yep. But, yet, you find yourself wanting to hear more of what this band has up its collective sleeve. If the Matrix ever needed a soundtrack, Exotype would be the first ones aboard the Nebuchadnezzar.
Truthfully, even at three quarters of an hour, the album does feel somewhat on the long side, which doesn’t necessarily contradict my earlier statement. Some of the songs could be trimmed for fat, and there are moments when the blend of pop and metal mixes like oil and water. Still, Exotype is a prototype for what can be done with metalcore, and, in terms of mindless sheer enjoyment, this LP does deliver the goods. By turns triumphant and turns angry, Exotype trudges down a garden path that doesn’t stop to smell the flowers as much as obliterate them. And it’s interesting in that the album at times feels like a throwback to the eight-bit glory of the ‘80s while being firmly rooted in the present musical landscape. True, it’s not entirely successful, but there’s a sense of excitement and pleasure from hearing this sonic concoction. Exotype might not be entirely going against the grain, but it sure is exhilarating to hear this when the band is firing on all cylinders. Fans of Tool might find something here, as I hear hints of that band in this, and as far as these things go, Exotype might go somewhere once they nail down their formula a bit more pat.