From Germany, comes the five piece gothic death/doom band Exaudi. This three song EP, entitled Ein Stein, is actually a fairly decent disc that shows a band that has good talent and could actually go places if they stay together. The music is very heavy, yet atmospheric and should appeal to fans of Morphia (Unfulfilled Dreams-era), Ashen Mortality, and Visionaire. I wouldn't say that they are better than the first two mentioned bands, but I definitely like Exaudi better than Visionaire.
The band uses a heavy dose of keyboards, but the overall sound is very dark and haunting ala the material you'd hear from Ashen Mortality. Some of it could even border on a Saviour Machine feel.
Vocally, the main style used here is death growls, which are slighty above average. They do use a little bit of female vocals, but the quality is somewhat lacking depending on the song. Not that the lady can't sing, but it just doesn't sound right sometimes, like in the title track. Although clean female vocals are very desirable in this style of music, I could do without them in this song if this is as good as they get. They do use some cool female vocals in the song "Schrei aus der Duesternis" as backing vocals.
Packaging is simple but nice, with lyrics (all in German) printed on the inside. Production is not terrific, but is listenable. While this band might not take the world by storm with this first demo release, I would without hesitation say that this is a band that you should keep your eyes on. Remember the drastic improvement Morphia made between Unfulfilled Dreams and Frozen Dust? Well, if we see that kinda improvement on Exaudi's next disc, they'll have metalheads drooling. (Review by Matt)