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Exhumed - Horror

by Chris Hawkins at 21 November 2019, 6:49 PM

It is astounding to contemplate the fact that EXHUMED have been around for just shy of thirty years.  Thirty years!?!  That is a lot of Death Metal, Grindcore, necro-butchery, hacking, slashing, and decapitating.  That is business as usual for these guys and by sticking to what works best, a most incisive result is obtained, a compendium of sorts dedicated to all facets that have worked over the years which are then made more extreme.  One wonders how a band like EXHUMED can manage to sound more extreme after all this time, but it will all be explained by the end of this review.  The album just works.

Unsound” is the title of the first track and dynamically explodes roaring with the stomp of a legion of stormtroopers, Star Wars – troopers.  The bass drum is accurately thunderous, and the variety shown in fills and such showcases a drummer unafraid to push things forward just a bit.  Long-time EXHUMED fans (myself included) will not be disappointed in the least.  The third track, “Scream Out in Fright,” has an infectious old school crusty vibe going on.  When things thicken up with palm-muting and dazzling bass drum work, the song simply crushes.

This album is simply EXHUMED doing what they do.  Nothing is broken or tired.  In fact, the band sounds as viciously vehement as ever.  “Horror” is truly a belligerent onslaught of Death Metal purity and, like the faux-80s VHS sleeve on the cover, it stays true to the past, a staunchly firm dedication to grinding excellence.

Other notable tracks include the fourth, “The Red Death,” which has a faintly Thrash appeal.  EXHUMED have consistently reached into the ether of 1990 Death Metal and Grindcore expanding their sound along the way while still realizing their position in the grand scheme of things.  Songs like “Ripping Death," the seventh track and the following, “Clawing," persistently rattle the inside of the mind stirring and grinding brain cells as the album progresses.

After a prime stressful week in the really-real world, to be able to have a voraciously primal and genuine experience such as this falls in line with the most basic tenets of what it is to be a Metal fan.  “Shattered Sanity” and “Re-Animated” round out the last two spots on the album and scream with a blood-thirsty, venomous rage.  The sound has a full-bodied depth to it when the listener feels as if seated while surrounded by the band and their fear.  Its tenacity is palpable, one can almost taste the violence.

For those who like it brutal to those riff lords out there that like to think of themselves as connoisseurs, this album has something for everyone.  There are perilously pummeling riffs juxtaposed with the band’s signature Chop ‘N Roll sound.  The guitar is tuned low and sounds like it is being run through some version of an HM-2 pedal.  It is that old school guitar tone that is three-dimensional, truly alive with percussive and anti-melodic qualities.  The overall production yields an album that fits neatly in the EXHUMED discography, but that is also tweaked for modern ears.  The point is that the recipe is not in question but is rather enhanced throughout the fifteen songs.

What gives me hope along with deep satisfaction is knowing that the best Death Metal albums this year:  GATECREEPER, ENTOMBED A.D., BLOOD RED THRONE, and this, are all bands that play true, classic Death Metal.  Through they share some basic qualities a more pointed listening session will yield a catharsis of sorts, an existential moment knowing that over the years, Death Metal is still brutal relevant, and expanding the realm of extremity and sheer heaviness.  EXHUMED is a prime example of Death Metal excellence and as such, “Horror” absolutely slays!

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Unsound
2. Ravenous Cadavers
3. Scream out in Fright
4. The Red Death
5. Utter Mutilation of your Corps
6. Slaughter Maniac
7. Ripping Death
8. Clawing
9. Naked, Screaming, and Covered…
10. Playing with Fear
11. Dead Meat
12. Rabid
13. In the Mouth of Hell
14. Shattered Sanity
15. Re-animated
Matt Harvey – Vocals, Guitars
Ross Sewage – Vocals, Bass
Mike Hamilton – Drums
Sebastian Phillips – Guitars
Record Label: Relapse Records


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