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Exhumed - To the Dead Award winner

To the Dead
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 05 January 2023, 4:44 AM

 As always, when a veteran is about to release a new album, the expectative of all the fans arises, especially on Death Metal. It’s because the load of evolution is not welcome for many maniacs, so any change can put things down. But some bands are always trying to set things into a step ahead, but never leaving aside the musical personality they created. And a veteran as the coroners of EXHUMED, the legendary Splatter/Gore Death Metal quartet of San Jose, California, can be said as the ones who are always keeping the flame of hope for their fans alive. “To the Dead” is a proof of such statement.

The tenth album of the quartet leaves no doubt: they’ll never change. The band is presenting the same brutal aggressive musical work they deliver since “Gore Metal”, the same mix between Death Metal with Grindcore elements, and with the funny disgusting lyrics that can make the workers of morgues and mortuaries have nauseas until they puke their entrails out. But some things must be said: as a veteran with a career of 32 years on their shoulders, time sharpened their musical potential, and one can say that the quartet is one of the finest acts into the genre. It’s disgusting, brutal and funny, so what more the fans can ask for? Once more, the band hired Alejandro Corredor (the Colombian bassist of NAUSEA, and who worked with acts as AGONY, BRUJERIA and others, so he knows what he is doing with an extreme Metal band on studio) to produce, make the sound engineering, mixing and mastering of “To the Dead” at Dark Corner Studios. And his work allowed the band to express their songs in the best way possible, or in other words, distorted, aggressive and crude, but in a defined form. Of course the band used excellent instrumental tunes on the recordings, making things understandable, but as classic Death Metal as they can.

Be prepared, because if time sharpened EXHUMED technique and expression, is became twice as sick and vulgar, what mean that it’s excellent! Fast and furious is “Putrescine and Cadaverine”, in the old and good way of the trio, using some Grincore contrasts, and the snarls and high-pitch screams are amazing. Following it, the fans will deal with the sick “Drained of Color”, a song with tempos contrasting between parts not as fast as the usual, into a more Death Metal, and some Grindcore explosions, and what amazing guitar riffs and solos (the proof of the quartet’s evolution).

“Carbonized” is another hideous Grindcore/Death Metal song, with sharp Old School hooks in guitars’ arrangements. And “Rank and Defiled” brings back some contrasts between slower moments with faster parts, all built under excellent rhythmic foundations provide by bass guitar and drums. Both “Lurid, Shocking, and Vile” and “Undertaking the Overkilled” follow a trend that mixes Death Metal and Grindcore in equal proportions (a 90’s feature found on NAPALM DEATH’s “Utopia Banished”), and beware of the ears with the band’s vocals.

“Necrotica” is another moment with Grindcore and Death Metal influences mixed in an excellent form, but keeping the weight and aggressive appeal that the fans love. And “No Headstone Unturned” brings some brutal hooks on the guitar riffs and arrangements that are cornerstones of the quartet’s music, something that the fans can recognize (but with the wisdom of those who are into the scene for many years). Bringing some ‘Hardcorized’ touches into the album, “Defecated” is brutal and nearly what a Grindcore song can be on its finest. And “Disgusted” closes the doors of the morgue, a song that brings the classic appeal of the quartet’s music, but with a wise approach (pay attention to the maelstrom created by bass guitar and drums).

EXHUMED’s back, so pay some respect and buy your copy of “To the Dead”. It’s a funny album, but beware to not puke your liver out with the lyrics.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Putrescine and Cadaverine
2. Drained of Color
3. Carbonized
4. Rank and Defiled
5. Lurid, Shocking, and Vile
6. Undertaking the Overkilled
7. Necrotica
8. No Headstone Unturned
9. Defecated
10. Disgusted
Matt Harvey - Vocals, Guitars
Sebastian Phillips - Guitars, Vocals
Ross Sewage - Vocals, Bass
Mike Hamilton - Drums
Record Label: Relapse Records


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