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Exmortus - Legions of the Undead Award winner

Legions of the Undead
by James Brizuela at 30 December 2019, 11:32 PM

EXMORTUS is a melodic thrash and death metal band from California. Originally formed in 2002, they have been an LA metal fixture for well over a decade. Having released their widely regarded full-length album “The Sound of Steel”, in 2018, they return to dish out another epic metal offering. Their horror-themed EP, “Legions of the Undead”.

It is safe to say that anything EXMORTUS touches is pure gold. Their unabashedly raw and brutal sound delivers no matter what they choose to do with it. Even when presenting an EP that is mostly instrumental covers of horror themes. The great thing for all of us though, is that this EP features two brand new songs. The opening track and title track for the album, “Legions of the Undead” and “Swallow Your Soul”. “Legions of the Undead” kicks off the EP in superb fashion. The wailing guitars and melodic death metal sounds shred your every sense while the impressive guitar work carries a thematic element of horror inspired doom.

There is so much musical talent in this track. The opening guitar melody leading into the brutal vocals of Conan, bringing with it an almost power metal like undertone. The wailing guitars and soloing just nonstop in its efforts to destroy your sense of being. The second track, “Swallow Your Soul”, comes in swinging with a fierce melodic sound. There is a more thrash-like sound to this track, but still has the heavy death metal undertone to it as well. The blast beat cadences coming with full force at intervals. Of course, being accompanied by the wailing guitars that compliment the brutal sound oh so well. There is a sort of shrieking that is present in the guitar soloing that cuts like a knife as well. What a treat it is, especially for the horror aficionados, to get a taste of classic theme songs done in the talented EXMORTUS metal style. I don’t think I have ever heard “Beetlejuice” or the “Pyscho Theme” done in such a way.

Both having the wailing guitars shredding the entirety of the tracks. It is a very cool idea to present this as a Halloween treat for everyone that loves these films, and the horror style of things. I would say I love the “Pyscho Theme” a little bit more, only because the guitar works just adds this incredibly great sounding texture to the song. It makes it that much creepier to me. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that “Night on Bald Mountain” is in the movie “Fantasia”. Obviously, it is from a composer, but I recognize it from watching the movie as a child. Again, the wailing guitars adding more depth to the already incredibly composed song. It adds yet another level of creepiness to it, but also sounds incredibly beautiful. Very well done here by the boys in EXMORTUS.

My only gripe of this EP is that it is not a full-length album. I guess I should not be greedy, as EXMORTUS just released an album last year. This is a killer EP. Even more so for those who are more inclined to the horror style of things. This is a welcome surprise for anyone who happens to be a fan of the band. And if you are not a fan of EXMORTUS, listen to them IMMEDIATELY.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Legions of the Undead
2. Swallow Your Soul
3. Beetlejuice
4. Pyscho Theme
5. Night on Bald Mountain
Jadran “Conan” Gonzales – Vocals, Guitars
Cody Nunez – Bass
Chase Becker – Guitars
Carlos Cruz – Drums
Record Label: M-Theory Audio


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Edited 28 September 2022

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