It’s almost time to watch slasher films again. OK, let me clarify that. It’s always time to watch slasher films, but it’s also almost time to watch them fashionably again since the Halloween and decay are lurking. My one tree in the backyard has almost shed all of its leaves, and as I write this, it’s still the dying days of summer. Let the blood flow.
Timed just perfectly, long-running death-grind miscreants Exhumed have pulled their body out of the sticky goo with their new full-length “Horror,” which could not have been titled better. The cover looks like an old B-movie cover (the ones I salivated over in old video stores when I was a kid … and yes, there’s a limited edition VHS version of this record because obviously there is), and the panic and violence over these 15 tracks and 26 minutes is soaked with plasma and a total mindfuck to take on in any state of mind. This, their eighth record (I’m not counting the 2015 “Gore Metal” re-recording in that number), finds them sounding as savage and monstrous as ever as the band—guitarist/vocalist Matt Harvey, bassist/vocalist Ross Sewage, bassist Sebastian Phillips, drummer Mike Hamilton—remains bluntly to the point and savagely efficient, as these tracks blast by before you can get a grip. You can tell how fast the record is just by looking at my notes that seem hastily and very haphazardly written. It’s that tough to keep up with these ghouls.
“Unsound” opens with a smashing fury as the spat-out vocals and grunts deal damage, the leads go off, and their brand of mangling death grind grabs you by the throat and lets you bathe in their bloodshed. “Ravenous Cadavers” is thrashy and massive, with shouts of, “Kill! Kill! Kill!” over the chorus, and the guitar work grinding meat. “Scream Out in Fright” thrashes and establishes a vicious pace as the screams devastate and the death growls churn. The frightening hammering mauls ferociously before the fire is extinguished suddenly. “The Red Death” smothers and wails away as the playing chews at veins, and a punishing chorus leaves plenty of welting. The track is also pretty catchy while it’s killing, with yells of, “No escaping! No delaying!” before everything is ground into the dirt. “Utter Mutilation of Your Corpse” is seven seconds long, like a beefier version of “You Suffer,” and then it’s on to “Slaughter Maniac” and its nasty guitar work and bruising devastation. The world crumbles as speed and panic launches, blending out into a noise cloud that shoves into “Ripping Death.” The drums murder while the vocals trade off lines, as things get vicious and relentless. The chorus is raging fire, ending with a killer shout of “Ripping fucking death!” for good measure.
“Clawing” is thunderous and just pounds away at you, while the guitars go off and give a good scorching, and vile shouts and gurgles mix together to create nausea. “Naked, Screaming and Covered In Blood” is blasting and totally rapid firing, with the guitars bleeding, the title shouted over the chorus, and gut-ripping screams ending the fury. “Playing With Fear” trudges before everything comes unglued. The drums turn bones to dust as pure death metal hell is unleashed, and the chorus leans on your sore body that’s already suffered enough. “Dead Meat” is a 34-second monster with growls and shrieks combining, and the simple chorus pelting over and over. “Rabid” crunches from the start, with molten soloing erupting and smoking carnage being created. The growls cause added chaos as the tempo slams bodies, with the track coming to a neck-jerking end. “In the Mouth of Hell” has morbid riffs and playing that smashes your senses to bits, followed by deep, lurching growls that sound sickening and blaring soloing that concludes the track is a disgusting manner. “Shattered Sanity” speeds from the gates as the guitar work tangles your brain, double-kick drums destroy, and then the plasma flows into closer “Re-Animated” that nails the gas pedal to the floor. The vocals are spattered like blood while the pace pelts, and the track ends in a flood of violence.
Decay is in the air, the days are getting morbid, and it’s again time to wash yourself in the guts of other victims, at least while it’s seasonally appropriate to do so. In that case, Exhumed’s “Horror” is arriving at the right time, when you might walk away feeling a little less depraved having enjoyed this filth so thoroughly. Actually, Exhumed’s music is truly for any season; it just feels nastier and more sinister doing so when we’re celebrating violence of all kinds again.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/ExhumedOfficial
To buy the album, go here: http://relapse.com/exhumed-horror/
For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords