Exhumed Death Revenge

There is no doubting the near-legendary status that has been given to Exhumed, these guys have been producing some of the most classic sounding Death Metal for eons now, and Matt Harvey and crew continue to be one of the most consistent bands in the genre.

Building on from previous album Necrocracy, a release that many considered to be the best of the band’s career, comes new album Death Revenge (both Relapse). One could be forgiven for thinking that may just now sit back on their laurels and stick to a very successful formula, but this time around sees a concept of sorts, always an interesting path for any band to take but even more so for a group as long-established as Exhumed, the album is a collection of songs based upon a series of murders that occurred in Edinburgh, Scotland in the 1820’s.

It is the knack for combining extremely catchy lead riffs with all out Death Metal grind that is at the centre of everything Exhumed bring to the table. The band is so in the pocket on this album that it appears to an almost effortless endeavor. Take lead-off single ‘Night Work’ for example with its Slayer-esque lead riff the song lurches and draws you in only to then change and one-eighty into a blast beat thrash fest, so utterly seamless are the transitions from part to the next it is at times a thrilling listen.

The extra layers are the real difference between this and previous albums, maybe due to the idea of the album being a concept and all that brings; such as the need for as coherent through line and consistent tone and feel. Whatever it is these added bells and whistles that bring to mind younger bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, especially evident on the production of Death Revenge.

But that’s not all. ‘The Anatomy Act Of 1832’ is a brilliantly diverse track coming towards the end of the album; atmospheric, creepy, completely fitting the aesthetic of the album and that truly awesome old school cover art. The song gets right under your skin and shows off some of the best solos I’ve heard all year.

‘Defenders Of The Grave’ has an immense driving riff at its heart, a riff so thick and slab-like it wouldn’t be out of place on the masterpiece that was Carcass’ magnum opus Heartwork(Earache/Columbia). Exhumed, as mentioned many times, are just masters at this now… there’s nothing they can’t do.

Exhumed have managed to succeed where many veteran bands fail; being able to retain what makes them great and yet still expand their horizons beyond conventional thinking. For this, they should be rightly commended and any true Death Metal fan should have this album in their collection.

8.5/10

KIERAN MITCHELL

Source: Ghost Cult Magazine