Band : Exhumed
Album/EP : Horror
Genre: Death Metal
Label : Relapse Records
Location : San Jose, California
FFO : Autopsy, Immolation, Hate Eternal
The production on this record really shows how the band has evolved over the years. The most that has changed over the years is the mixing, which is actually pretty solid. For a band to have their sound and structure perfected right out of the gate is astounding. They take a traditional death metal sound and mix it with grindcore, which I think is their shining element. A lot of bands merge genres, that is something that is pretty much inevitable, but I feel like they keep it simple and instead of drawing influence from multiple genres they stick with an old school death metal/grindcore sound. The mix is fantastic. It’s much more modern than their first couple records, but it’s mixed in a way where it still has an old school tone, and I think it fits perfectly for this band.
Now here comes a hard part, the song structure. It’s like they have a structure, but yet they also don’t. It’s hard to tell at times. Do all death metal songs need structure? No, not at all. But I feel like that helps with the way the tracks flow. In this case, these tracks are fast as fuck. They are straight to the point and don’t fuck around. The whole album is 15 tracks and around 25 minutes long. Like I said, straight to the point.
I feel that the narrative is pretty much the same as all their other records: Gore, Death, and all things Horror; that’s their specialty. I feel if they tried to vary from their formula, it might not be as well received. Do I know the actual “theme” of each track? No. But like I said, I imagine it’s along the lines of what I just mentioned.
There is a ton of replay value here. I’ve heard Exhumed before. Pretty sure I’ve even seen them live. But I was thoroughly impressed with this record. You can put this on shuffle, or even constant repeat. You will never get bored. I don’t have the lyrics in front of me, but I wish I did. My favorite part of the record is the balance of mid/higher screams, to some super intense guttural shit. The fact that 3 of the 4 members do some sort of vocals is actually pretty genius. It gives them a chance to hit different ranges and do a variety of things.
Now compared to the last album, Death Revenge, not too much has changed. The most notable changes are the production and mix. Horror has more of a Death Metal vibe/sound to it, whereas Death Revenge seems a wee bit more melodic in it’s style. Horror reminds me more of actual death metal. When I listen to Death Revenge, I feel like I’m listening to a version of Black Dahlia Murder. (Not that its a bad thing.) Also, another thing, the tracks on Horror are no longer than 3 minutes each, with the shortest one being only 8 seconds. So I feel they chose not to waste time with filler, and get right to the gore.
Overall, I love this record. It’s got the makings to be a classic in their discography. It’s got the death metal we all know and love from them, it’s fast as fuck, but it’s also catchy. It’s got pit riffs galore. Horror is guaranteed to make you want to circle pit around your children.
Star Rating: 10/10
Strongest Song: Naked, Screaming, and Covered in Blood