Published Jul 05, 2011You'd never guess this is their first album in eight years, as Cali gore metal kings Exhumed effortlessly lay down 11 perfectly memorable, brutal and technically proficient gore-grind tunes. Drummer Danny Walker nearly steals the show, but he can't quite take away from Exhumed main man Matt Harvey's non-stop spectacle of great riffs and songwriting, both of which are demonstrated in excellent tunes like "Necrotized." The title track starts things off (a brief instrumental that sets the tone nicely) before "As Hammer to Anvil," which is as classic an Exhumed song title as there ever was, announces that they're back and can still lay down the blasting death, vicious grind and gross gore better than anyone. If anything, the album proves the band – these days an all-star line-up also featuring Leon del Muerte (Intronaut, ex-Impaled, ex-Phobia) and Wes Caley (ex-Uphill Battle, ex-Fatalist) – are becoming more adept at adding melodic death metal to their sound ( "Through Cadaver Eyes"), which they've slowly been doing all along. Seriously, this is like the underground's version of a great Slayer album: every song is anthemic and catchy, but not in a pandering way (check out "Death Knell" for the most raging example of this). This is never anything less than honest, sincere and devoted in its approach.
Why did it take you so long to release this album?
Harvey: I needed some time away from Exhumed. I was really burnt out in '05. I had turned 30 and was a bit frustrated with my life; I wasn't living up to my goals or expectations, musically or otherwise, and I was really tired of the death metal scene. After five-plus years off, I had a much better perspective on the band, and also on life in general, and things with Exhumed became fun again, which really was what it was about in the first place.
There's more melody this time around. Where does that come from?
Wes [Caley, guitarist] and I both have a more melodic lead style, whereas Mike [Beams, ex-guitarist] was much more into the atonal post-Incantation-/Suffocation-type of leads. Also, the production is nice and audible. When we did Anatomy is Destiny, people were shocked at how melodic it was, but really, it had a lot to do with actually being able to hear all the riffs for the first time.
Is there really no glory in gore-grind?
Not much glory, I'm afraid. I'm still driving my '95 Isuzu Rodeo and living day to day [laughs]. But glory wasn't really what I signed up for. (Relapse)