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American death metallers Exhumed have never been a band fussed about providing the fastest or most extreme records and have instead focused over their lengthy career now spanning 5 records over 20 years on spinning yarns of Carcass-influenced and melodically infused gore-themed metal. Given I have introduced in this manner clearly such is the case with "All Guts, No Glory" where from first track proper "As Hammer To Anvil" through to closer "Funereality" there is no let-up in the band's multi-vocalled attack, where in the true Carcass mould we get the consistent delight of dual high and low vocals of Matt Harvey and a tempo that could be pretty well summed up as 'fast'.
Following the self-titled 2 minute introduction piece the 10 subsequent tracks are all of a similar standard and 3-4 minute length, the likes of "As Hammer To Anvil", "I Rot Within" and "Dis-assembly Line" being the definition of the Exhumed sound with easily approachable (by DM standards) song structures, hammering drums, clear soloing all wrapped in the perfectly clear yet biting production required for a sound like this. In "Your Funeral, My Feast" and "Necrotized" the Carcass influence in the band's soloing is hugely apparent yet considerably well done to allow these Californian's CHECK to get away with their obvious stylistic influences.
In one of those rare instances there are no plainly weak tracks at all to be found here, "Through Cadaver Eyes", "Death Knell" and "Sound The Charge" besides the aforementioned all being absolutely listenable to any seasoned death metaller like myself, but the magic spark to bring these songs, and the album as a whole, has not yet been found after many listens the past couple of months. Exhumed's latest attempt is a definite pleaser to fans of old school orientated death metal without plumbing the depths of aural depravity most of that ilk choose to take, but as a release "All Guts, No Glory" is full of clean, incisive flesh wounds but the killer mortal blow has not quite been served.
Originally written for www.Rockfreaks.net