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Of the two biggest shitty Carcass clones out there that I would never listen to, Exhumed was definitely better than Impaled, who are on my short list for bands I'd like to see get devoured by sea creatures. This is not to say that Exhumed were a great band by any means; they started as a capable death/grind band before falling into the same Swedecore shit that seemingly everyone did at the same time, and 'Anatomy Is Destiny' comes off as a weird combination of 'Necroticism' and 'Heartwork'-era Carcass with some decidedly odd Swedish influences. Of course it's not good; what would you expect from that description!?
I guess this album is where Exhumed lost all their real goregrind influences and just became a straightforward death metal band, and I guess it could have been worse. Unlike Impaled, the 'Heartwork'-worship melodic riffs are relegated to small parts of songs, not drenching everything in sickly-sweet harmonization. The primary influence here I guess is really 'Necroticism', with its more restrained sense of technical death metal alongside some weird hints of hardcore punk influence on tracks like 'Death Walks Behind You'. To the band's credit, all these odd additions to the formula are pretty listenable and not as jarring as you'd think, but the problem is that the bulk of the music just isn't very interesting. 'Anatomy Is Destiny' sounds really dated, from the pretty boring, hookless riffs to the silly cock rock solos that pop up every once in a while. Exhumed play fast and mildly brutally, but the riffs aren't catchy and the songwriting is using the same blast versus midpaced break paradigm that every band in this style has been driving into the ground for like a decade now.
Nothing really seems to happen over the course of this record; yeah, occasionally they'll stumble onto something neat (like the absolute Carcass theft that the opening riff on the final track is), but it seems mostly coincidental. Every song is arranged in basically the same way and the whole of it is just so predictable and standard for this style it's really impossible to be enthused by it. Exhumed seem to be phoning it in for a paycheck: there's nothing to the songs that suggest they were works of real enthusiasm and passion. If they were, why would they be so boring? Exhumed has about two riffs (the churning, low tremolo riff and the popping, thrashy midpaced break) and pounds them into the listener over and over again over the course of the record, and none of the variations included really do anything to inspire confidence. It's not bad, just mediocre and boring, and there's too much of that in the metal scene already.
I guess the time period where Exhumed was regarded as a real, major band has long passed by now, but I still think it was pretty undeserved even when they were popular. This album doesn't have much to recommend for it- I guess it'll be neat if you're just getting into The Black Dahlia Murder or something, but I'd prefer to spend my time somewhere more worthwhile.
Much as its predecessors Gore Metal and Slaughtercult took a heavy Carcass influence and modernized it into an arguably more brutal disposition, Anatomy is Destiny also follows those English lords, but this into the more melodic territory of Heartwork, with a fine balance of chugging, brutal rhythms and melodic metal solos. This isn't to say the album is a complete ripoff, because by this point Exhumed have taken on a life (death) of their own, with a chunky guitar tone and slightly different approach to some of the riffing. It's a heavier and faster album than any of the later Carcass discography. Yet the tongue in cheek humor of their 'mentors' remains intact.
Anatomy is Destiny is not as brutal as Slaughtercult, and in my opinion not as good, but there are still plenty of quality tracks to sink your bonesaw into and let loose. "Waxwork" is a complex piece with a number of large, shifting grooves and grinding blast beats. "The Matter of Splatter" is a ruthless, aggressive thrasher in which all bets are off. The lyrics retain their wild rhyming absurdity (with the band would later transfer over to the Ghoul project).
But the better gems on the album only begin with the winding melodies of "Under the Knife", and the hyperkinetic riffing of "Consuming Impulse", which has some great vocals. "Grotesqueries" is tense and confusing, neckbreaking goregrind. Other incredible tracks here include the brutal and mesmerizing "Death Walks Behind You" and the grinding gait of "Arclight".
Anatomy is Destiny has a boxy crunch to its rhythmic tones, yet the guitars still slash like surgical knives through the mix. The solos are wild and always provided above some meaty, driving selection of chords. The vocals are what you expect, a mix of snarls and guttural grunts that ape the band's biggest influence. Exhumed have never failed to impress with any of their full-length releases, and while I would place Slaughtercult at the apex of their output, this is a fine addition to their discography.
Highlights: Under the Knife, Consuming Impulse, Arclight, Death Walks Behind You
Anatomy Is Destiny is a great gore metal album in the sense that it has the perfect recipe for a great gore metal album. The music is stripped-down but relatively well-produced, shredding and often down-tuned guitars with a prominent and thumping bass line. The drummer, while not flashy or a showoff, plays with the correct precision and complexity for this record. The bipolar vocal assault is one of the best aspects of this album, the vocals always matched the musical context present. The artwork is disturbing but pleasing to the gore fiends' eyes. As if this were not enough, the album has a brilliant title. It relates to the content of the album and it is catchy, one of those titles that could easily become a classic, one that if said in a conversation among metalheads no one would ask "Who made that album?" The spectacular aura of this album is only exceeded by what it contains.
Exhumed maintain the same level of intensity throughout the disc, never letting up for an overrated "soft section" or anything even remotely close to it. "The Matter of Splatter" is my pick for the best track on the disc. It starts with one of the most haunting and tortured but amazing screams I have ever heard over a thick layer of distorted shredding. From there the whole song keeps you intrigued and keeps up the brutal intensity with every new riff. "Under the Knife" is also an excellent track, it constantly pummels your senses into submission and one cannot help but to nod your head to the beat. "Nativity Obscene - A Nursery Chyme" is definitely one of the strangest songs I've heard because in the middle of the song the typical down-tuned riffage is accompanied by the soft sound of a children's choir or something, singing at a completely different tempo then the music. This brings about a sense of disturbance, in which no matter what you might be doing while listening to the song, that other activity quickly becomes second in your mind to what you are hearing. This haunting interlude only increases one's interest in the music and how the idea of putting that sound bite over death metal came together. Where this album falters is that some of the riffs are played slightly too long or seem to reappear in other songs with very minute differences. This made some of the songs sound tired and uninspired.
This album as a whole is another stellar record of gory death metal from one of the most prominent American bands in the genre. Exhumed have never compromised their sound, always crossing lines and pushing the boundaries and not heeding to what is considered obscene and hopefully will continue that trend in the future.
First pee drops fell to my pants when I saw the name of this cd and it awaked instantly one single thought: GORE! And this is it. Gorestars from USA are back with their new sickened 11-track masterpiece Anatomy Is Destiny. Their style is deathgrind or goregrind (the same I think) in the spirit of early Carcass. I don't think that this isn't really a copy of any Carcass album because the masters of this genre stopped right when they started (Heartwork wasn't the thing that it was meant to be), so it's really great pleasure to realize that someone does this kind of rot anymore (don't count those South American 5.000 other buzzing gore wannabe groups). Well, this was hot stuff at 92-93.
It is true too that these guys have listened their Necroticisms because the riffs sound very unique and close to Carcass's album but Exhumed has added much more pace to their grinding than Carcass. also BIG hooks are added here and there. just wait and see. Drums sound few times pretty lame but unique like that double singing. And of course, the one is like Jeff Walker and the other is singing low and growly. VEEEERY low and growly. and good. You can also find this so called "yankee fury" (as said in Finland) from someplaces. This music catches and your legs are eventually drumming with Exhumed. So groovy but so brutal. Like the song Waxwork or In The Name Of Gore. These are the best pieces of excrete in this album. Only last song leaves bit bad feeling. when you first hear it you propably say like "whatta fuck is this!!" because brutal, fast and furious pace shifts to bit slower. But listen to it further. There will be those big meat hooks that gives you pleasure in the end.
But eventually this sound just too similar compared to others, like Impaled or Carcass, and the music gets boring, because same patterns in their music are nearly the same in every song. one pattern is that song starts slow, then comes few blast beats, then little break part, blast beats, few solos, blast beats and last line that usually sounds little different from those before. But if you prefer dirtyer and faster style of metal and listen to Carcass and Impaled, then you propably like this too. Your ears are propably just a bloody mush after you have listened this. Fair album, though not obviously the best of this genre, but this gets close enough. FOREVERMORE - IN THE NAME OF GORE!!!