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You say chainsaw murder, I say culinary innovation - 85%

autothrall, October 15th, 2014
Written based on this version: 1998, CD, Relapse Records

I've mentioned before that I really like having some 'continuity' for metal niches that I really enjoyed during their original incarnation. Very often a groundbreaking, legendary band arrives and departs from a choice sound within the span of as little as a single album, and in some of those cases I feel like it just wasn't explored to its fullest. That's not to imply that soulless knockoff bands should get a free pass when they can't apply even an iota of personality or raw conviction to their chosen nostalgia trip, but there are certainly scores of bands who cultivate a more genuine obsession. As far as England's seminal Carcass, their rapid musical evolution across albums left some of the 'possibility' of their earlier work in the dust, and as much as I love discs like Necroticism and (especially) Heartwork, I was quite relieved when a handful of Californian acts decided to pick up the torch from where Symphonies of Sickness left off and further carve out that specific aesthetic into something immortally volatile, grotesquely fun.

Exhumed first came onto my radar with the Relapse debut Gore Metal, although they had already been butchering cadavers for nearly a decade prior to that, manifesting right about the time that British classics like Symphonies of Sickness, Realm of Chaos and From Enslavement to Obliteration were starting to make ripples across the pond. So it's not too much of a stretch that this early grind sound plays so prominently into their development. Yet Matt Harvey, Ross Sewage and company imbued this with a healthy helping of carnal thrash, Floridian morbidity (in particular from the Scream Bloody Gore/Leprosy era of Death) and a lot more structure than progenitor efforts like Scum and Reek of Putrefaction would ever be accused of. Carcass is what I hear the most clearly, to be sure, with to the warring guttural and snarl vocals and flesh-churning guitar tone, but not every riff progression is some analog for those meat-hating metallurgists. Where their British forerunners had a more political theme behind their songs, citing medical journals to make the listener sick to his/her stomach, you can tell from the get-go that Exhumed were more interested in the slasher and gore genres of horror film...so these cold, forensic lyrics, which have a similar clinical quality to them, seem more like the aftermath of a murder spree...

But the music, that better recounts the actual act, with this fat, voluptuous rhythm guitar tone which feels like someone packed Repulsion's Horrified into some delicious, fatty livestock, seasoned it with Pestilence's Consuming Impulse and then served it raw, by the slice. Regardless of whether you want to call this 'gore-grind' or 'death-grind', the songs eschew the obnoxious practice of :50 of blasting, sloppy riffs and haiku-like lazy political ravings and morph into pure metal tunes, with demented, wailing leads that fit the tireless momentum perfectly. Oh, fear not, there are loads of blast beats, but these are balanced off against the death/thrashing obtrusions of a Leprosy, squirming entrail Symphonies of Sickness grooves, and King/Hanneman frenzies which abandon all home of coherent melodic components to reward the listener a more fresh perspective on 'the kill', the undiluted chaos of pure violence. Col Jones keeps the time with loads of fills ricocheting around the mix, and a solid tone to the kicks, toms and snare which don't mirror the more processed sounding drums of the brutal tech death movement that was in full swing by this point; and the bass guitar metes out the normal grinding fuzz, but still seems quite corpulent beneath the incendiary six-strings.

Gore Metal didn't tear my face off nearly as much as its successor, but to this day I think it's rightly a 90s 'classic' in the field which doesn't seem to age much...in fact I enjoy the album more than I did when initially exposed to it, and would easily recommend it to anyone who just wants some kinetic mayhem emanating through the speakers. Again, it's not exactly a repackaged Carcass, they've managed that themselves with Surgical Steel...but if you were seeking out a 'mirror universe' of that band who let themselves loosen up and have fun, this was the album that quenched the urge long before retro death became this overcrowded norm. A well-fed upgrade to a wealth of classic grind, tearing its way across the States and beyond, while General Surgery was simultaneously flavoring the same inspiration with their native Swedish crust overseas. This disc definitely scored the first few goals for bringing this sound back around, before being joined by wingmen like Impaled, Ghoul and Frightmare a little further into the game. Well worth owning this grisly, controlled charcuterie.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

Maniacal, Gory Mayhem!!! - 100%

mustaine_is_god_96, January 5th, 2012

This has to be one of the greatest death/grind albums of all time!!! It helped redefine the genre of grindcore itself and it gave the next generation a pretty high standard to match (or beat). Once you see the album cover depicting a house full of splattered guts including some leftover pieces on a chainsaw, you know you’re in for a gory treat.

Let’s start with the production. I have to admit, it’s a little dry, but that’s the beauty of this album. You don’t need good production to make an amazing full-length. The raw production actually helps make the instruments heavier than they need to be, making the final product amazingly brutal. Speaking of heaviness, I love the sound of the guitars. It’s how grindcore guitars should sound: heavily distorted, raw, and loud. Both Matt and Mike Beams do a great job on guitar. They may go slightly off-time occasionally, but overall it’s a well-composed album. I find it amazing that Matt Harvey can play guitar and do those harsh screams at the same time. I also love Col Jones’s drumming. With fast double bass, blast beats, and fast pounding, the sound of the drums will rip your eardrums apart!

The songs themselves are also really good. The opener, Necromaniac, is my personal favourite from this album. It has a brutally heavy opening riff that wakes you up, letting you know that this gore fest of an album has begun. Other songs I absolutely love from this album are “Postmortem Procedures”, “Limb from Limb”, “Casket Krusher”, “In My Human Slaughterhouse”, “Sepulchral Slaughter”, and the 6-minute epic, “Deadest of the Dead”. But I believe the entire album is great.

This album is a masterpiece, not just for goregrind, death/grind, or grindcore, but death metal in general. You MUST listen to it. If you hate it, you deserve to be torn LIMB FROM FUCKING LIMB!!!

Genre (Re)defining - 99%

BlackSeal, December 15th, 2008

"Gore Metal"... The album's name alone tells you what you can expect, and you can bet that it delivers, from the music to the artwork. With this album, Exhumed have managed to find middle ground between brutal and... well, brutal. If you're a fan of the death/grind sound, then you've probably heard of these guys, and if you haven't, then I recommend you leave your computer and purchase this album.


As with the first time I heard "Symphonies of Sickness", I was truly amazed at what "Gore Metal" offered. Starting with "Necromaniac" is the pounding, screaming assault that is Exhumed. The band sounds extremely tight throughout, not giving you a moment to catch your breath. The vocal trade-offs are absolutely fantastic, giving the songs a unique edge that just cuts into your head. The drums are a relentless attack that just don't quit. The guitars send riff after riff through your speakers, and the bass just may cause your home's foundation to crumble.


So, now you're probably wondering, "If the album is so good, why did you not give it 100%?" The reason is simple. By the time "Gore Metal" comes to a stop in your CD player, your ears will be deaf from its great attack. So, for those that have not heard this album, go. Go now, and buy this piece of metal greatness.

Boooooring. - 30%

MutatisMutandis, July 20th, 2008

Exhumed play straight-up, unimaginative Carcass worship. "Unimaginative Carcass worship"? Imagine that! While bands like early Haemmorhage, Gruesome Stuff Relish, and Impaled could write some thrash-worthy homages to the retired gore gods, Exhumed sound so brutally uninspired I can feel my eardrums becoming vestigial as a lockdown defense mechanism.

I don't feel like expending a whole lot of time or energy on this review, considering during the writing process, this band did neither, so lets get down to business. While vocal quality has never really been a big deal for me, Exhumed sounds so unintentionally comical, I can feel my face flush whenever the half-assed patterns bust in and the band interprets what a duck full of helium would sound like if confronted by a dying rhinoceros. The drumming is equivalent in terms of stunning mediocrity, and sounds basically what you'd expect from Rick Allen on PCP - sloppy, pointless, and symptomatic of a one armed drummer playing Carl Palmer's kit.

While a few tracks display some head noddingly worthy riffs and some moshable groove, for the most part, it falls flat and the tracklisting is far more miss than hit. If you're looking for some quality Carcass worship, pick up Symphonies Of Sickness and Necroticism. You see what I did there? Good times.

this cd will tear you limb from limb...literally - 80%

Thrash_Till_Death, January 25th, 2003

Take a look at the song titles and the cd artwork. You have one guess as to what these guys are all about. Ok, offended? I hope not, as while the music is great, the whole over the top image & lyrics are more humorous than appalling. Though if you showed this to any uptight person who is afraid of metal...well they would have a multiple heart attack at this bloody, brutal and gory affair.

Regardless of the image & lyrics, this cd will destroy you. The musicianship is pretty tight and in a surprising change, the guitars are what i notice last. The drums on this cd are wicked, have a great sound and will blast beat you into submission. The bass on this cd...wow. Its not like Steve Harris noticably bass, but there is a ridiculous amount of low end on this and it will leave you shaking. The vocals are the next thing to tackle. The cool thing is, there is two guys singing here. One sings in a style thats similar to swedish metal,but still brutal, while the other is ultra low and barely understandable.

The cd opens with Necromaniac and this is an ok track, but not the best this has to offer. Open the Abcess murders its way into your stereo next and this song kills. Its got some cool hooks and has a wicked trade off on the vocals. Plus this song features a sample of a drill( i think) turning on, followed by a dripping/gushing sound. Song 4, limb from limb has one of my fave intros. It starts with a chainsaw reving up, followed by a long brutal scream. pppphhhrrrrrrrrrrrr...GGGGGUUUUUUURRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHHHH. Fucking brutal, and i love it.

If you've read any of my other reviews, you will know I usually will go through the first few tracks on the cd, but make mention to others. So there won't be any change with this review! Overall this cd is pretty fucking brutal. There is some really awesome moments on here, even if gore death/grind isn't your mug of beer. The vocal trades offs are great in some songs and really make the songs unique. Oh yea, they also cover Sodom, doing Sodomy and Lust.

So basically, if your into brutal death/grind, you most likely already own this album. If you are a fan of those genres and you don't have this, get it. I would highly recommend this one before the bands next cd, Slaughtercult. If you are one who is new to the brutal death/grind genre, this is a good pick. If you like this, it will get you into a lot of other bands in the genre. And if you don't like this genre at all, this cd probably won't change your mind.

best songs imo: open the abscess, limb from limb, sepulchural slaughter & deadest of the dead ( did chris barnes come up with that title?)