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Awesome compilation of legendary US DM band - 90%

dismember_marcin, February 10th, 2012

I just love such compilation releases, which gather old demo or EP recordings from a band, which not necessarily is well remembered nowadays. Recent years has brought few such releases and it seems like the nowadays resurgence of old school death metal is the best time ever to remind us some of those old cult bands. Necroharmonic belongs to the labels, which specializes in it and I think they’re actually doing one of the best jobs and are responsible for exhuming the old materials from such bands as Derketa, Goreaphobia, Wombbath, Interment, Crematory and Rottrevore. Their greatest strength not only lies in the quality of death metal and awesomeness of those bands, whose recordings they’ve compiled, but it’s also the way they’ve been releasing those CDs. I love those fat, detailed booklets, with dozens of old photos, bios, lyrics and other extras. It always looks very impressive and so anytime I see that Necroharmonic is about to release another compilation I just know I need to buy it, because it is certain that it’s going to be worth the money.

And so I did with “Darkened Path Revealed”. It’s a CD, which gathers the old recordings from Frederick, Maryland, US based band called Exmortis. Well, I must be honest with and tell that although I’ve known this moniker for years, I only had listened to maybe two or three songs of theirs earlier, so it was a good opportunity to buy “Darkened Path Revealed” and listen to all the stuff that was released by the band. Well, it turned out that it actually doesn’t include everything, but as I’ve found out when digging the history of Exmortis, there was one demo from 1994 (“Butchers of the Urban Frontier”), which isn’t really considered to be an Exmortis release, as it was composed and recorded without Brian Werking, the mainman behind the band. There were some problems in 1994 that led to split up between Werking and the other guys and Chris Weiser took the name and did a demo with some new members, but this demo is far from the sound and style of original Exmortis, whose songs were always composed by Werking. And this is why this demo 1994 is not included on the compilation. But don’t worry, there’s enough material anyway. It compiles the following materials: “Descent Into Chaos” demo 1988, “Immortality’s End” demo 1989, “Fade From Reality” EP 1991, “History of Things to Come” compilation 1994 plus several extra, unreleased recordings (some of which are only intros though), what gives almost an hour of death metal music in total. Fuck yeah, this is what I like!

Of all those recordings, I think I like “Immortality’s End” most, it’s damn fuckin killer archaic death metal with a huge thrashing influence, but in general every bit of this compilation deserves your praise. Exmortis have been slashing with merciless thrashing death metal, which brings some resemblances to bands like early Sepultura, Possessed, Massacra, Kreator, Nocturnus and few more, but even if these are just the demos, the quality of those recordings isn’t far worse from what the bands I mentioned have been doing on their full length albums. Really, this is razor sharp, neckbreaking, blasting metal (which may sound slightly archaic nowadays, but it has such a charm and feeling that I personally cannot resist it), with many splendid riffs and parts, with great vocals and what’s more, it was also pretty well produced. The quality of each recording is just awesome and it would even fit the full length, if Exmortis ever had a chance to record one. Unfortunately, they didn’t and the future wasn’t as bright for them as they would wish, but that’s even more rewarding for Werking and his band to have this compilation released, I think. Besides, the band has reformed recently and recorded new material, titled “Resurrection ... Book of the Dead”, which I haven’t heard yet, but I’m hoping it’s going to be a smasher and will be as good as say the comeback recording from Divine Eve for instance.

But for now, I enjoy “Darkened Path Revealed” compilation. This is just splendid release and I must say that Necroharmonic did yet another great job. Did I mention how fat is the booklet here? A lot of photos, some words from people like Chris Reifert, James Murphy, Killjoy, Jeff Becerra and the guys from Unleashed, there are also details about each of the old demos, all the lyrics, etc. All those details plus the fantastic music of course make me feel absolutely happy and enthusiastic about Exmortis, so I definitely recommend this compilation to all fans of old school death metal. Get it asap and bang your head! You must know also that there’s one more compilation of old Exmortis recordings, titled “Unhallowed Grave”, but I think this one will not be as great as “Darkened Path Revealed”, as it includes just some rehearsal and live recordings, so nothing as exciting, besides I’m afraid that the sound quality on it may not be as good as here, so… “Darkened Path Revealed” is the choice for everyone, if you want to get to know Exmortis. And trust me; it is yet another great band from the distant past, which is worth selling your soul to the devil. And they do deserve to be called legend-fuckin-dary!