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The first and best release from Exumer. - 84%

DesecratorJ, May 18th, 2018

This famous band hailing from Germany is not really what you would expect them to sound, based on their origins. Being known as having a more Bay Area thrash influence in their music, I was not quite motivated to give them a listen at first mostly because of that. I was expecting some kind of typical thrash metal that we can hear by hundreds of bands, but at last, when stopping acting like a bitch, I decided to give them a proper listen. To be quite honest, it was a pretty good experience, but of course, I've heard far better from other German releases of 1986. One thing for sure, I didn't like at all their second album called "Rising from the Sea" released in 1987.

Since I didn't like their other material, "Possessed by Fire" was the only hope I had for Exumer. Being their first album released in 1986, I was of course expecting some brutal shit from these guys, it's not exactly what I got from this record, but it was still enough violence for me to thrash on it. The first thing I noticed about this album is the sound of the guitars, it's a very similar one of Metallica's "Kill 'Em All". My first thought was that "Possessed by Fire" would be a faster version of the Metallica album, but it was more or less the case. However, some obvious influences are noticeable through the 36 minutes of playtime of this record. For example, the first track, which is the album title too, has some great speedy riffs on it, but the solo is much like the one in "Seek and Destroy". What I disliked on this song is the long-ass Intro of nearly one minute before a single note is heard. The second track "Destructive Solution" is definitely the best one of the album for me, it's aggressive, fast and heavy, but very catchy too with its intense chorus, no fucking around with this song, which is pretty great.

Another example of Bay Area influence is on the "Fallen Saint" track, riffs similar to Slayer, Exodus and Metallica are present, the track still manage to be among the best of this record though. To be quite fair about this album, I found better the Side A than the Side B according to the Vinyl version. The other tracks on the Side B are still good, but more generic to me, it wasn't as much memorable as the first tracks. Despite of that, the guys of Exumer still managed to produce their best material on this release. The quality of the sound is mostly top-notch for 1986. Every instruments are well balanced, the guitars, bass and drums are all heard equally to me in the mix. Even though I am not a big fan of the vocals, they're still sounding great on this album. The musicianship of Exumer was not top-tier, but there were some other bands less skilled than them for sure. Their lyrics on "Possessed by Fire" are pretty cool though, it sounds more fresh than some other recycled subjects at the time.

Well, overall, it's a pretty good album and definitely worthy of having the reputation it currently has in the thrash scene. I listen to it at times, but as I said above, it's more related to the Bay Area thrash sound than the Teutonic sound, even if they are from Germany. If you like the early stuff of Metallica, Exodus or Slayer, Exumer is a pretty good choice and recommendation to add to your play list I think. Unfortunately, the band didn't survive the 80s as their later material wasn't that great. Anyway, I am sticking at "Possessed by Fire", and can't recommend something else from them.

Favorite tracks :

A Mortal in Black
Destructive Solution
Fallen Saint
Possessed by Fire

Classic german thrash - 80%

6CORPSE6GRINDER6, May 14th, 2018

Germany's thrash metal big three will always be Destruction, Sodom and Kreator with a triple draw in the first place depending on the particular taste of the person you're talking to. Then comes Tankard to complete the big four, a consistent band that kept on recording album after album despite not being as famous outside Germany as the other bands mentioned before, and in the fifth place there's Exumer: another great band with lots of potential that got lost in the ever flowing spring of artists that plague any relatively new artistic movement, like thrash metal in the 80s. Their debut -Possessed by Fire- was released in 1986, a year of seminar thrash metal albums that were characterized by a tendency for raw productions and play fast or die attitude.

Even if this brand of thrash isn't the most aggressive, the band's guitarist and songwriter managed to develop a strong riffing identity, heavy and fast but exhibiting more speed and traditional heavy metal influences rather than the blackened thrash that Destruction, Kreator and Sodom were playing at the time. Overall, riffs are catchy and memorable, being the rhythm section the strongest side of the band. Leads aren't brilliant I must admit but besides that and one silly circus-like bridge (probably a joke) there’s nothing else painful to hear. The production is typical of the 80s, warm analog tube preamplification for the strings and the high reverberation levels used to mix the drums. The vocals are mid ranged, occasionally hitting high notes but not quite well. The creepy and muddy pitch used in some verses -almost narrated- fits better the vocalist capacities, and gives the songs a more sinister edge.

This is Exumer’s most important record without any doubt, the reunion offerings “Fire and Damnation” and “The Raging Tides” are just versions of this same songwriting with updated production. I wouldn't say this is an essential record but if you're a thrash metal enthusiast you should check this out for general culture at least and most likely will find it amusing. The album highlights "Destructive Solution", “Fallen Saint”, “Journey to Oblivion”, “Xiron Darkstar” and the album opening, feature powerful riffs and are now classics. Their style isn't as dark as the first releases from the german thrash big three of thrash nor as comical as Tankard’s work, it's right on the middle, both lyrically and composition-wise. Punky “0-0-0-0” street thrash for the suburban youth.

Soundtrack to a pyromaniac's diary - 86%

Gutterscream, November 4th, 2017
Written based on this version: 1986, 12" vinyl, Disaster

“…they say I’m possessed by fire, and the flames are burning higher…”

The ’87 Metalworks compilation Fast Forward to Hell is easily one of the better deaf pick-ups I’ve made over the years. Its strengths that galvanized me to stick it under my arm that day were its cool, uninhibited-sounding bands that at the time I’d mostly never heard of with the exception of German exports Necronomicon and Exumer, Teutonic treats I’d wanted to sink into my gullet ever since grand ‘ol Blackthorn zine gave ‘em positive dual coverage in its fourth issue.

Coincidentally, about an hour later they’d be the songs vying for possession of the disc’s top honors - evil vs. fire - and even now I sit here unable to declare a clear-cut victor between these possessed creatures, however which debut full-lengther walks away less battered and bleeding is a proclamation I can announce in my sleep and with no shovel needed to dig up the whys if I wake up.

Now, a characteristic of fire is to lick clean everything it touches in its own blackened ashen fashion. Lucky for us this nine-tracker is not the place where we’ll witness this elemental law somehow resisting its timeless physics. A sharply ripping guitar tone cuts a fire trail that, with its Musiclab Studio mix, burns hot enough to dissolve natural and fabricated debris, thereby allowing us a clear comparison between PbF and the stuffy, garbled rubble choking Possessed by Evil and its Spygel Studio production, and the Baden-Wurttemberg quartet’s comparably more obnoxious and oppressive guitar tone – usually a superior thing to wield – in some viewpoints can be called insult to the injury.

The element is 100% bane to, well, every lifeform on the planet, but like us, it dies when deprived of air. This four-piece breathe easier with oxygenated songwriting as well, at least in the presence of Necronomicon. Ya gotta remember these Frankfurt gents are in the eagle’s ne…I mean, lion’s den geographically, so out-inspiring yer C+ countrymen isn’t exactly a hat-waving whoop. Overall, however, Exumer ignite some better-than-average, albeit craggy and rugged songcraft that’s held together by musical coordination and skill satisfactory enough to meet the glowering, above-C+ stares of, say, Darkness, Assassin, Kreator, Deathrow, Protector and debut-era Vendetta, brothers-in-arms who’ve shared textbooks that teach thrash theory is first and foremost unrepentant, vicious and gravely serious. Smarter acts, however, locate the cheat notes in the margin divulging there’s no shame in a thrash act’s concern that its material is too entrenched in unforgiving, unbendable platitudes for it to be memorable. There’s also no disgrace in slapping in some simple, yet engaging catchiness to loosen up such platitudes.

Stein’s serrated n’ somewhat screechy snarlkrieg at its nicest is utterly unkind, and even though his tattered lungs share a throatseared semblance to guys like Ollie Fernickel, Rob Gonella, Mille Petrozza and Milo van Jaksik, his style has little difficulty exploiting all-around brazen “Fallen Saint”, the enraged gallop that’s a “Journey to Oblivion”, brief flurries of offbeat finesse in “Sorrows of the Judgement”, and what shoulda been the name of one of my pooches by now, “Xiron Darkstar”, as well as the band’s overall infectious clamor that can’t help but rage pretty wildly, if not familiarly, around us.

Encroaching upon more Destruction-like Release From Agony introspection are mostly mid-tempo “Reign of Sadness” and demo celebrity “A Mortal in Black” (and yep, Stein’s got some Schmier scratch in him as well), confirming to a point their fire-infatuated brainpans can stir fry some maturity when the kitchen light comes on. Meanwhile, incinerator “Destructive Solutions”, while careening full-throttle through a violent ocean of frantic rhythmic fury, unexpectedly pops outta of gear, causing it to drift like a lost surfboard around an isolated, acoustically-combed island that's rippled with calming blue(s) sand. It’s a small island, though - thirty seconds later the beach is set ablaze as well.

Found in fluctuation are opinions of Possessed by Fire, and much like fire itself, the album has been documented as both an enemy and friend to the ears of mortals, and of course there’s always gonna be Swiss-like neutrality. Since I’m a friend, it’s hard for me to turn my back on this with faux disappointment when I can’t imagine the title track inferno not keeping my turned back as toasty as it has my front all these years.

Throw some stiff, oversized bat wings on the cover thug’s face mask and we’re awesomely closer to restoring life to the Jun horde leader from the first Beastmaster flick.

“…fallen saint, now I know your name…”

They say I am possessed by Exumer - 86%

Felix 1666, March 22nd, 2015
Written based on this version: 1986, 12" vinyl, Disaster

It is probably a well-known fact that North Rhine-Westphalia, in particular the so-called "Ruhrpott", constituted the epicenter of the German metal movement during the eighties of the last millenium. Just think of groups like Sodom, Living Death or Kreator, to name but a few. In addition, the North German metropolis Hamburg was prominently represented by Helloween and Running Wild. In Frankfurt am Main, we were proud of having bands such as Tankard, Grinder and, of course, Exumer.

The band showed up with a debut that did not follow the typical Teutonic approach. Their kind of thrash metal could not be compared with that of bands such as Kreator or Holy Moses. Exumer did not have the intention to impress the listener with a very rumbling, stomping or pounding sound. Due to the absence of technical deficiencies, the band operated on the same level of musicianship as the American thrash metal role models. To put it more precisely, Exumer´s recipe for an amazing debut was based on the same ingredients as the first releases of Legacy (Testament) and Exodus. The edgy riffs, the tempo changes and in particular the clear and razor-sharp sound revealed the spiritual relationship with Gary Holt´s high-precision machine. By the way, I will never understand why the transparently produced albums of the eighties do not suffer from sterility. With regard to the modern outputs, transparency and lifelessness seem to go hand in hand. But that´s another story.

The song material captivated with a handful of really outstanding highlights. The fast-paced "Xiron Darkstar" explained musically the terms "intensity" and "dynamism" in a matter of minutes. Its riffing was in a class of its own. As if that were not enough, the track delivered an aggressive yet catchy chorus. The other pieces pointed in the same direction and some of them, for example the title track, did not pale beside the just described thrash metal grenade. "Possessed by Fire", which was simultaneously the opener, demonstrated its variety of strengths with a gripping chorus, a casual break at the end and, of course, incredibly sharp guitars. The vocals of Mem von Stein were simply fantastic, too. He had found the right mix of fanaticism, insanity and expressiveness. Rarely appearing background vocals rounded the picture off. Too bad that Exumer also performed a few tunes that did not possess the same amount of outstanding features. Some breaks did not completely match with the flow of the respective song. But to put it in positive terms, it was good to see that the guys were not afraid of complexity. Under the bottom line, the band did not bore us with expressionless pieces and this was the main thing.

"Possessed by Fire" was published by Disaster. The signing of Exumer confirmed the good taste of the company, because Exumer followed a similar musical direction as the likewise competent Angel Dust, whose debut had been also released by Disaster. Furthermore, the contract with this company also meant that the album was recorded and produced at the Musiclab in Berlin by the fairly famous Harris Johns and Thomas Ziegler, the obligatory partners of Disaster. One can conclude from this that the company was not stingy, albeit it surely did not have the financial resources to compete with giants like Roadrunner or Noise. All the more astonishing was the here presented result. "Possessed by Fire" became nothing less than a German thrash metal milestone, totally free from foreign stylistic influences and very competently implemented. To get a first impression, you should check out "A Mortal in Black". Its simple yet highly memorable riff at the beginning and its thrilling high speed sections will surely make you curious for more.

Come! Obey! - 86%

Metal_Jaw, June 27th, 2012

If you've never heard of Exumer, then you're in for a Teutonic treat. There were a number of bands back in the day who were buried under the more immense popularity of Destruction, Sodom and Kreator. One of these guys was Exumer, who, thanks primarily to this album, still retains a respectable cult following to this day. "Possessed By Fire" may not be the best German thrash album ever, but it certainly is damn good and does deserve the recognition it only seems to sparingly get.

Exumer is basically a German take on Slayer and Exodus, mixing their natural, crunchy Teutonic vibes with the guitar-happy NWOBHMish aggression of some of the Bay Area boys. Vocalist Mem Von Stein has your usual Germanic rasp growling, yet a tad bit cleaner usually some nifty shrieks thrown in more good measure. His bass, as probably could imagine, gets buried a bit but isn't invisible. He's keeps the rhythm all right enough and dishes out a few solid fills. Guitarists Bernie Siedler and Ray Mensh make a formidable duo with their Hanneman/King-type trade-offs and shredding. Syke Bornetto rounds it out on the kit, and he's a good drummer in all fairness. Nothing great, but really good. He doesn't over-rely on double-bassing, and offers up quite a few strong technical moments to boot.

The nine songs on "Possessed By Fire" range from decent to really good. Some favorites: "COME! OBEY! DESTRUCTIVE SOLUTION!!!" It has that killer chorus and power speed that's pretty damn cool. Then the beloved "Fallen Saint" with its overt and memorable main riff, as well as the infamously "Black Magic"-sounding riffing during the chorus. The title track is pretty cool with some neat time changes, a moody intro, solid speed picking and some interesting melodic moments. "Xiron Darkstar" (how fucking cool is that title?!) is manic Exodus worship with one of the best solos on the album, short as it may be. Closer "Silent Death" is also really awesome, armed with a mixture of chugging and faster moments, as well as another lethally catchy riff or two thrown in.

Overall, "Possessed By Fire" isn't the greatest German thrash album, but it certainly is really good. Most of the songs are a really good listen, so if you can ever find this album, do not hesitate to add it to your collection; you won't be sorry!

But not an all consuming fire - 75%

autothrall, January 6th, 2011

Growing up as a thrasher in the 80s, it was always interesting to me to observe which bands would break out of the printed press and tape trading scenes into the more mainstream American audience, at least to the metal circles of my junior high and high schools, or those fans I was able to speak with at gigs and record shops. German thrash was never necessarily a huge prospect in my region; some folks had heard of Kreator and Destruction, a few had purchased their albums, but take it down to the next tier of infamy, and the devotee was few and far between (at least here). Exumer was one band which did receive the occasional nod, which is uncanny since they've wound up so obscured through the ensuing decades...

However, when it comes to the specialized audience of today, they are also one of the most sought out and enamored of the 'thrash legends that might have been' from the 80s. While I do enjoy Possessed by Fire, and find this debut to be the better of their two albums, it is one case in which I might feel the cult status is slightly overblown. Clearly Exumer was possessed by more than just this one element, but also the ability to pace themselves in songwriting and conceive a well balanced album, with a pretty polished sound when compared to peers of their day. On the other hand, there is simply nothing in the band's retinue which really begs any distinction. They are essentially a composite collage of Destruction, Sodom and Kreator with a large helping of Slayer and Metallica on the side, and not quite so effective as any of those bands.

Vocalist Mem von Stein had a similar pinched vocal rasp to Schmier of Destruction, with a little of the body Daxx and Micky used in the later Vendetta, and while it's enjoyable throughout, it just doesn't have enough character to thrive against the better known bands. The riffs here are a mixed lot of average, nasty speed/thrash metal. Particular tracks like the Destruction gone sci-fi of "Xiron Darkstar" or mid-paced Metallica rampage "Reign of Sadness" do have their moments, while "Possessed by Fire" and "Destruction Solution" do a bangup job of knocking you over immediately to built excitement, but there are others which do not fare so well. I mean, I like the vocals in "Fallen Saint", but the song is basically just a paraphrasing of Slayer's "Black Magic". "Journey to Oblivion" is frenetic, savage fun, but "Silent Death" is forgettable.

If I had to choose a particular track here, I'd probably cite "Sorrows of the Judgement" as a favorite, since I enjoy the rapid rollicking of the guitars and their stilted bridge/groove, but even this feels like someone mashing up Slayer and Destruction. Now, I of all people am certainly not opposed to such a union, but when I hear claims that this is one of the greatest thrash albums ever written by the pen of man? Fuck no, it isn't. Possessed by Fire is a facsimile of other thrash bands which wears its heart on its sleeve. If you're craving that old German sound, then this will absolutely provide temporary satisfaction. The sound is good even today, the leads are well written, and you get a tangible level of pissed off speed, but is there a "Sodomy and Lust"? A "Mad Butcher"? A "Riot of Violence", or "Pleasure to Kill"? Unfortunately not.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

One of the better 2nd rate German thrash albums - 75%

morbert, April 28th, 2010

Exumer’s debut safely balances between Kreator's Endless Pain and Pleasure to Kill albums with a slightly higher amount of Slayer influences (just listen to parts of ‘Fallen Saint’) though never reaching the speed and aggression Kreator could pull off.

‘Possessed by Fire’ lives and survives by the grace of Mem von Stein’ vocals, the filthy production and eager performance. Because, as said, compared to the first rate German Trinity, Exumer lack compositional quality to rise above standards. The weakest aspect, musically? That would easily be drummer Syke Bornetto. When playing fast he is just too sloppy. And the noisy drum-production, with cymbals being all over the place, doesn’t make it any better for him.

All in all ‘Possessed by Fire’ is a nice second rate German thrash album from the heyday but just like Darkness’ ‘Death Squad’ every reason to love this Neanderthal simplistic thrash release could be used as a counterargument to explain their obsoleteness as well. Thrash and the German scene itself could easily do without ‘Possessed by Fire’ and there are legions of better (either compositionally, musically or soundwise) albums from the second half of the eighties out there. Yet still ‘Possessed by Fire’ is enjoyable enough for thrashers to purchase.

Dull moments? Sure, plenty unfortunately. ‘A Mortal In Black’ has some pretty tedious mid paced sections. ‘Sorrow of the Judgment’ is almost brilliant with it's raging verses, chorus and a great rhythmical break after he first verse but the bluesy groovy middle section almost ruins it and the last part of the songs sounds an awful lot like Kreator's Riot Of Violence. Also some melodies on 'Journey to Oblivion' a bit too cheesy.

One of the funniest things about the album is how von Stein’s German accent makes ‘Xiron Darkstar’ sound like ‘Silent Deathstar’. Also it must be said 'Reign Of Sadness' is one of the best songs here and it actually is a mid paced song! Yeah, Syke Bornetto really was their weakest member.

‘Possessed by Fire’ is an album that’s just too obscure and messy for everyone outside the thrash metal community. For those with only an average interest in thrash I’d advice just diving into the world of Kreator, Sodom, Destruction and possibly later on some Tankard, Holy Moses, Assassin and Protector. Exumer is suitable only for those with thrash hearts.

It combines catchiness to violence - 90%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, January 15th, 2009

I’m a metalhead since several years and I’ve noticed this band quite recently, thanks to the several discussions we had on the Metal Archives forum and this attention and respect towards this band increased in me the determination of discovering it more deeply. On those discussions, you could feel the love of the metalheads towards this band and the profound respect they have for Exumer, even if they only released two albums back in the 80s. Many consider them to be immortal classics of the thrash metal and so I decided to listen carefully to them before throwing out any opinion or judgement.

The first album is called Possessed by Fire and came out in a magic year for thrash metal, probably the peak. The title track welcomes us through a gloomy introduction with distant sounds and the immediate strike of the fast instruments. The mix of speed to thrash is perfect. The riffs are definitively more thrash metal, while the drumming and the more “melodic” but always pissed-off vocals shows influences from the speed metal. Not everything points on the sheer speed because the middle section displays some darker passages. The other parts are just fast and full of riffs, as the solos enter in some stop and go. “Destructive Solution” has that massive, principal riff that could level an entire city. The structures are quite dynamic and always catchy. Once again the biggest influences can come from the Bay Area but also from the barbarism of a band like Kreator at the time.

The speed restarts are out of the blue with all those angry solos as we face a more melodic section in which we can find definitely more relaxed guitars lines over the arpeggios just before restarting in rage. “Fallen Saints” has the first notes on the refrain copied from the beginning to “Black Magic” by Slayer. The other parts are faster and always catchy. The vocals are always in balance between calmer tonalities and incredible peaks in brutality, taking form the classic German style. That monster of a mid-paced section in the middle, before restarting with speed and solos, is huge. “A Mortal in Black” features again less impulsive sections to point to the core of the mid-paced style. However, you cannot ask them to be quiet and calmer for the entire length, so prepare to be annihilated by several, out of the blue, restarts.

“Sorrows Of The Judgement” is the classic in-your-face tune that takes no prisoner. Once again check the drumming out and the ways it’s done because it definitely points more on the classic speed metal patterns to clash with the iconoclast fury of the riffs. “Xiron Darkstar” has a simpler structure and the speed metal elements inside are just massive, with a hint of melody on the riffs to add catchiness to the refrain. There’s even a sort of punk attitude on the riffs, reminiscent of the Slayer’s debut album. “Reign of Sadness” has a truly weird refrain with fast vocals and immediate tempo changes. However, we stay on the not that less direct tempo, preferring the variety and the switching of tempo. “Journey into Oblivion” is straight-forward thrash metal with killer riffs and attitude. Just by the end is slows down a bit.

The last “Silent Death” has a tapping introduction for the guitars and strikes with sudden solos, followed by heavily Kreator influenced parts. The rolls on the drums, the direct solos and the vocals remind the recent past (for the period) Kreator. The structure is always catchy, despite not being that various and maybe it’s right here the main, strong point about this release. It succeeds in being always catchy and violent at the same time. Surely, this release is a must for every thrash metal fan. Unfortunately, I discovered this release quite late, but who cares. The important thing is to have discovered it. Do the same.

Killer Thrash, But More Simplistic Than Technical - 83%

Desiple_of_The_Ice25, June 27th, 2006

Me being a Metal fan LOVES the earlier stuff, by earlier stuff, I mean old Thrash. My favorite bands are Believer, Wrath, Macabre, Possessed, and Testament, so a lot can see the sound that I prefer. I was checking out Vibrations Of Doom, and found a lot of bands, and one of them was Exumer. Of course I listened to a sample first, and I really enjoyed what I heard. Later on, I thought I would check them out farther by looking them up here. Of course I read some good things about them, and after hearing some great things about this album, I thought I would check it out. After I didn't just hear every song, I listened to every song, and realized "what the hell, I'll write a review." After all, I loved what I was listening to.

Now, one of the major itches I had when reading up on this, and listening to it myself was that it was NOT as great as it was said. According to some of the reviews, in a nutshell and my way of interpretting it claimed that this was highly technical. Don't get me wrong, there is some really great technical stuff, but a lot of it is because of the progression and the clean/chorus guitar riffs. A lot of the riffs are VERY simple and just constantly galloped or tremolo picked power chords. Pretty much, I am saying that if you ignore the intensity and brutality of the album, you're not missing a lot. In many respects, like Possessed By Fire, Fallen Saint, and so on, it's pretty much just typical which really made me feel that I didn't get what I expect. Lesson learned, keep ALL expectations LOW.

First off here, we get Possessed By Fire. It's a pretty kick ass track, and has a nice creepy intro. Now, there are lots of double kick, and in some ways, at least in my point of view, to have a lot of Speed Metal influences because of the non stop drumming. I like to think of it as more really fast thrash. Thrash metal of course being the key sound, but its a really heavy track. An interesting start if you're expecting your typical thrash sound. In some ways, Mem Von Stein some what reminds me of Corporate Death from Macabre when he deliver's the high pitched scream. 7/10.

Destruction Solution is up next, and so far, this is my favorite song on the album. This is definately one of the more technical songs. The intro is definately heavy, fast, and technical. Then the song without expecting it, goes to a much more sinister sound. In the middle of it, we get this kind of soft melody with a nice little simple solo. I like a lot of Thrash metal numbers that have that kind of sound. A definate and positive change from Possessed By Fire. 10/10.

Fallen Saint is really heavy, and for some reason, this song reminds me a lot of some of the stuff from Exorcist's Nightmare Theatre for about a good 35 seconds, then when Stein starts chanting FALLEN SAINT we get this nice sinister way to get the crowd headbanging, but it's a little simple though, but thats okay. As the song goes on, right in the middle, we get a progression, a nice solo and back to the chorus. 8/10

A Mortal In Black sounds very much like a continuation of Fallen Saint, because the tune, and speed are VERY much alike, also not to mention, this song is right after Fallen Saint, so there you go. Unfortunately, this song is pretty much just a throw away meant for headbanging only, nothing merely special here, just a nice offering of headbanging deliverance without redemption though. 7/10.

Sorrows Of The Judgment comes in bringing us a nice Crunchy thrashed intro. Now, this song has some what hope to be something special, especially since it's more different than the generic A Mortal In Black. Believe it or not, this song has a lot of interesting progressions, and some of the progressions coming in to be unexpected. That's one of the reasons I love this song a lot. Cool Tune guys, 8/10.

Xiron Darkstar starts off with an intro that doesn't quite suite to belong as an intro, but more of a bridge or a progression after a solo. This song seemed to be somewhat inspired by Fallen Saint, and has A LOT of that kind of Possessed-esque quality from the EP Eyes Of Horror with the more heaviness of Seven Churches. This is a pretty good song, and seems to be more of an instrumental, since Stein doesn't thrash his voice for very long, only for like 15 seconds in the beginning and maybe 40 seconds towards the end. I like this one a bit. 8/10

Reign Of Sadness is a pretty good thrash number with a more different sound than the thrash that a lot of are used to if you are into the more vintage shit. Now, there really isn't much to say other than that it's a different take on thrash if you're expecting the more tremolo picked guitar riffs with half beat drums and constant yelling. Not to say that this one is all that technical, but it is a pretty good song, even though it's not nessessarily one of the best. 7/10.

Journey To Oblivion is a KILLER tune. Definately one of the best because of the guitars, and the drums. I love the way that this one was put together. This song is a real headbanger with more of the technical element as opposed to the simpler stuff that is on this album. The guitar solo though is pretty much the same, which I should have mentioned, is pretty much on the same level as every other guitar solo on the album. Still though, a killer tune. 9/10.

Silent Death is one of the more catchy songs, with nothing really too special. Just a decent song to end the album. Personally, I would have prefered something along the lines of a Destruction Solution quality song to end the album. But still, it's an alright tune. Interesting way to end the album, and one of the things I like about this song is that for some reason, Stein has some what of a Gary Golwitzer quality to his voice, and with having said that, that's is a good thing in my book because (now you may think I am crazy) Gary Golwitzer is one of the favorite vocalists. To kind of say what Stein's voice sounds like is Don Doty with influences of Tom Araya and Gary Golwitzer. Unfortunately, you're not missing much with this song. Just a decent ending. 7/10.

BOTTOMLINE: I know a lot of the songs ranged a seven, and this album isn't exactly as good as some may say, but I still like it a lot. Highlights I would say are Destruction Solution, Fallen Saint, and Journey To Oblivion. I do recommend this to anybody who loves bands like Dark Angel, Slayer, Possessed, and possibly Kreator (since after all, like Kreator, Exumer is german). Unfortunately, there's not A LOT you're missing, since this could have been a lot more. It would have been an 85, but nah, I think it deserves a little less than that. 83 in my opinion is fair enough.

Greatest Thrash Debut Ever? - 95%

Nailbomb, January 10th, 2005

Possessed By Fire has to be one of the finest debut Thrash albums I've ever heard and one of my favourite albums in general. It's full of so many great riffs that run through every song on the album. There is not one throw away track and it would keep even the most inattentive person interested.

This album is fast, heavy and even though it can have a chaotic feel at time, never sounds as if it's out of control and will keep you headbanging throughout. Comparing Exumer to early Exodus wouldn't be far from the truth.

Stand-out tracks are, Possessed By Fire with it's fast and catchy riffs, Reign Of Sadness with it's catchy and sing along type chorus which reminds me of early Anthrax and Xiron Darkstar and A Mortal In Black with their simple, yet catchy riffs that make you want to headbang like crazy, though you'll be headbanging to every song on this album.

Even by today's standards this album is fairly unique, just like it was back when it was released.

If you like classic Thrash, this is an album you must check out.

Welcome to the Wide World of Thrash! - 92%

UltraBoris, March 14th, 2003

This is one of the finest thrash albums ever to come out of Germany, combining the best of the early Bay Area sound with the sound of the first two Kreator albums. The album is replete with awesome riffs, similar to those used by Slayer, Exodus, Kreator, and others... even some Paradox ideas abound.

The great thing is, the huge variety of riffage - in the timing, and other characteristics. This is excessive, even by thrash standards here!! You will not get bored with this one - banging your head as if up from the dead!!

Hightlights... every fucking song!! From the Exodus-inspired "Xiron Darkstar " to the monster breaks in "Silent Death" or the title track, which are very reminiscent of a "Die By the Sword" or "The Antichrist" - or the main riffs of "A Mortal in Black", which is total "Riot of Violence"... how about that melodic intro to "Journey to Oblivion", or that nice fucking epic overtone to "Fallen Saint", which squeezes like 11 time changes into 4 minutes. "Tormentor" (Slayer) worship in "Sorrows of Judgement", or the Paradox-like intro to "Silent Death". Oh yeah, "Destructive Solution" borrows a "Deliver Us From Evil" riff, but hey - it's okay!

This runs a wide range of interesting riffs - total fucking headbanging mayhem. You like Pleasure to Kill? Show No Mercy? Bonded by Blood? You will dig the living fuck out of this one.