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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.