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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