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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.