It seems that the spotlight is always shining on the fact that Matt Harvey is the only original member left in Exhumed. I’d rather put the focus on what a magnificent lineup of musicians (as a whole) came together to spill out the blood of the bands latest release, Necrocracy. This new album is a testament to the old-fashioned death and gore metal style that we’ve come to expect from Exhumed. Although it is pleasing to the ears of those partial to the old school, the album is also tinged with more dynamic melodic death metal, making the album as piercing as it is unique. With a drum sound that crushes and pounds as it couples with a bacchanalia of delicious solos, Necrocracy is sure to punch you over and over in your innards. (And you’re gonna like it!).
The first track on the album, ‘Coins Upon the Eyes’ ignites with the same feverous destruction of a landmine exploding. It’s sure to bludgeon and dismember the listener, providing a delicious opening for what the rest of the album has to offer. As this track plays on you can almost see the fans at shows flying through the air crowd surfing with their fists in the air yelling lyrics at the top of their lungs. With the image of Dylan’s chainsaw in the air and the smell of gasoline abound, the flavor of Necrocracy begins to be felt.
The second track, ‘The Shape of Deaths to Come’ starts with a prominent and quick sounding bass that’s addictive and lecherous. The weaving sounds of the guitars paint the scene of walking into the workplace of a torturer. With bone saws, butcher knives, chainsaws, and rib cutters hanging on the blood stained walls, the listener is behind a two-way mirror witnessing the anguish and dismemberment unfold before their eyes (and ears). With vocals that are as illustrious and strong as the solos, a fury is felt that is absolutely remorseless.
‘Dysmorphic’ is one of the most unique songs on the album. The track is a nearly perfect combination of viciousness and echoing eeriness. With a spine-chilling melodic and lingering acoustic mid-section that mixes up the brazenness of the song as a whole, the song stands out in its own right. This is one of those tracks that truly showcase the intelligent and thoughtful songwriting that Exhumed always seem to pull off time and time again.
‘Sickened’ is without a doubt one of the most powerful tracks on the album, a heavy hitter that delivers at headbanging speeds. The back and forth vocal styling’s only enhance the track, hammering and spattering away as the drum speed causes the song to rupture into circle pitting tempo. The solo work near the end is pure muscle through and through. This is the kind of song you’ll hear reverberating in your mind hours after you finish listening to it. ‘Sickened’ is a total blazing grindcore thrashing frenzy and a underlining moment of the album.
‘(So Passes) the Glory of Death’ must also be mentioned as a standout track. With overall flawless guitar work making up the body of the song, it’s sure to have the listener on their knees begging for more. The thrashing and spitting pace of the vocals match the explosiveness of the drums. The whole thing just detonates, causing takeover. As an incurable lover of the grotesque, this is the kind of song that is pornography for the ears.
Necrocracy is not just “more of the same” and that’s what makes it stand out. It’s being released so close to Carcass’s highly anticipated Surgical Steel and I’m glad to say that Necrocracy is more than able to stand its own ground when the two are matched up against each other. With intelligent riff work, drums that don’t let up (which is a good thing), and the incredible back and forth vocal dueling of Harvey and Babcock, this is an unforgettable album that everyone should soak themselves in. (Preferably blood-soaked). Out on Relapse Records August 6th. Check it out.