Defectum Omnium

I reviewed Exhorder’s comeback album, Mourn the Southern Skies, in 2019 on TOTD.  While I enjoyed the album, and as a comeback album it was good, but still left some meat on the bone, so to speak.  There were aggressive songs, however, I felt, much of the album was marred by sludgy slow songs, that really did not go anywhere.  I would see the band live in 2021 on their Slaughter in the Vatican tour, where they played the album front to back and added some of the newer songs, as well as a few off The Law, like “Cadence of the Dirge”-quite possibly the heaviest song the band has ever written.

Vocalist Kyle Thomas went back to also playing guitar in 2020 and the lineup of Jason Viebrooks – bass, Sasha Horn – drums have welcomed into the fold, former Cannibal Corpse guitarist Pat O’Brien.  No need to go over what lead to Pat’s exit from CC – you all know about it and the man has struggled a lot, but also started to put the pieces of his life back in order.  Due to his past charges, Exhorder, is still navigating the touring waters, in terms of the countries they can play if he was to make the trek with them.  I am gearing up to see their upcoming tour with Vio-Lence and Deceased which should be quite awesome.  Their last album was 10 songs in 52 minutes, with quite a lot of long-ass songs.  The new one is 12 songs in 54 minutes so you can see they have streamlined the writing process quite a bit, but is it better than their predecessor?  Read on to find out….

“Wrath of Prophecies” starts things off and if the band wants to open with a new song, rather than an older one, this is the way to go.  The song starts off thrashy right from the beginning and Kyle does do some of his style on the slower moments as he does with Trouble, some of that crooning and cleaner style, but it’s so catchy.  Mainly he is his thrash vocalist, piss n vinegar self.  Vicious.  The signature Exhorder guitar tone is on full display.  Crisp, clear and crunchy AF.  There are some little ditty blast beats going on too, with excellent drum rolls.  Halfway through the song some cool guitar soloing going on and the songs picks up the pace with that soloing, no doubt Mr. O’Brien making his mark heard loud and clear on this.  The ending of this song is beyond intense with scorching blasts and a monstrous slow down that will have people hammer fisting two-stepping all damn day in the pit.  This folks….bands……is how you begin an album.  Talk about making a statement!  Wo Wo Wewa!!  “Under the Gaslight” is next and allows you to catch your breath.  More of that Southern groove metal vibe going on, very heavy with some more great guitar soloing happening.

“Forever and Beyond Despair” brings back the aggression with the fast-paced and heavy thrashing, as well as mixing in slower and broodier moments.  Excellent double bass drums on this track and a lot of old-school thrashing pacing moments with more solos from Pat.  You’re going to really enjoy the old-school moments with the galloping speeds on this song.  Truly a highlight for me, as well as the full-throttle brutal thrashing.  “Year of the Goat” is a brilliant song with its thrash speed and I love how it starts off, with the production scaled back, and then once the thrash hits, BOOM, the volume is cranked up and with this high-speed pacing and chorus, I cannot imagine Exhorder not playing this song live.  I expect to see tour shirts printed and available on tour for this track.  Killer mid-paced moments with old school galloping speeds and full-throttle thrashing madness.  One of the best songs the band has crafted since their return.

“Defectum Omnium / Stolen Hope” is the longest song at over seven minutes and calls to mind the over nine-minute title track from the last album, which was the final track on that one.  This is a moody number, slow, and heavy, with a variety of vocal styles.  It’s a heavy song, but maybe 2+ minutes too long for this writer’s taste.  However, it does come smack dab in the middle of the album to break things up a bit.  “Desensitized” has a lot of tempo and vocal shifts.  The song is slow, fast and medium-paced at times and is an excellent song to boot.

There you have it and yes Defectum Omnium tops their last album.  This is more streamlined and much more aggressive than the last album.  The production is so damn killer with all the instruments and vocals mixed to perfection.  The album cover is a mixed bag.  I’ve seen variations of this cover on prior albums, like Deicide’s Till Death Do Us Part, from 2008 and Sarcofago’s Rotting from 1989.  Black and White covers sometimes get lost on me, but the art is creepy and the band logo, in white, sticks out.  I would have thrown some red coloring on this cover, but what the hell do I know?  What I do know is this new Exhorder album has been in constant rotation for me and is one of the best albums of 2024, thus far.  Absolutely scorching!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
March 29th, 2024


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