Sweet Texas watermelon! Has it been two years already? Wow…it really doesn’t seem like a couple of years have passed since Exhumed released their fan and critic praised Death Revenge, but here I am blasting my eardrums as well as my face, clean into oblivion with the aural onslaught that is Horror, Exhumed‘s seventh full-length album of original material. Maybe it doesn’t seem like enough time has passed for a new Exhumed album to be gracing our senses because of the prolificness of one Matt Harvey. The guitarist/vocalist has pretty consistently been in the extreme metal light the past couple of years with not only Exhumed, but with Gruesome, Pounder, and even Expulsion. The man never seems to go away; I mean holy hell, the band already has a split release with Gatecreeper out since releasing Horror. Regardless of time or reasoning, Whett Recklezz, aka Matt Harvey, continues to strike while the iron is hot, and here we are with the band’s most compact and grindiest set of material in at least . twenty-five years.

Fifteen tracks of groovy, grinding, gruesome, grotesqueries in twenty-six minutes, Horror doesn’t waste one second screwing around. I guarantee you the album will have you longing for the days of Horrified, Reek of Putrefication, and Ultimo Mondo Cannibale, as well as some classic grindage from the likes of Napalm Death, Terrorizer, and even Unseen Terror. I’m a bit hard-pressed to really label any one track from Horror as a highlight or standout. All fifteen tracks rage earnestly and equally with each other, bringing the heat in spades, as well as damn near all the tracks ranging close to the two minute mark, give or take a little, with the exception of the six-second Napalm Death/“You Suffer” inspired, “Utter Mutilation of Your Corpse”.

Whether it’s from “Unsound” opening the abscess of Horror up with blasts and shrieks, ripping leads, and tandem vocals of grinding death metal excellence that bring a strong Gore Metal feel to everything, only grindier; the strong d-beat and grinding death metal mix of “Slaughter Maniac”, the call and response verses and fast paced thrashings of “Scream Out in Fright”, replete with a Tom Araya like banshee scream to close the track out, or the ripping death assault of “Rabid”, and its classic, yet fresh, vibe of Gore Metal era retro-ness, Horror delivers one hell of a grinding good time. In fact, a lot of Horror recalls that ’98-2000 Gore Metal/Slaughtercult era of Exhumed, only with a much more direct grindcore element to the material, resulting in a quick, ripping and raucous experience. Coupled with a tasty and prominent sounding production, courtesy of Toxic Holocaust‘s Joel Grind, a cover and album layout that recalls and highlights vibes of an ’80’s VHS horror movie collection, (especially cool for those of us that were around to remember the glory of VHS horror), and a lyrical theme of, you guessed it, horror related topics and/or atrocities i.e. necrophilia, zombies, slashers/homicidal maniacs, plagues of infectous death, torture, fear serum injections, buried alive, and even being turned into dog food upon death, and Horror turns out to be quite a fun little basher of an album that captures the spirit of grindcore death metal perfectly. On a brief sidenote, I especially dig the Scream Bloody Gore inspired lyrics of “Ripping Death”.

Whatever the reasoning behind the idea of Exhumed releasing a grind(y) album, whether  it was a way to help cleanse the palate for future releases, paying respects to the elder grindsters in a homage type of presentation, or simply the fact that Ross Sewage’s vocals were made to fucking grind, I’m glad for it. In fact, I’m actually elated for it. While the release of a new album was wholly unexpected by me personally, Horror, and its infectious, grinding death metal madness, is vastly appreciated. Not only is the album exactly the kind of release that Exhumed could easily afford to do at this point in their career, more importantly, Horror is honestly, the kind of album that the band needed to do for their career.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
November 20th, 2019


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