Prior to 2011’s surprisingly excellent All Guts, No Glory (which I still heard about a year after the fact), my last experience with Exhumed was 1998’s Gore Metal, which I never really cared for. So imagine my surprise when I was hearing a latter Carcass clone complete with melodic solos and hooky, catchy riffs, which reminded me of Impaled‘s output. Which of course is no surprise considering the member swapping that has occurred between Impaled and the other Carcass loving outfit, The County Medical Examiners. So without trying to get into a which came first – Impaled or Exhumed style argument, suffice to say, the bands are almost identical in their Carcass worship, with the exception of Impaled‘s more medical themed, tongue in cheek lyrics.

Lone original member Matt Harvey has a continually rotating line up, and it’s changed again from All Guts No Glory (which featured Leon Del Muerte back in the fold). This time consisting of former guitarist/vocalist Bud Burke (who was in the band for 2003’s Anatomy is Destiny) as well as new recruits Mike Hamilton (ex Deeds of Flesh) on drums and Bob Babcock (ex Gravehill) on bass. But the output is the same sound as Harvey has cleverly crafted Exhumed from a gurgling goregrind band into a more clinical, precise and enjoyable act and Necrocracy improves upon the already enjoyably All Guts No Glory, continuing the Necroticism/Heartwork era Carcass hues with no shame.

The style shift has benefited Exhumed greatly, as Exhumed have certainly elevated themselves atop the heap when it comes to Carcass worship as well as US death metal, and certainly paved the way for the impending Carcass reunion and release, keeping the genre and style alive while Carcass were on hiatus. If they were still plying the same goregrind style as Gore Metal, I am pretty sure they would not be nearly as relevant 15 years later. But they have done it with style and skill and created 2 damn fine albums of their own (I have not heard anything in between Gore Metal and All Guts, No Glory). If anything. Necrocracy is even more melodic and has even better solos than the prior album. Amid the slicing dual riffs and Carcass-y dual vocals, the solos absolutely stand out superbly, adding some real killer moments to the already impressive riffs.

Each of the 9 tracks has some sort of memorable, supine solo and is chock fill of hooky, memorable rollicking riffs that are just damn fun, but still within the realms of death metal. Opener and first single “Coins Upon the Eyes”, recalls Impaled‘s “Raise the Stakes”, with a growl-a-long chorus and galloping riff as does “The Shape of Deaths to Come”, both heavily imbuing Necrotism. The title track and “Dysmorphic” deliver two of the album’s best leads, and “Dysmorphic” even features a sudden, acoustic mid song segue. “Sickened” cranks up the intensity with more lethal blasting dose as and pace, as does “Ravening” while “(So Passes) The Glory of Death” could be a lost track from Necroticism with a deft, melodic canter. Penultimate track “Carrion Call” might be the album’s best piece rolling everything into one, blasty, catchy, grooving, solo drenched salvo. The album closes with some restraint in the “The Rotting”, which ends the album with fitting album closing mood and fade out.

That all being said, I’ll stand by my opinion that Impaled‘s Mondo Medicale is the pinnacle of Carcass cloneship, but Exhumed have certainly raised their game and with Impaled ‘s relative inactivity since 2007’s The Last Gasp, and next release being a mere redo of The Dead Shall Remain Dead. Exhumed have not only delivered a nice warm up until the hugely anticipated Surgical Steel drops later this year, but an impressive album in its own right.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 6th, 2013


  1. Commented by: Luke_22

    This is a great album. Just like you said, it’s just a damn fun death metal album to blast. They get better with age and this is arguably their best album yet, full of groove, killer solos and dual vocal trade-offs. You might dig Anatomy is Destiny too Erik, it was the album that got me hooked.

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