Ever since I saw Exmortus with Amon Amarth I’ve been a fan. Their absolutely over the top performance was amazing, the guitars shredded like a fucking meat grinder and the energy of the band made for a memorable experience. Following that show, I picked up Slave to the Sword, Ride Forth and The Sound of Steel; all the while waiting for their next mind melting release, and here it is in all its armor-clad glory.

Necrophony is fucking heavy, fucking fun, and fast as fuck. These super active lads from Whittier, California have been creating neck breaking, primal Thrash Metal since 2003 so they’ve had ample time to hone their skills to come to this point in a workmanlike progress that has been exciting to hear.

Starting off with the quick instrumental “Masquerade” followed by “Mask of the Red Death” brings us to the blistering single “Oathbreaker” featuring some solid blast beats from drummer Adrian Aguilar.

This is followed by second single “Mind of Metal” the former being a raging speed violation with a definite crowd getting chorus “OATHBREAAAKER”! while the latter is a tribute to the music that brings us together at shows and even walking down the street, Metal makes us invincible. I’d be stupid if I didn’t point out the blast furnace of face melting fury that is “Storm of Strings” 2.55 minutes of toxic Thrash Metal (fans of Toxic Holocaust know what I’m fucking talking about), soaring tremolo bar histrionics and dive bomber chords from guitarists Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez and Chase Becker.

“Darkest of Knights” is another ripper while third single “Beyond the Grave” unleashes the horrors that only the mind can create, demons crawling in the narrators mind. Rounding out the album is the somber, yet still heavy “Overture” and ending this exercise in brutality with the title track.

As with all Exmortus releases the production is crystal clear. Each note and chord ring out as razor-edged sword slashes, the bass of Phillip Nunez is like the forward charge of four thousand horsemen crushing everything in their path.

Thrash Metal is in my blood, the rebellion and the refusal to conform have made me who I am. Exmortus have turned that spirit of Thrash Metal on it’s horned head with Necrophony and that’s why I can easily recommend this heavy as fuck album. Do you like Toxic Holocaust, Havok, Skeletonwitch, and Exodus? Well, pick this motherfucker up. You won’t regret it and you’ll be like, “thank you, guy with a keyboard”. It’s a long time since 1986 and Metallica released their “Master of Puppets” album and so its good to know that bands like Exmortus are carrying the torch for Thrash Metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
August 25th, 2023


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