Exhumed “Horror” Review

Relapse Records
Released : October 4, 2019

Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if you took all of Carcass’ grind riffs and mashed them up into separate songs?

Exhumed is an American death-grind band from San Jose, California. Apparently they’ve been around since 1990. Personally, they didn’t come onto my radar until roughly 1999 or so. When they were introduced to me as a, you guessed it, Carcass rip-off band. Full transparency here, I wasn’t impressed at all. After a brief hiatus in the mid-2000’s, they came back stronger than ever with “All Guts, No Glory” and a new lineup. Brief introduction there for any readers who are unaware of who this gruesome act are. Albeit I am sure that if you’re reading this you already know them.

I get the feeling they’re going for the Cannibal Corpse simplistic album title route (Torture, Kill, Vile et cetera) here with “Horror”? Not too creative really. The lyrics are definitely horrific though, I’ll give them that! The album cover is, in my opinion, a clever and creative throwback to the glory years of B-rated horror flicks for sure and I think it is awesome. Perhaps I am just nostalgic and miss the good old days of VHS tapes.

At this point in their seasoned career, one might hope that Exhumed would have evolved past simply copying Carcass’ genre-defining music and would by now; be purveying their own variant of said classic grind core music.

With respect to the dual-vocal approach, I think the high pitched screaming vocals are fantastic and aggressive, suiting the music quite well. However, the guttural vocals (courtesy Ross Sewage) sound very similar to the pig squeals often heard in the gore-grind genre. Not my cup of tea and somewhat takes away from the quality of the music presented on “Horror”.

Absolutely loving the drum sound/production here! Thick, pummeling kick drums with a nice, natural beefy snare sound. This really makes the blast beats have a powerful space in the mix. Going to be blunt here, it is really refreshing to hear a band using some authentic drumming as opposed to a plugin in their DAW – and yes I am laughing out loud as I type this.

See also : Necronomicon “Unus” Review

The sad thing is, is that these days technology is so incredible that it is quite difficult to tell if a drum kit is acoustic, triggered or programmed. These drums, and the performance are fantastic regardless and I will cling to the hope that it is a genuine recording in a proper studio, just like 1995. The cymbals sound really smooth too and fit perfectly in the mix.

Damn, the song “Rabid” even seems to have a guitar solo that is directly lifted from Carcass’ 3rd album. Mike Hamilton hits the drums hard, you can tell he’s feeling it and has that old school feel down to a T.

Exhumed have really crafted some catchy-as-fuck numbers here, while slightly tipping their hat too far to …you know who. Actually, perhaps I sense a bit of influence from Belgian death metal band Aborted, I am getting hints of “Goremageddon” on this album for sure.

I am genuinely liking this album, it is a slab of really fun, classic grind core at its finest. Perhaps Bill Steer should check it out? The influencer becomes the influenced? Maybe. We’ll see next year I suppose.

On songs like “Shattered Sanity” and “Playing With Fear”, you can really hear a “Rot n Roll” influence too! There is some really tasty groove going on, sprinkled among the grind and blasting.

The guitar tone on this LP is downright sick. It is very close to the godly, and highly revered guitar sound found on (yes again) Carcass’ 4th album. Surely, they’ve achieved it with a classic Peavey 5150 block letter amp!

Fantastic stuff. If you love classic death-grind, check this album out – you won’t be disappointed.

Written by Jeff Longo

For fans of: Carcass, Hemdale, Nasum
Track listing :

01. Unsound
02. Ravenous Cadavers
03. Scream Out In Fright
04. The Red Death
05. Utter Mutilation Of Your Corpse
06. Slaughter Maniac
07. Ripping Death
08. Clawing
09. Naked, Screaming And Covered In Blood
10. Playing With Fear
11. Dead Meat
12. Rabid
13. In The Mouth Of Hell
14. Shattered Sanity
15. Re-Animated
16. Crypt Of Terror (Bonus Track)
17. Re-Entry And Destruction (Bonus Track)
18. The Day Man Lost (Bonus Track)