Exhumed - Death Revenge - (8.5/10)
Published on October 21, 2017
At this point, Exhumed need no introduction. The long-standing death/grind/gore band have a slew of releases that have been coming out consistently since their inception. The material Exhumed puts out has certainly evolved and change over the years, but the quality has never really been in question. That being said, their newest release, Death Revenge, offers up more pummeling from these Californian maniacs. Their eighth full-length, Death Revenge stands right along the remainder of their discography and is another quality release from 2017.
The synth opening interlude track starts things off well, as a menacing precursor for the rest of the album to come. Given the band’s history, if this is your first experience with them, they are certainly not a “soft” band by any means. There is another shorter instrumental late on in the record that also sets the last part of the album up nicely, but offers a nice break from the otherwise non-stop approach of the band. From a musical standpoint, the band is still going strong, with each track running through various riffs and some shredding solos that accentuate the songs, but never come across as too much or flashy. They are technical for sure, but act as a great addition to a song and not as the only reason to listen.
The rest of the and are of course no slouches, with the break-neck speed of the drums coming here and there but accompanied with plenty of groove driven patters, and some inventive and memorable fills. The bass adds a lot to these tracks too, adding heaviness and a nice deep tone that makes the tracks darker than they were before. The vocals are a highlight as well, with Harvey’s signature, but the use of the higher pitched snarls and deeper grunts work well whether they are used independently or on top of one another. A personal highlight here also being the wonderfully disgusting gurgle in “Dead End” that accompanies a great middle section of the track.
The album itself sounds great, with the production making sure every nuance is heard with clarity, but really it just helps bring the band’s songwriting more to life. The tracks have such a great flow to them, and the energy level is apparent and certainly high throughout the entire record. The band has clearly had plenty of time to perfect their approach, whether it be more on the straight death metal side or their earlier more grind/gore metal days. There is something so natural to what these guys are capable of producing, while clearly putting a lot of care and thought into their music. The enjoyment Exhumed take in their craft shines through with each solo or instrumental breakdown that the listener can’t help but get excited as well for each new track.
Death Revenge hits three years after the band’s last full-length of new material, and hits at nearly 30 years into their career. The band has been fairly consistent member-wise since their inception as well, and these guys show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. When a band can be this long into their career, and especially for extreme metal, there are a lot of pitfalls and shortcomings that band’s can fall into. Exhumed have managed to evolve over time when needed, and ultimately have crafted yet another strong release in a long line of them. If the band is still this good so far into their career, there should be worry for whatever they decide to do from here on out.