Exhumation – Bread Buttered on Both Sides EP (Self Released)

Sunday, 10th August 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

Saint Petersburg Russia’s Exhumation, a melodic death metal band, has been kicking around in one incarnation or another since the mid-nineties. Finally, with their current lineup, the band seems well poised to make a significant mark on the European scene, and hopefully to even broader horizons. With a curious title for a metal EP, Bread Buttered on Both Sides, I’m left to wonder if perhaps there is some sentiment lost in translation, or perhaps not…regardless, it’s memorable so it works.

This four song EP is a nice buttery bite of metal bliss indeed. Sounding somewhere along the lines of Heartwork-era Carcass meeting early 2000’s Swedish melodic death, Exhumation kick out the mid-tempo bangers in big fashion. While not necessarily breaking any molds, the brew they’re serving up is an entirely satisfying mixture of melody, ferocity and musicianship. With big guitar solos, strings bending skyward with aching bends and tried-and-true finger tapping action, the guitar work herein revels in its own poseur-free glory. Pro production, solid composition and a straight-forward no-nonsense attack get to the point and bring the goods.

Vocalist Irina Barnina spits some venom and shows she can scream with the best of ’em. Truth be told, your writer was not aware that the band was female-fronted during the several listens leading up to this review. Imagine my surprise! No, not really…she handily gets the job done with no distractions whatsoever. In fact, the range of her throat works really well for this band. The girl’s good. Joined by two guitarists, bass and drums, Exhumation get in and out fairly quickly in the approximately seventeen minute run time. No overstaying any welcomes here, Bread Buttered on Both Sides is hopefully a sign of more to come.

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