Exhumed – Horror (Relapse)

Tuesday, 1st October 2019
Rating: 7.5/10

The last two Exhumed records, Necrocracy and Death Revenge, were marked with a certain maturity, for lack of a better word. They took the assaulting image of Exhumed and focused it with some razor sharp progressions. But for all those steps, there are undoubtedly some who just want to see the band deliver an aggressive boot to the head. Horror should be just the fix for that portion of the fan base.

With 15 tracks in 27-minutes, Horror is about as close to going back to death/grind as the band could muster. With that in mind, it’s not just a ‘throwback’ type of release that brings things back to the full-out slurry of the Gore Metal days. Instead, it’s also clear that the band recognizes some of the steps they have made along the way, which in turn makes their rapid-fire songs interesting. One can experience the sheer energy of barnburning tracks like “Scream Out in Fright” or “Dead Meat,” but there’s also quite a few hooks that come to pass in swift moving tracks like “Rabid” and “Playing with Fear.” Given the short run-time, Horror never stops in it’s quest to provide breakneck fury, and these hooks keep I from feeling like it’s one extended, raging track without watering things down.

Given the old school aesthetic of the cover art and utterly blazing tempos, Horror does right in its ability to have a retro vibe without going back in time. Modern production vibes give the thrashy riffs plenty of bite while the band channels the vigor of a much more youthful act. One thing is clearly certain – these tracks are going to make for some frenetic live appearances. Horror isn’t a step back for Exhumed, but one that sees them trying to wholeheartedly smash through the nearest wall with brutality.

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