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Death Metal Reviews

Exhumed - Slaughtercult

by stickyshooz

Continuing with their obvious grind-era Carcass worship along with early 90�s death metal influence (Cannibal Corpse and similar acts), Exhumed have released their second album, which lives up to the band�s name, as initially portrayed on their debut, �Gore Metal.� Death metal was not at its peak at the time of this release; on the contrary, I�d say it was somewhat jaded. It was jaded from the endless death metal clones that were constantly making music parallel to their favorite bands � no new bands really stood out at all because we�d all heard their material before they�d even released it. During the time of the seemingly never ending clone bands, Exhumed decided to step in and offer listeners another breath of fresh air, while nuking all of the bastard bands by dropping the �Slaughtercult� bomb on their armies. Now the majority of those bands are nothing more than a bunch of bad ideas long forgotten.

A step up from the previous production efforts, the mix is more violent and less restricting than Gore Metal; less restricting in the sense that there is no computer-editing of the sort and the sound is not polished. Less polishing could be considered more restricting, but no one can deny that it adds to the nightmare environment of every instrument colliding at once, leaving your brain in a complete wreck and blood creeping out of all orifices. This is by far the most intense and most distinguished piece of work from the masters of �gore metal� (a style which Exhumed are recognized for coining) thus far � extremely loud guitars, bass, vocals, and drums slapped on top of each other; it�s almost like a live atmosphere without the bloodthirsty audience.

The loud guitars grind and crush with savage down-tuning and never cease with sonically razor sharp assault. These riffs show direct influence from Carcass with unrelenting battery of thrash-like down stroke riffs combined with death metal strumming and tremolo picking. One could argue that there is some influence from Death, Slayer, Iron Maiden, or even Judas Priest in the solos by their sparseness alone; Exhumed didn�t settle on creating a solo that would require the skill and effort equivalent to a masturbation session. They put a lot more thought into this part of the album by creating complex and attractive guitar solos on top of the chaotic mess of sound. These guitars embody the experience of taking a more hands on approach inside of a slaughterhouse by chopping up carcasses with loud and buzzing heavy machinery; a fitting sound for an album title like �Slaughtercult.�

The crushing bass demands recognition as it pounds, clicks, and crashes in the brutish mix of murdering and nightmarish riffs. Many people shrug off the presence of bass in death metal, as if it were just a little child and their presence is of little significance in a family of savage brutes. A small and innocent looking child couldn�t possibly do any harm, right? Not in this case. This is the murderous defect child of the Exhumed family and Bud Burke isn�t afraid to give listeners a dose of true carnage with relentless and bludgeoning bass work. The youngster doesn�t want any money for candy or ice cream; he wants the blood and guts of posers�and the brutality reigns supreme in Bud�s performance.

The drumming style in death metal is often repetitive, which is pretty much what goes on with the stern drums of Exhumed with tons of wild blast beats. Col Jones may not win an award for craziest speed, originality, or jaw dropping breaks, but he gets the job done. Some snare parts are a bit muted by the excessively loud guitars and the demonic vocals, but most listeners will be pleased with Jones� performance. Much like the other instruments, the speed is very consistent. For this aspect of Slaughtercult, this is a good performance�but brings nothing new to the table.

The trade off vocal duties between Matt Harvey and Bud Burke is pretty cool. Matt Harvey takes some aspects of Bill Steer�s raspy growls and adds a little more aggression and speed. The higher pitched growls and screams most definitely resemble the vocal work of Carcass. Bud Burke, on the other hand, goes for ultra low growls, using Chris Barnes on the Cannibal Corpse album, �Tomb of the Mutilated� as a reference point. Although Harvey�s vocals are often times the more dominant voice of the band, I think anyone can appreciate the two different vocal styles that both of these guys bring to the band � which can only heighten their stage presence and performance during a live show.

This monster album goes straight for the jugular with a keen knife, and there are no subtleties about that at all. This release is a keeper and worth looking into if you like huge balls of sanguinary death metal.

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