Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Exhumed - Necrocracy - Album Review

Year: 2013

Are you on the lookout for a new band that out brutalizes every other band out there? Searching for something that is filled with riffs written in such a way that its sole purpose seems to be to squish your head to a pulp? Do you want a fast, mind numbing wall of noise? Then this is NOT the album that you are looking for. Because, Exhumed has come out with something that you might not have heard from them till now. They have released a very mature album.

Exhumed, one of the forerunners that fill their music with heaps of gore, are a Death Metal / Grindcore band from San Jose, California, USA. Known for the gore in their signature DeathGrind sound, these giants recently released their sixth full length album 'Necrocracy', on 6th August 2013 through Relapse Records.

It has kind of become customary for a release by Exhumed to feature a major change in the line up and this album is no exception. One of the biggest changes is the return of shredder Bud Burke after 9 long years. Over time, his guitar work has seems to have matured and evolved to a great degree and this shows in 'Necrocracy'.

Having after released the masterpiece named 'All Guts, No Glory', just two years ago, the band takes a different approach to this album. While the former spewed unrelenting gore and brutally heavy Deathgrind, 'Necrocracy' takes a more mature road. The Grindcore influence seemed to have evaporated from the band's music, as they deliver a more straight up Death Metal record with this one.

The guitar riffs by Bud Burke and Matt Harvey are brilliantly crafted and the songs contain a certain tune or melody. The songs do not attempt to be brutal and the focus here is merely upon song writing. Nonetheless, a certain amount of brutality is evoked by the riffs. The guitar solos are something worth a million repeated listens. A fact that every song contains such a solo, should speak much for the amount of talented musicianship on this record.

The vocal work is handled once again by Bud Burke, who performs some deathly and sinister gutturals, and Matt Harvey, who screeches his way through the record. Together, just like their guitar work, they deliver a solid performance in the vocal sections too. The drumming by Mike Hamilton, is not as chaotic and frenzied as heard in 'All Guts, No Glory'. The drumming here is much more structured, adapting effectively to the change in sound. 

The bass work by Rob Babcock is quite classy and it nicely complements the music. The sudden tempo shifts are still present in the music, as the band keeps it varied with rapid tempo and mid tempo tunes. The start stop style of music performed by these guys, makes for an interesting listen. 

Now, let me address the main question here. Is this album better than 'All Guts, No Glory', which till now has been regarded as their best work? The answer is subjective. Their previous album and 'Necrocracy' are two separate entities and it would be unwise to draw comparisons. While their previous album was a slab of gory brutality, this is a more mature album with some insanely good song writing. Hence this album deserves to be judged as a stand alone record.

If one hasn't given this band a try before, this is a good starting point as any. Excellent shredding and masterfully crafted songs filled with hooks are what characterize this album.

Rating: 96%

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