Monday, April 23, 2012

Exhumed - All Guts, No Glory

Exhumed
All Guts, No Glory
Relapse Records

After five years of self-imposed exile, long running San Jose (California, U.S.) based death metal outfit Exhumed finally got back together in 2010, and soon began to formulate plans for a new gory full-length effort.
And here we are, some eight years after the release of their highly acclaimed ‘Anatomy Is Destiny’ effort, Exhumed is back with their highly anticipated fourth studio effort ‘All Guts, No Glory’. Of course, Exhumed have been anything but quiet over the last eight years, with Relapse Records releasing the comprehensive compilation effort ‘Platters Of Splatter: A Cyclopedic Symposium Of Execrable Errata And Abhorrent Apocrypha 1992-2002’ in 2004, and the band releasing a covers album in the form of ‘Garbage Daze Re-Regurgitated’ the following year. And then there was the band’s split with Ingrowing in 2006 (‘Something Sickened This Way Comes/To Clone And To Enforce’) and the split with Cephalic Carnage, Impaled and Retaliation in 2008 (‘HF Seveninches Collection Vol. 1’). But despite the prolific output from the band on the E.P. and split side of things, it’s on the full-length front that Exhumed seem to be more absent than not. Hence the reason a new album from Exhumed is something every diehard fan of the band has been waiting for.
Even though the band has been on hiatus, you’d be hard pressed to know it. ‘All Guts, No Glory’ sounds like Exhumed (Who now comprise of vocalist/guitarist Matt Harvey, guitarist Wes Caley, ex-Impaled/Intronaut/Murder Construct bassist Leon del Muerte and Intronaut/Murder Construct drummer Danny Walker) have picked up exactly where they last left listeners, only stronger and better than ever.
After opening up the album with the brief instrumental ‘All Guts, No Glory’ (Which is a crushing mix of thrash and Kerry King (Slayer) like squeals on the guitar), Exhumed officially get the album off to a blasting start with ‘As Hammer To Anvil’. Boasting quick fire drumming throughout, razor sharp riffing, melodic clean solos and a catchiness underpinning the gory lyrical prose, ‘As Hammer To Anvil’ is a crushing opening act, and only proves that Exhumed have lost nothing in their time away from the scene.
‘Your Funeral, My Feast’ takes the bar set by the former track and raises it even higher (Especially on the solo front), while ‘Through Cadaver Eyes’, the speeding ‘Death Knell’ (Which happens to be one of this scribe’s personal favourites) and the d-beat driven ‘Distorted And Twisted To Form’ (Which reminds me of early Dismember rather than the band’s more familiar Carcass worship) maintain the incredibly high standard.
The riffing within ‘I Rot Within’ and ‘Funereality’ are as infectious and memorable as they are pulverising, while the vocal melody lines on ‘Dis-assembly Line’ and the Carcass-like ‘Necrotized’ hook the listener in much the same way as the former tracks, without weakening the band’s punishing delivery of brutal and surgically crafted death metal.
Finishing up the album is the hyper-fast and memorable ‘So Let It Be Rotten… So Let It Be Done’, which is without a doubt one of the album’s catchiest efforts, as well as standing out as one of the album’s real brutal efforts.
For a band that’s been around for more than twenty years, you could be excused for thinking that Exhumed’s days as a creative force to be reckoned with were all in the past. But the truth is that even though ‘All Guts, No Glory’ has been a long time coming, it’s without a doubt a classic showcasing Exhumed at their best – guts and all.

For more information on Exhumed, check out – http://www.myspace.com/exhumed

© Justin Donnelly