Exhumation – Hymn to your God

Exhumation (200x200)On the way toward the debut full-length of Indonesia’s Exhumation (enjoying worldwide distribution for the first time through Dunkelheit Produktionen), my perusal through the promos meant excavating an astounding amount of reverb-oozing death metal, none of it moving me. Bands, here me! Before things get out of hand, please remember that riffs don’t always need to buried and blurred to have punch. Sharp playing and concise attack, when not enshrouded within an over-produced aura, can resurrect reams of dead souls with as much effectiveness as the most humid hovel of death metal. A fine example: Exhumation’s Hymn to your God. Two minutes into this one, and I knew – as you will also, if you press play below – that I’d found a worthy antithesis of the foggier techniques getting so much attention of late.

The men of Exhumation approach their instruments with one rotting eye focused squarely upon quality musicianship and songwriting. On Hymn to your God, the notes themselves embody evil, rather than the sound of the notes doing so; one can liken the result to the memorability and overall effect of a Blessed Are The Sick-Morbid Angel crossed with the straightforwardness of Vader. Also, choosing not to fully saturate their guitars like most of their peers, Exhumation conjure up an almost classic heavy metal tonality that never overrides the performance of the riffs listeners are being laid waste with. Wisely utilizing only enough distortion to make their axe-machinations Metal, the band’s rhythms and solos alike remain clean and sensible, ascending and descending with depth beyond both mindless-but-fun whammy-wanking and/or braggy-but-impressive technical snobbery (both of which can bore fans with overuse). Instead, Exhumation espouse a death metal with sounds easily imagined as emanating from an early-Iron Maiden rehearsal space (they describe themselves as ‘epic death metal’), albeit without the Steve Harris clang … that is, except for the Blasphemy cover situated at the album’s close where it reigns; a brilliant choice on their part, in that the bands couldn’t be more disparate in their execution of extremity.

Add to this cauldron talented but not overbearing drumwork (it’s everything you’ll need/nothing you won’t) and a voice that barks admonitions without inducing narcolepsy, and you’ve got a ridiculously strong debut for 2014’s first quarter, and a way to clear out any recent/unwanted death metal haze in your collection. -Jim

Dunkelheit Produktionen

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~ by cliftonium on February 12, 2014.

8 Responses to “Exhumation – Hymn to your God”

  1. Thunderwar, Trenchrot, and now Exhumation. 2014 has been a pretty good year for memorable DM releases so far, although I see this originally came out in 2012. I’m surprised an album this well done took 2 years to get world wide distribution. I really appreciate DM that is memorable and gives the listener something to latch onto with each song, which is becoming more rare these days. There are definite Morbid Angel and Vader influences, but I would say there is a stronger more direct Behemoth inluence to their sound. They just need to get ot over with and move to Poland.

  2. I’m not familiar with Behemoth’s mid-period stuff, perhaps the comparisons are on one of those? I feel Behemoth’s later material (all that I’m familiar with besides their black metal beginnings) are far more frenzied/tech-focused …

  3. Ah, I do hear some Behemoth now on the track ‘The Apotheosis’ \m/ good call.

  4. Yeah I was thinking more mid-period Behemoth. Satanica through Zos Kia Cultus stuff. I was thinking of simliarities more in terms of general style and execution, not so much intricacies of sound. In either case I’m really digging the Exhumation album. I’ve already listened to it 3 times today.

    If you haven’t heard those Behemoth albums I mentioned you should check those out. Both are pretty good. I haven’t heard any of their stuff since Demigod as they were starting to become a little more polished and predictable at that point. Maybe some of their stuff since is good though. I see they have a new one out.

  5. Will do! Thanks for headsup \m/
    Yeah, I listened to Exhumation again this morning too; I think that makes five total for me. Really into this one.

  6. I thought of Behemoth as well.

    Evangelion, Demigod and The Satanist are my favorite Behemoth albums in terms of consistency, though the best tracks on their first, more committed death metal album, Satanica (not to be confused with the new one), are still my favorite cuts—especially The Alchemist’s Dream.
    For 15 years I’ve said that Inferno plays the tastiest drum parts in death metal, and it’s still true, even if the production is a bit cluttered and watery on The Satanist.
    Inferno is a Frost and Vinny Appice level drum artist.

  7. Shawn, this week I enjoyed exploring the mid-period Behemoth discography as you suggested. I especially liked Pandemic Incantations, when they were first crossing over to DM. I’ve been familiar with the some of the early BM for a long time, and dug Demigod and The Apostasy a great deal (couldn’t get into Evangelion) and wrote them off after that. It was killer hearing more quality material from them, and in turn revisiting the albums I already own \m/

  8. Zahler – I’ve got to give The Satanist a serious listen after the high praise you’ve given it this week. And as for Inferno, I agree 100%: one of the best drummers out there period. A simply amazing player \m/

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