Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Exhumed - Necrocracy

It’s finally here! The new album from one of my very favorite bands is here! But just like every album I review, I have to put at least most of my previous feelings aside so that I can make a realistic critique on this slab of brutality. But really, it’s now official that Exhumed are back, and at full force. Ever since they popped up out of nowhere with the release of All Guts, No Glory in 2011, they’ve been touring constantly! Ever since the release of that album, I’ve had the pleasure to see them live THREE times, and will be seeing them again in October with Dying Fetus and Devourment! These guys may be on the old side, but they sure fucking know how to be a touring machine. Well, the last time I saw them, they had released the title track off their (at the time) upcoming album, Necrocracy. Well, guess what guys, IT’S FINALLY HERE!

Although their 2011 comeback record was generally flawless, it was obvious that the band was still getting back into the swing of things. So what we need on Necrocracy is a much more confident and solid sound. The first thing that we notice is that there’s a larger amount of material on here, which means that All Guts, No Glory set Exhumed on a long-overdue writing spree. In fact, some of the songs off Necrocracy would’ve fit perfectly on All Guts, No Glory, so there could be a possibility that this is somewhat of an “All Gut, No Glory Part 2” sort of thing. But then again, there are a few differences between the two. The biggest one being that the music sounds a hell of a lot more confident. But instead of compare/contrast, I just want to talk about Necrocracy.

Exhumed has a very similar vocal style to Dying Fetus, where there is one guy doing high-pitched exhales and one person doing a mix of both inhaled and exhaled guttural growls. The difference being that Dying Fetus puts much more emphasis on the growls whereas Exhumed tends to keep things balanced out by having an equal amount of both styles. What I noticed about Necrocracy is that the screams have taken the lead. So you won’t hear as many of those deep growls as you did in Slaughtercult. And I think this is because the screams sound SO MUCH BETTER. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved Harvey’s vocals, but there’s always been something about them that bothered me that isn’t there anymore. They still have that ridiculous grindcore vibe, but they just sound a lot cleaner in general.

It’s hard not to love the drums on any Exhumed album. Even though they’ve had more than one drummer, everything that Exhumed has put out has those really choppy blast beats that can’t be found anywhere else. The blast beats aren’t seamless like the ones the Dying Fetus drummer slams out, no, these are rough, choppy, and energizing. Part of it could be that the snare drum doesn’t have as much of a buzzy sound. So maybe the drummer ripped off a few of those metal things that go under the snare to give it a more poppy sound. But then again I can never know for sure because I’ve never actually gotten a super close look at the drummer’s set. But regardless, the drumming is amazing, brutal, and creative as always.

Exhumed have managed to great a masterpiece. But then again, they’ve never released a less-than-amazing album, so it’s expected. Disclaimer: if you’re looking for a really innovative and unique death grind album, this won’t be quite what you’re looking for. It’s not super progressive; it’s pretty much just another Exhumed album. And there’s nothing wrong with that because these guys know exactly how to do what they want to do, and they’re fucking amazing at it. Overall, Necrocracy is perfection. Nothing about it fails to blow me away. 20/20 for Necrocracy and one of the best albums of the year.