Review Summary: Even by today's standards this album is fairly unique, just like it was back when it was released. Since the band is from Germany you can expect the songs to have a very Teutonic feel to them.
A tragically overlooked German thrash band that had the songs, chops and riffs to compete with the thrash elite.
In 1984 Mem Von Stein
wanted to start a serious thrash metal band. That very year he met a guy named Ray
at a Slayer show where they both worked as part of the local crew. They started talking and went on to form the band that would become Exumer
. They recorded one demo called "A Mortal In Black"
where Mem actually did the vocals himself before signing a record deal with the SPV subsidiary Disaster Records. The band broke up but reformed to play one show in 2001 at the Wacken Open Air in Germany.
If you are a fan of "Sodom (agent orange), Destruction (infernal overkill)" and let's face it, who isn't, this is an obscure gem that you need to track down.
1986 was a strong year for the German thrash metal scene, with several classics being released, most of them by acts previously unexposed to fans like Kreator's
"Pleasure To Kill", Sodom's
"Obsessed By Cruelty", Assassin's
"The Upcoming Terror" etc. and Exumer's
"Possessed By Fire" was certainly one of the very best. Not a groundbreaking one, but the level of quality found here is rarely achieved.
Mem Von Stein - Vocals, Bass
Bernie Siedler - Guitars
Ray Mensch - Guitars
Bernd Cramer - Drums
This album is fast, heavy and even though it can have a chaotic feel at time, never sounds as if it's out of control and will keep you headbanging throughout. This is one of the finest thrash albums ever to come out of Germany, combining the best of the early Bay Area sound with the sound of the first two Kreator
albums. The album is replete with awesome riffs, similar to those used by Slayer, Exodus, Kreator
, and others. Comparing Exumer to early Exodus & Slayer
wouldn't be far from the truth.
Stand-out tracks are, "Possessed By Fire" with it's fast and catchy riffs, "Reign Of Sadness" with it's catchy and sing along type chorus "Xiron Darkstar" and "A Mortal In Black" with their simple, yet catchy riffs that make you want to headbang like crazy, though you'll be headbanging to every song on this album.
The great thing is, the huge variety of riffage - in the timing, and other characteristics. This is excessive, even by thrash standards here!
Good change in variety.
Vocals are really nice and suit the music perfectly.
The last 3 tracks are a bit messy structure-wise.
This band is forgotten for some reason and the album is overlooked.
Bass isnt very good on the original release but is good in the 2001 re-issue.
Even by today's standards this album is fairly unique, just like it was back when it was released. Overall, this is a great album and highly recommended to fans of old school thrash! If you like "Pleasure to Kill" "Show No Mercy" "Bonded by Blood', you will really dig this one.
I'm going to conclude by quoting Mem Von Stein
in an interview he did after re-uniting old Exumer.
Mem, what are your most remarkable recollections connected with EXUMER?
"Being 18 years old and seeing my first album in the window of the local record store and thinking everything is possible as long as you believe in it. Thanx and keep on thrashing!!!"