Review Summary: Exmortus are fast and relentless - chock full of pure, fun, adrenaline fuelled wankery and blisteringly varied solos that will make most listeners content.
Exmortus might not be one of the most complex bands out there, maybe not even the brightest, but they sure are fun. They have neo-classical shredding infused with melodic and technical death metal elements without sounding like they are trying too hard. You can hear influences like Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Children of Bodom, Arsis, and most noticeably Yngwie Malmsteen. While those bands separately might not be your cup of tea, I suggest you give Exmortus a listen anyway especially if you care for any sort of modern thrash or technical death metal. But if you do not remotely like any of those bands - not even a single aspect - then you might have a hard time enjoying this album.
This is a very guitar-driven album, focusing on thrash riffs - some of which are great (for example, opening riff in Glory on the Battlefield
), but then there are a few others that sound less inspired. There are over-the-top melodic leads and arpeggios showcasing their technical prowess, which is also enforced with amazing solos. I wouldn't say these songs are based around the solo, but I will say without them the album wouldn't be as appealing, so maybe the reliance on the solos is quite high. Apart from that and seldom sounding repetitive there is little to be disappointed with in the guitar department. The rhythm section is another story, which is quite disappointing due to the lack of bass, especially because there is an epic galloping bass intro in Valor and Might
and an extremely short bass fill on the closer Fimbulwinter
which makes me beg for more bass. On the other hand the drumming is good, it moves things along without reducing itself to mindless and annoying blast beats; the drumming is technical, varied, and interesting without stealing the show.
The most accessible track on the album is probably Triumph by Fire
. It has a catchy main riff, some sweet melodic leads, quite standard drumming and a nearly minute long solo that does nothing other than place a smile on my face. The solo is not an Advanced Corpse Tumor
but nevertheless it is just as much delightful. The solos are one of the strongest aspects of the band. They are varied enough and not just short bursts of wank - the band already litters faux-solos around the place, so you'd expect more from the actual solos and when they do roll in, and they pleasingly deliver. What is really satisfying is when there is a small build-up to the solo, just a little break would do, it makes the solo just seem more intense like in Onward to Battle
. Axes of War
is the only instrumental track, it's complete with everything the guitarists have to offer, seeing as how it is just the duo trading off solos for the entire 3:15 duration.
The band does little to change it up, most of the song structures are quite similar; you could question if you just heard a certain part of one song in another. Also if you have heard their EP of the same name, you have probably heard most of this album, however the songs have been re-recorded. Hopefully Exmortus try to add more variety to their music in the future while retaining everything that makes this album so superb, though you can't expect much variation from the genre. The blending of neo-classical thrash and technical-yet-melodic death metal elements were executed effortlessly and tastefully, my expectations for their next release, and for the band in general, are quite high. The band shows enormous amounts of promise.
Exmortus are fast and relentless; chock full of pure, fun, adrenaline fuelled wankery and blistering solos. If you are looking for serious technical ability - it’s here. If you want to hear some amazing neo-classical thrash riffs, it’s also here. If you don't care about any of that and just want lots of wanking and amazing solos, look no further.
Triumph By Fire
Onward To Battle
Axes Of War