Review Summary: Too much gore outweighs the substance.
Everybody at this point in time can agree that horror movies have pretty much run their course these days. By running their course, I mean you have to examine what makes a good horror movie, “a really good horror movie”. Take for example Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later
or Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Pyscho
; both movies captivating their audiences with social commentary and intense scenes of suspense. Put these movies up against the splatter fests of the present like The Devils Rejects
and the painfully bad (no pun intended) The Hills Have Eyes
and you can clearly see that it’s like comparing gold to crap………well if you have any taste in movies that is. The same rings true in the grind/ death metal genre with its constant barrage of hit and miss bands that simply rely too much on the guts and not enough on the cerebral. Exhumed’s debut album,Gore Metal
, unfortunately falls under the ‘bloody slasher flick’ category while trying to duplicate on the brains of Carcass’s Symphonies of Sickness
, Cannibal Corpse’s Vile
and Repulsion’s Horrified
The main problem with Exhumed at this point in their career is that they didn’t fully realize that they were great musicians. Rather, Gore Metal
capitalizes on all the clichés that Carcass brought to the grind table ten years before them and not quite enough of the substance that makes grind interesting enough to actually listen to repeatedly. Even so, as monotonous as most grind is, Exhumed can still pummel your brains into submission with their relentless displays of death metal infused grind. ‘Necromaniac’, Enucleation and ‘Casket Krusher’ feature the best parts of this album with combinations of quick punk and blinding blast beats, rapid-fire grinding riffs and some nifty little solos that would make Kerry King proud. Exhumed even know how to slow things down a touch (which is still pretty fast) with slow grinding chord chugs and resonating notes that contribute towards an uncomfortable ‘horror movie’ feel. Fans of the almighty ‘cookie monster’ grunts and growls will find no shortage here as well, complete with enough tongue in cheek lyrics to make a fan of splatter flicks cum prematurely.
At least with Gore Metal
, we find that Exhumed retains a sense of humour that is commonly found amongst the death metal/ grind genre. Take a look at the front cover for example. You would expect that this might be a grind cover band upon first gazing your eyes at the bloody mess of entrails and the ‘head in a microwave’ laid out in a last minute attempt to give the album a shock factor (Cannibal Corpse anyone?). As well, the music wouldn’t sound nightmarishly cheesy without the odd drill-bit noise squirting blood and ‘Limb from Limb’s’ opening chainsaw buzz. One final laugh comes at you through the name choices of songs such as ‘Vagatarian II’ and ‘Deadest of the Dead’ (as if it weren’t brutal enough being dead already?), further solidifying that even though Exhumed take their music dead seriously, they can certainly make you laugh as well.
Despite Gore Metals
flaws with monotony and cliché execution, Exhumed would go on to create much more original works of grind through Slaughtercult
and Anatomy is Destiny
. For fans of grindcore and tongue in cheek humour, this album has your name written all over it. For fans of something with a little more diversity, keep looking because Gore Metal
may just bring the ‘lulz’ as well as the snooze.