After being left to rot for six years, the withered carcass of Exhumed, has been… exhumed, and I suppose it should not come as a surprise that the band has emerged all the stronger for a few years of decomposition. Exhumed’s fourth full-length album (not counting 2005’s covers collection, Garbage Days Re-regurgitated), All Guts, No Glory finds the band revitalized (or maybe just re-animated) and out for blood (and guts).
Comparing Exhumed’s career to that of gore/death/grind godfathers Carcass, which is no real stretch, one could say that 2003’s Anatomy is Destiny was Exhumed’s Heartwork. All Guts, No Glory, however, is no Swansong. The album is not a return to the pure gore-grind of Exhumed’s demo days, but it is a much more stripped-down, straight-for-the-throat affair than was Anatomy is Destiny. (Although that’s not to say that AiD was easy listening…) In a way, All Guts, No Glory is reminiscent of Slayer’s Reign in Blood in its murderous efficiency. The band has not abandoned the melody and finesse that marked its later work, but such elements are forced to fight for space in three- to four-minute songs already filled to bursting with blood-fury and power-mad violence. Simply put: Exhumed is not fucking around.
While this line-up of Exhumed was featured on the band’s last recording, Garbage Days Re-revisited, it is difficult to measure a group’s chemistry and ability from a batch of fairly simple cover songs. All Guts, No Glory is this unit’s first tangle with all-original Exhumed material, and it is a trial by fire: Exhumed’s music is not as complex as say Origin’s or Decrepit Birth’s but neither is it devoid of intricacies, and the tempos on this album are positively blistering. I am pleased to report that the band handles the task like the group of seasoned pros that it is, with a performance as tight as a gnat’s ass and as vicious as a wounded bear.
An in-depth explanation of what you can expect to find on All Guts, No Glory is, I think, unnecessary. This is Exhumed doing what Exhumed does best, harder and faster than usual. This is Gore Fucking Metal, and it is an Epic Fucking Slaughter. “So Let It Be Rotten… So Let It Be Done.”