Innovation is great and all, but what about dependability? Familiarity? Pushing boundaries is a necessary part of artistry, but excellence remains excellent, be it in some newfound territory or well within the confines of the established.
Clearly inspired by 80s horror (as you’d expect) — with weathered cheap-VHS-indebted packaging and a “deluxe video rental” special-edition set to boot — the subtly and suitably titled Horror certainly sports its share of those signature blood-soaked hooks, from the “scream for your worthless life / die by the slashing knife” refrain in “Scream Out In Fright” or the beautiful simplicity of “Ripping death / ripping death / ripping fucking death” from — you guessed it — “Ripping Death.” Even within the often skull-pummeling fury, riffs and vocal lines reach out and skewer the ears with unshakeable claws, rending flesh and refusing to let go, even if these hooks are maybe buried a little deeper beneath the encrusted blood and grime than those on the previous few releases.
So that’s to say this: Horror is the grindiest batch of songs Exhumed has released in many a blood moon. It’s not a complete return to the earliest days that reeked of putrefaction, merely a step that re-introduces the grindcore component, and to strong results. Hitting the ground grinding with “Unsound,” Horror rips through its fifteen cuts in about 25 minutes (with 3 more and 6 longer, if you get the bonus track version, which you should), skipping nimbly across the crossroads of goregrind, thrash, and death through slashers like “Naked, Screaming, And Covered In Blood” and “Dead Meat” and the 7-second “Utter Mutilation Of Your Corpse.” Rife with blastbeats, grindier though it may be, Horror is still Exhumed, which means it’s constructed from cadaverous carving riffs aplenty and voiced by the dueling high-low scream-and-growl of Matt Harvey and Ross Sewage, and even when its at its noisiest, it’s irresistibly energetic.
Grind or death or somewhere between, Exhumed kills, and Horror is Exhumed doing what Exhumed does best, what they do extremely dependably. At this point, it should come as little surprise that Exhumed has released another burner — Horror is eminently engaging, viciously violently and remarkably fun. Louder, faster, and still 100% grade-A gore metal.
Get yourself slashed.