Released: 2008, Heavy Artillery
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Only on rare occasions, one is privileged to hear a band that can combine so many metal styles cleverly together with an incredible amount of technical skills. Exmortus from California, USA, have anyway made quite a successful match between thrash metal, melodic death metal and death metal – adding even some neo-classical influences (ála C.o.B. style) in for a good measure, and the end result begs you to take your hat off for them. Exmortus´ some sort of inborn, burning drive for perfection by their performance, is quite clearly present constantly when you hear them playing.
Seriously, these Cali-fellows successfully pull from so many ropes at the same time that one could think they have taken a way too big bite to swallow in one go that is doomed to fail badly. But you are wrong regarding the Exmortus camp anyway. With enough skills and talent, everything´s possible yet easy to accomplish as they have so clearly proved on their debut album, titled IN HATREDS FLAME.
IN HATREDS FLAME is actually the band´s 7-track E.P., which they recorded in 2007 already, but added with 4 new songs so that it could be called as a full-length album. I already reviewed the E.P. in August 2007, and my opinion about them hasn´t changed a bit – only getting stronger and more secure about the goodness of them. It´s, however, no exaggerating to state Exmortus knock many new metal bands of the same ink into a cocked hat by possessing so much sheer musical talent inside their camp that should make many to envy them. Especially guitar playing throughout - by a favorable courtesy of both Balmore and Konan, is where Exmortus manage to shine better and more convincingly than many of their fellow metal musicians bathing in a similar style of genre. Sometimes this duo reaches pretty phenomenal level by mastering their instruments as well as they are able to mastering them on the whole. Especially these fellows´ solo work is on a top-notch level, and no doubts, they quite effective riff machines as well.
Exmortus concentrate on fast-paced tracks most of the time, being constantly in move in relatively high speeds, kind of like making sure their drummer is kept in a good fit all the time (ha!). Still, their stuff doesn´t sound speed-for-speed´s sake kind of thing at all – thanks to some necessary breaks in between different song sections. I also like Balmore´s way to rage his lungs out. His vocal style has found a golden middle way between death grunts and more thrash type of vocalism, which fits very well into the style Exmortus presents.
Exmortus have gathered many great reviews all over the world so far for their debut album IN HATREDS FLAME, so if you have been hesitating to check them out some day, that day could be today. ;o)