Released: 2007, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
´Neo-classical brutal Thrash Metal´?! Does this genre already exist? If not, now it does. Namely that´s exactly what came to my mind first when I was spinning through Exmortus´ latest 7-song offering titled IN HATRED´S FLAME, from Whittier, California.
Ok, I admit it´s silly to call something as ´Neo-classical Thrash Metal´, but this is thanks to the amazing lead work of both Conan and Tak that is present in each of the 7 songs on this very catchy sounding EP. When the band has got two amazingly gifted guitarists in the same band, with unbelievable fast fingers, one may think that it may start causing problems eventually in the band as both of the guitarists might want to come forth as the next Yngwie Malmsteen or something. Well, at least you should get a picture anyway. The fact is, however, there´s a lot of short and blistering solos present in Exmortus´ songs, reminding me greatly of coming from that Malmsteen school.
But we are not here to talk about the solos only. As for the songs, they are all amazingly well structured, relying on strongly sinfully catchy rhythms and hooks that they have spitted all around their songs. And what´s the most important thing, Exmortus know how to thrash. The band plays a highly energetic and furious Thrash that definitely should appeal most fans of this particular genre. The band´s roots are obviously deeply in the ´80s Bay Area Thrash; in fact a song called “Triumph of Fire” starts off like some Forbidden (Evil) song with its Calvert/Locicero-type of high-octane riffs. “War Gods” on the other hand, is like a half-Death Metal and half-Thrash Metal song, like some sort of an unholy matrimony between some Vader-type of Death Metal manifests added with bits from Thrash Metal here and there. Also, the band´s vocalist (and bassist) Balmore has a really aggressive style to spit his guts out which fits really well to the band´s overall violently sophisticated playing style. Mario´s drumming is also pretty impressive thoroughly, obviously providing an ideal breeding ground for the other instruments in the band. “Axes of War” is an instrumental song that could nearly fit into some Malmsteen albums due to its smoothly rolling, neo-classical instrumental sections that actually only strengthen my impression about Exmortus as a very kick-ass band.
I find very little to complain about this EP probably because this is the kind of stuff that sets my balls on fire in a great way. Lastly, I´d like to say it would be a screaming crime if they didn´t get enough recognition by the help of this EP, resulting in a record deal with some label.