05 August 2013
by Rob McAuslan
It’s as inescapable now as it ever was: the lazy, tedious comparison of gore-metal legends Exhumed to Carcass. Stop it. All of you. Yes, there’s a new Carcass record inbound – I understand and even share your excitement, I totally do – but Exhumed in 2013 are as similar to the Liverpudlian grinders as they ever truly were, which is to say not actually very much at all. Let’s talk about this record on its own terms for a second, shall we?
Following on from 2011’s staggeringly excellent All Guts, No Glory (which broke nearly a decade of silence for Exhumed), Necrocracy continues the band’s welcome return, and it’s not just more of the same either. Where the previous record felt like it was falling over itself to show you all that it offered, with riffs and vocal lines running over themselves in their enthusiasm to get your head banging, Necrocracy is a somewhat more thoughtful offering. It maintains the increased melodic content of their last couple of records whilst still not compromising on the grinding savagery they made their name with.
From ‘Coins Upon The Eyes’ right through to ‘The Rotting’, the most noticeable upgrade aside from the more fleshed-out songs is evident in the dual vocal assault. Matt Harvey has always made up one half of a killer pairing (low end growling being taken care of by a procession of ex- and current members), but on Necrocracy he and Rob Babcock seem to have translated Exhumed’s manically-addictive way with a guitar hook across to the vocals. All Guts… may have had properly-formed songs, with verses and bridges and everything, but this time out you can actually scream along with fully-formed and decipherable choruses too.
Watch the video to ‘Coins Upon The Eyes’ by Exhumed:
If we were going to do something daft like compare phases of Exhumed’s career with any other band, then Necrocracy is their South Of Heaven. They’ve slowed down where it counts whilst retaining their bloody, jagged edge and still know when to up the BPMs for maximum effect, whilst every area of the writing is stronger and they’ve even learned a few new tricks to crank up the tension at key points. It may not end up being everyone’s favourite Exhumed album, but it makes a fine case for itself as being the heaviest point of their career to date.
Sounds Like: Threshing, gory, grinding death metal with surprisingly melodic and dynamic songs
Standout Tracks: Dysmorphic, (So Passes) The Glory Of Death, The Rotting