[13 September 2011]
Legendary Californian deathgrindin’ butchers Exhumed have recently been unearthed and rudely awakened from their near decade-long slumber. Now they present to the world their latest and fourth full-length sonic massacre, featuring their first batch of original material since 2003’s Anatomy Is Destiny.
As if making up for their eight-year long respite from slaughtering and gutting anything and everything along their blood-splattered path of gore and violence, the sick foursome are back to remind metalheads just how monstrous and intense they can be. Boasting 11 killer tracks that will keep you viscerally entertained for close to 36 minutes (54 if you get the deluxe edition, which features six bonus tracks that are equally thrilling), All Guts, No Glory is one hell of a perverse tour around a zombie-infested cemetery that will brutally mow down your face while reminding you why Exhumed were and will continue to be revered as the gods of gore-themed death metal. Propelling yourself headfirst into the gorefest with the nostalgic introductory instrumental track “All Guts, No Glory”, one might be beguiled into thinking that Exhumed will likely imitate their sound on older albums (like the excellent and gratifyingly murky Slaughtercult), but you would be wrong.
Bloody delicious songs like “As Hammer to Anvil”, “Through Cadaver Eyes”, “Distorted and Twisted to Form”, “I Rot Within”, and “Dis-assembly Line” feature intricate riffing, groovy hooks and licks, and even soaring melodic guitar solos that have much better aural clarity than was previously heard in Exhumed’s earlier heavily crust-ridden works. The cranium-bashing drum beats and Matt Harvey’s inhuman vomited vocals are still the same—but with a much clearer sound than their older incarnations on previous records as well, thanks to this album’s excellent production. They may still love the underground and proclaim themselves to be forever part of it, but the much clearer sound on this new blood-splattered mix of guts n’ blood fails to hide the fact that Exhumed have clearly grown more renowned and hence, prosperous as well over the years.
The deluxe edition is significantly pricier than the standard edition, and it probably isn’t worth the extra bucks for the ordinary Exhumed appreciator. It is definitely worth buying for the diehards, though, for it contains four bonus original tracks and two re-recordings of old classics that will extend the orgasmic experience by nearly 18 minutes. Additionally, it has the added bonus of coming in an exclusive O-card that features an alternate album cover—showcasing a bloodied circular saw blade amidst a pile of guts—and the exclusivity factor is upped even further by the fact that only 1000 such copies have been printed. Standout tracks of the bonus disc include “Unclean”, “To Wake the Dead”, “Cold Caress”; and even the re-recorded versions of “Necromaniac” and “Forged in Fire (Formed in Flames)” from their legendary early albums, Gore Metal and Slaughtercult respectively, will get you convulsing and frothing at the mouth just like the originals did many years ago, if only with a more polished sound.
Well, enough talk already. For everything you ever wanted to hear in an Exhumed record plus a whole load more of Wawa shots and more distinct audibility, head on down to your local butcher’s and lay your bloodstained claws on a copy of this aural carnage today. The long wait is finally over!