Like a fine wine, the mighty Exhumed keep getting better with age. The career parallels with their idols Carcass are obvious but not debilitating, manipulating their worship into their own finely honed death metal machine. From the grimy days of their fun and gruesome 1998 debut Gore Metal, through to 2013’s excellent Necrocracy, Exhumed’s career has been on a constant upward trajectory of consistency, refinement and dependable quality. With the focus of Matt Harvey and co on various other projects in recent years, the band finally dusted themselves off and returned to the studio to record a goddamn concept album! Yes folks, Exhumed have created a storytelling arc detailing a series of murders and grave robberies in Scotland during the 1820’s. Thankfully, beyond the suitably macabre subject matter, Exhumed build on the momentum from Necrocracy, deftly entwining slick melodicism into their tight and blasty brand of signature death metal. And just like its immediate predecessor, Death Revenge finds Exhumed operating at the top of their game, serving up a bloodied platter of gore soaked riffs and lean, addictive cuts of beefy death.

Spooky orchestral passages, such as opener “Death Revenge Overture” and “Gravemakers of Edinburgh,” add to the contextual drama, with Death Revenge marking Exhumed’s most atmospheric album to date. Aside from its sinister twists and melodic turns, Death Revenge follows a similar template to Necrocracy, yet somehow manages to sound even sharper and more refined, while retaining Exhumed’s trademark infectiousness, gory sense of fun, and confident swagger. Thrashy death metal and a healthy dose of melody and technical prowess features throughout Death Revenge, yet never at the expense of Exhumed’s brutally boisterous, cutthroat delivery. The songs are hooky, melodic, brutal, yet dynamic in design, the accessibility and infectiousness of the song-writing impressive in the wake of their tough and brutal delivery. Meanwhile, the album’s darker feel and strong melodic presence recalls the vital but less refined Anatomy is Destiny album.

Harvey and fellow axeslinger Bud Burke serve up a smorgasbord of wicked riffs, leads and shred, driving each composition with a heady mix of melody, brutality and groove. The stench of Necroticism and Heartwork-era Carcass remains present, but the guitar-work and song-writing sounds so fresh that the influence never overshadows Exhumed’s own distinctive song-writing traits and strengths. There’s also loads of brutal down-tuned grooves, outrageously unhinged solos, and terrific harmonies that would make Iron Maiden proud. The superb “Night Work” has a strong whiff of South of Heaven in its deliberate pacing, sinister melodies, and ripping solos. “Lifeless” effortlessly welds tasteful shred and mid-paced groove against its vicious thrash and blast combo, while powerhouse duo “The Harrowing” and “Incarnadined Hands” put the melodic savagery, flesh piercing hooks and brutality back into melodeath. The fun continues on the catchy and efficient blast of “A Funeral Party,” a savage thrasher with an All Guts, No Glory intensity and awesome trade-off solos.

The sizable impact of returning bassist/vocalist Ross Sewage (Ghoul, Impaled), replacing Rob Babcock, should not be understated. Sewage brings a grimy low-end presence to the album, while his sick vocals are a wonderful throwback to the band’s more brutal, underground days. In fact his dual vocal work and harmonizing alongside the distinctive raspy growl of Harvey is a thing of grotesque beauty and intuitive chemistry. Of course, those unfamiliar with Sewage’s vocals might not be so enthusiastic, due to his over-the-top gurgly and incomprehensible growls. There’s no real weak links to speak of, aside from certain tracks naturally creating a larger impact than others, but there’s nothing skip-worthy or disposable to speak of. Death Revenge also benefits from a neatly balanced mix, slicing guitar tone, and hefty rhythm section, with the production hitting a nice sweet spot between clarity, clout and grime.

Exhumed are a well established name in the metal underground and once again can be depended on to deliver the goods. Death Revenge is simply a blast to listen to as Exhumed continue pumping out great material and killer death metal that deftly blends their old school roots with a modern sensibility. The past three albums in particular are strong testaments to the band’s superior songcraft, graceful aging and longevity. Death Revenge marks another reliably consistent and grisly chapter in the band’s impressive career and rates among their finest achievements.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Relapse Records
Websites: exhumed.bandcamp.comfacebook.com/ExhumedOfficial
Releases Worldwide: October 13th, 2017

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  • Metal and Hockey

    Great review for a great album. Like you said you can count on Exhumed to deliver and they did. Definitely worthy of the 4.0

    • Name’s Dalton

      Strong AOTY contender.

      • Metal and Hockey

        Will be somewhere in my top 5 for sure

  • André Snyde Lopes

    2spooky4.0me

    PS: That Exodus cover is pure class.

  • Eli Valcik

    Yall know I’m not too big on Death Metal, but man oh man do I love horror themes.

  • wayne the devil

    Great album and review. These guys have been on a hot streak and this album is so good it almost sounds too polished….

  • Akerblogger

    Love it. Love it. Love it.

    At a time when there’s a lot of dissonant death weaved around blackened and atmospheric trunks, it’s refreshing to hear such a refreshed melo-death sound.

    This, Dying Fetus, and The Black Dahlia Murder have come through for me.

  • sweetooth0

    It’s good but it’s no Gore Metal that’s for sure. Frankly I thought the last album was very meh also.

    • Name’s Dalton

      Necrot racy was my first exposure to Exhumed, and it hooked me on them. Go figure.

      • Goldicot

        Hey asshole, I just Bandcamp-stalked you for like 30 minutes and you have incredibly good taste. Tons of stuff I’d let fall off my radar and some stuff I hadn’t heard of that’s great (Satanized). You get the completely worthless Goldicot Walrus Award.

        • dumbidiot

          hey funboy, get a room

          • Name’s Dalton

            Two words: Mini-bar.

        • Name’s Dalton

          They like me! They really like me!

          Satanized is killer. That label (Skin Graft) has been a favorite of mine for over 20 years.

          • Goldicot

            That’s older than I am. I am a huge fan of Yowie’s Synchromysticism from that label this year. I will be checking them out in reverse time then.

          • Name’s Dalton

            I’ll be 45 in a week. Anyway, Some of my all-time favorites recorded for Skin Graft: Dazzling Killmen and Colossamite (both fronted by Nick Sakes, later of Sicbay and now of xaddax); US Maple ( members now in the amazing Dead Rider – check out the video for “Blank Screen,” among others they’ve done); You Fantastic (stretch Yowie until they snap, then try to count the pieces. This is YF); Ruins (insane Japanese band), among others.

          • Goldicot

            Happy birthday! I respect any individual still listening to new music at that age. People always told me I’d burn out in my mid-twenties.

            Those are all on my list now. See ya round, Dalton.

          • Name’s Dalton

            After spending almost 25 years submerged in underground/indie rock and avant/free jazz, I have found myself over the past four years sinking deeper and deeper into the blackened depths of metal, and I don’t know if or when I’ll emerge for air. Only wish I had gotten into it sooner.

          • Hey hey, you’re not too far behind me in advanced decrepitude.

          • Name’s Dalton

            So I got that goin’ for me…

          • Name’s Dalton

            Skin Graft is having a huge sale – like $5 CDs to recoup what they can after their previous distributor went bankrupt and shafted all the labels.

  • d3ad13

    Not gonna lie, Ross Sewage’s return is the high point for me. I love, love, LOVE Mondo Medicale by Impaled, and Sewage’s vocals and bass tone are a huge part of that.

    Not to discredit anything else the rest of the band is doing, though. The melodic elements are super welcome and the album will be getting a lot of repeat spins from me.

  • Ferrous Beuller

    Didn’t think I’d be as impressed considering the enhanced melody, but this saw is absolutely the law. Great write-up.

  • Scourge

    Great write-up! This is one of the most fun albums of the year for me. And I love the cover art!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Never thought I would read about “graceful aging” as a compliment about a Death Metal record.

  • El_Cuervo

    I fucking love the synthy stuff in the intro / interludes. It’s exactly as if an 80s slasher came to life, especially with the cheap fake fold thing on the artwork. Fits the theme so well.

  • MetalMartin

    Must watch Banger TV’s review, especialy at the 4:54 mark. Saunders, great review, so is Banger’s, no offense (I like multiple sources for my metal).

  • John Mosley

    Nice! I hadn’t heard these folks. Is Carcass still dropping new material this year?

  • Here’s Johnny

    Since i’m Scottish, the concept is right up my street. Edinburgh’s haunted history is metal as fuck. Burke and Hare, Jeckl and Hyde(based on an edinburgh doctor), Greyfriars Kirkyard, body snatching, bodies piled high in the moat around the castle, witch burning, hangings galore.

    Album rules too!

  • The Unicorn

    This is pretty badass. Nice Carcass feel at points. Really digging it.

  • Gage

    Finally a 4/5 that actually deserves it’s score

  • Tofu muncher

    Nice to know they’re still going strong. That embedded song sold me (the 4/5 score is icing on the cake)

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Keen to dig into this!
    Nice review!

  • sir_c

    Both the album cover and band pic show exactly what you are going to get. Great stuff!

  • Matt Risnes

    Love the album art, don’t like the music. My finger isn’t on the pulse of the fold around here. I can’t get into this at all and thought the new Blut Aus Nord was great.

  • h_f_m

    Heartwork-era Carcass

    First you had my curiosity

    Rating: 4.0/5.0

    now you have my attention..

    Embed is stellar.