Fans of classic German speed, rejoice!
This quintet’s 2012 comeback album, Fire & Damnation, established that Exumer were just as capable of delivering quality violent music as on their wonderful 1986 debut Possessed By Fire. And this superb follow-up improves on Fire… in terms of both quantity (delivering 10 new original tracks as opposed to its predecessor’s eight) and quality, with the new tracks being more consistent, heavy and speedy. The thrash wheel is not being reinvented, but spun with astonishing vigour.
Exumer’s key influences, from Slayer and Exodus, are well in evidence, combined with Mem von Stein’s distinctive rage and the uniquely demonic savagery, which lends this band their special edge. Brand Of Evil is full-on thrash, with a brutally complex riff, while other scorchers like Sinister Souls and Dark Reflections mix up the tempos.
The highlight, though, is Catatonic, an awesome vintage chugger. Throw in a punishing cover of Grip Inc’s Hostage To Heaven, featuring Grip Inc guitarist Waldemar Sorychta, former Exodus frontman Rob Dukes and Sodom drummer Markus Freiwald, and you have an essential thrash purchase.