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Thursday, 3 October 2019

Reviews: Exhumed, As I Lay Dying, Screamer, The Cruel Knives (Rich & Liam)

Exhumed: Horror (Relapse Records) [Rich Oliver]

Horror is album number seven from US Carcass worshipping deathgrind madmen Exhumed and is very much a back to basics album for the band with a feel very much of their early albums such as Gore Metal and Slaughtercult. Later albums by the band have flirted with technicality and melody but Horror is back to short sharp flesh ripping deathgrind. With an album duration of just over 26 minutes Horror absolutely wastes no time in laying waste to your eardrums across 15 songs of pure old school gore splattered terror with songs such as Ravenous Cadavers, Slaughter Maniac and Naked, Screaming And Covered In Blood leaping out of the speakers at your chainsaw in hand ready to dismember. The band put in a furious performance with savage riffs, screaming solos, a plethora of blastbeats and the deranged vocals of Matt Harvey. Horror is very much an album which sees Exhumed going back to their roots and it sounds like they had tremendous fun writing and recording it. If you miss the sound of classic era Repulsion, Terrorizer and Carcass then get this down your ears and prepare for an onslaught of blood soaked death grinding fun. 8/10

As I Lay Dying: Shaped By Fire (Nuclear Blast) [Liam True]

Six years in the making. The reunion that nobody thought would happen. The forgiveness. Three singles later. The comeback the entire Metalcore scene has been waiting for has unleashed itself. Granted it’s six years after frontman Tim Lambesis was sentenced to prison for soliciting the murder of his ex-wife (And only serving two years of his 6 year sentence) But we’re here for the music, not the trial. Since dropping the absolute bombshell My Own Grave (Dealing with the aforementioned court case) the scene has been buzzing with excitement. And the wait was fucking worth it. From start to finish Shaped By Fire is a masterpiece of pure Metalcore. It’s meaty, ferocious and pure carnage throughout. It’s full of chorus’. Full of riffs and full of instrumentations that’ll have you becoming a one-man air band.

It’s a non-stop adrenaline pumping ride through the emotions of Lambesis dating back the past 6 years. There’s no shortage of singalongs. No shortage of air drumming. And not a chance in hell that you won’t be headbanging to ANY of the songs. Now the real opinion comes from yourself. If you were a fan of the band previous to all the controversy, are you still a fan? While the band (And Lambesis’ ex-wife might I add) have all forgiven him, can you? Me? Yeah, I can. The guy served his time, albeit not all, and personally seeked forgiveness from all. Whatever your opinion on what has happened, you can’t deny that this is the best Metalcore album in the past 5 years. Now that it’s out there, I only have one question. When the fuck are we getting a new Austrian Death Machine record? 10/10

Screamer: Highway Of Heroes (The Sign Records) [Rich Oliver]

Screamer are a band in the New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal movement and Highway Of Heroes is the fourth album by the Swedish band. Much like fellow countrymen Enforcer, Screamer play old school heavy metal with influences from speed metal with a sound that harks back to the early to mid 1980’s. Being a retro styled band Screamer don’t offer anything new to the plate but just pay homage to their old school metal heroes with a bunch of songs that are energetic, fun and catchy with some great performances and good songwriting. Highway Of Heroes doesn’t reinvent the wheel but is an enjoyable piece of retro heavy metal that should appeal to fans of the classics of the genre. Nothing special but absolutely nothing wrong with it either. 7/10

The Cruel Knives: Side Two (Electric Hussy) [Liam True]

I first heard of these guys back in 2017 when they were supporting W.A.S.P, and they brought a new feel too Hard Rock with their energy, catchy riffs and chorus’. Fast forward a year and a half later, they’ve just dropped their second offering aptly named Side Two. And it’s a meaty contribution to the scene which is must needed. From the opener Black Eye Friday it sets the scene of what’s to come. From the outset there’s singalong chorus’ and headbanging riffs. From the soaring highs of Tom Harris’ vocals and the fretwork of Sid Glover the record comes together like an amalgamation of Hard Rock heaven. Hollow People & Of This Is The End show the band are on the top of their game and are pulling no punches. 

Throughout the whole album you’ll notice one thing. It sounds a lot like the previous effort Side One. But that’s not even a bad thing, they both have the best and unique sound, both vocally and instrumentally. And finishing with lead single Crawl, the band have cemented their place at the top of the food chain. There’s one thing to know about this band. These guys are going to take over the world. And i’ll be right at the front helping them with their goal. Side Two is just the beginning. 10/10

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