Exhumed - "All Guts, No Glory" (2011) [Relapse Records]
Finally we have the triumphant return of the long standing kings of gore-grinding death metal; Exhumed. A band who has been churning out platters of splatter since before most of the people reading this were born. Needless to say, this band has been a large part of my life for more than ten years, so hearing word of a new record made me a happy little chimp. Then came the announcement of the tracklisting and artwork...I cannot lie, the artwork made me worry a bit, its bad. Really bad. Not that their artwork was ever beautiful masterpieces, but was always fitting for what they did (Gore Metal or Slaughtercult anyone?). The art for All Guts...was new-wave photoshop butchery, so yes, I was concerned of the possibility of a deathcore album (or even worse, a Morbid Angel type disaster), but boy was I wrong... So here we have the same Exhumed we have all come to love; raging songs of hell paced death with a strong emphasis on gore and all that is bloody. Crushing guitars, scathing bass, smashing drums and vile, throat-wrenching vokills. Brutality is in no short order here; no tech-wankery, no brodown breakcore or anything similar. Only blood, chainsaws and piles of dead bodies. Carcass worship is nothing new for Exhumed, but they always did it in a way that made it genuine (much like Impaled) and this new album is another sterling piece in the jigsaw puzzle of human anatomical grind worship. A fitting piece for a long standing legacy. The only thing outside of the artwork that kind of threw me off was the production. I am used to hearing Exhumed with a fizzy, acidic-as-all-hell production. Here we have a super clean production, not to the point of deathcore lifelessness, but much cleaner than anything previously produced by the band. I cannot lie, but it does add a much different edge to the sound, but in a good way. Everything is clear, stands out in the mix and manages to sounds organic...No easy feat. It is truly killer. So for those who wonder...this album slays. For those not in the know; get this immediately and work your way back through the Exhumed catalog. You will be pleased. For those IN the know; you probably already own this record, so I need not to continue to speak. So let it be rotten...so let it be done.