Exumer – Posessed by Fire – 4/5
This an album which I had to listen to multiple times to fully appreciate – not that this detracts from the album in any way. On the contrary, you find something new you like about it every play. I must have heard it all the way through almost a dozen times this week, and it has yet to get old.
Whilst on one hand they play a fairly heavily exodus-style of thrash, mixed up with this what I can only describe as progressive tendencies. It transitions sharply between quick shredding and more traditional maiden or metallica style riffs, blending the best of both sides of the genre, and it fits perfectly with the chaotic nature they’re trying to achieve.
Individually, I cant pinpoint any person in the band who delivers an exceptional performance. The vocals are standard thrash affair with the occasional scream to add some variation. They certainly aren’t bad, simply nothing extraordinary. The guitars have the definite moments, the solo for destructive solution for example stands out as a section of pure genius in an already strong track, but largely feel either simplistic and unmemorable or blatant exodus worship. The drums do an excellent job of transitioning between the differently paced segments, and no single beat is overused, but in a similar fashion as the guitars, they’re largely mediocre.
Im sure if your reading this now your wondering how it got such a high mark. The answer is simple – their musicianship is nothing special but the tracks themselves are so beautifully worked out, so constantly changing it’s truly a joy to listen to. It often takes unexpected twists, and manages to keep up with the fastest thrash – then or now – whilst retaining melodic segments reminiscent of Metallica’s “Fade To Black” or Megadeth’s “Tout le Monde,” and most importantly – seamlessly integrating them together to form a cohesive song. The introduction for the opening track is a great example of their creative talents, a dark foreboding sound with a faintly heard church choir, before quickly turning into a quick paced riff. It’s the fact there is very little in the way of weak points that makes this such a unique listening experience. In fact, the only truly weakness this album has is that sometimes the tracks feel similar to each other, but clocking at only 38mins this is a minor gripe.
If it had more sweeping memorable riffs and solo’s, and had they managed to create something sounding completely different from the other tracks this would probably have scored a perfect 5/5.
By T. Bawden