Thursday, February 12, 2015
Exhumed - Gore Metal: A Necrospective 1998-2015 (2015)
Now, I didn't have a lot of quips with the production of the original, but I think the point of this was to bring the guitar tones and mix of the other instruments into a more level balance with their recent records, and that certainly works, but at the cost of the record feeling a lot less vulgar and grotesque. But the biggest change here is how those higher-pitched deathgrind rasp vocals that were originally cultivated from the Carcass influence, in how they interacted with the gutturals, have here been supplanted with a voice that is more akin to the splatter-thrash of filthy 80s punk/crossover/thrash bands, most notably Blaine Cook of The Accused. It really makes this sound a little more unique within its niche, and the dirtier fuzz on the guitars helps to make it feel a lot more like the proto grind this band was partly reared on through its formative years; while some of the faster mute chugging sequences (as in "Open the Abscess") bring to mind the early years of Death, Autopsy, and so forth. Exhumed is also a band which has consistently developed its frenzied lead style through the years to incorporate a lot more melody and structure, something they interestingly seem to eschew here as they adhere more to that random Slayer lead style that became so vital to the death metal groups that actually gave a shit about incorporating them to begin with.
Gore Metal: A Necrospective has a more 'organic' feeling than its forebear, a bit more of an earthen depth and tone to it than the pure flesh-carving of the original which felt like a more 'street' version of stuff like Symphonies of Sickness meets From Enslavement to Obliteration. But that said, for any of its flaws, I really preferred the original to this, even if it wore influences a little more boldly on its sleeves, I just feel like it hit me a lot harder then than this one does now. So, if you were fond of Gore Metal 1998, as I am, I really don't know that I can give this a recommendation. It doesn't lack that level of energy, and the vocal change is surely a good one, but maybe one I'd like to hear them explore more on an album of new content altogether. The songs overall on this simply do not 'fire' the originals, and if I want some organ-grinding sickness, I'd rather go with those. But if you're open to a mildly altered mutation of the tunes, with a few different musicians in the mix (but a lot of the original guys doing guest spots), then this is by no means bad. Maybe the creator really wanted it to sound like this all along? I just won't reach for it over Gore Metal, Slaughtercult, Anatomy of Destiny, or even the last two albums for that matter, and time is in short supply these days, so it's not much more than an ugly curiosity I'll forget about. But it's nothing to get my panties in a bunch over, unless of course it leads to Slaughtercult 2.0. Don't do it, guys!
Verdict: Indifference [6.75/10]