Wednesday 29 January 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Exhumation, “Eleventh Formulae”

By: Thomas Gonzales

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 28/02/2020
Label: Pulverized Records

“Eleventh Formulae” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Mors Gloria Est
2. Inferno Dwellers
3. Formulae I: Malediction Bells
4. Grandeur Dawn
5. Vicious Ecstasy
6. Arcane Dance
7. Formulae II: Ironheart Rapture
8. Ominous Chants
9. Blood Trails
10. Perdition Spells
11. Formulae III: Eleventh Vessel

The Review:

ExhumationsEleventh Formulae” is an album 6 years in the making. Formed in 2008, Exhumation follows their 2014 Sophomore release “Opus Death” with yet another blistering example of raw feral Death Metal. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Sevid Salasughi, there is a distinct personality to Exhumation’s style of music. It is reminiscent of classic 90s Death and Thrash Metal, but filled with enough blackened subgenre sensibilities to keep them from being swallowed in the ever-deep tar pit of bands by the same name.

Befitting of a group whose members go by the monikers Ghoul and Bones, the band’s lyrical focus is on themes of darkness and death, and when laid over the thrashing drum beats, and gnarled vocals, the musical atmosphere creates a sonic landscape of chaos. While the album isn’t particularly long, it succeeds instead as an exhaustive rise and fall of the pulse, relenting only for soft piano or spoken word interludes.

It’s these bizarre transitions that help to make “Eleventh Formulae” stand out. One moment the listener is caught in the very familiar tide of guitar riffs, and the next, they are being lulled by a melody that shouldn’t even exist in this sonosphere, before crashing back down into the cacophony. Unlike some of their peers who’ve adopted flashy guitar solos and extensive lead segments, Exhumation likes to keep things simple, relying on the songs as an unbroken piece with only an occasional flourish to raise the tension.

One track that stands out in particular, is the song “Inferno Dwellers”. Bones’ raspy vocals remind the listener of the early days of black metal, alongside the scratchy distorted guitar, and blast beats, it’s a refreshingly traditional return to form with only a few splashes of tremolo picking or growls to keep things interesting. Follow this up with “Malediction Bells”, and you may forget this isn’t a second wave Extreme Metal album.

For fans of early Morbid Angel, Obliteration, Repugnant & Putrid, “Eleventh Formulae” will be released on vinyl with 100 copies on Bone Vinyl (Pulverised Exclusive), 100 copies on Oxblood Vinyl (Cudgel Exclusive) and 300 copies on Black Vinyl, with cover artwork and additional illustrations by B. Mors, whom had also previously provided artwork on the “Opus Death” album. “Eleventh Formulae” showcases a slew of guest musicians such as S. Iblis of Possession, and T. Zama of the now-defunct Sewercide, which for fans of genre should serve as a reassurance that they're in for a good time.

“Eleventh Formulae” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook