Rating:
7.3
Exumer - Fire & Damnation
10 April 2012


01. Fire & Damnation
02. Vermin Of The Sky
03. The Weakest Limb
04. A New Morality
05. Waking The Fire
06. Fallen Saint
07. Crushing Point
08. Devil Chaser
09. I Dare You
10. Tribal Furies
11. Destructive Solution [live bonus]
12. A Mortal In Black [live bonus]
13. Xiron Darkstar [live bonus]


When a band releases its first full-length album in 25 years, the initial reaction is why? And unless ample reasons can be found, the suspicion of milking the sacred cow looms blasphemously in the mind.

Exumer's 2012 release Fire And Damnation is by no means a shameless cash-grab, but nor does it constitute the comeback of the century.

The first thing to note is that there just isn't a whole lot of material here. With a running time of thirty three and a half minutes, and taking into account two rerecorded songs from their first two full lengths, as well as two tracks released in the last few years (2009's Waking The Fire demo and 2012's Fire And Damnation single) one yearns for fulfillment of the cliché—quality over quantity.

There certainly is quality to be found.

The most immediately apparent and inevitable improvement is in the production: This record is cleaner than an unused hospital bed, which compliments the surgical precision of the musicianship. Exumer are playing tighter than ever before, albeit sacrificing somewhat the careless intensity of their prior works. The modernized recording also opens up a thunderous bottom end, meaning this album packs a crueller punch at higher decibels.

In addition to production, or perhaps in part a result of it, original vocalist from the debut Possessed By Fire album Mem Von Stein is all but unrecognizable. However, his transformation from grainy screaming to a raspier shouting style fits Exumer's style of thrash to an inverted "t".

Having carved themselves a niche in the 1980s German thrash scene, Exumer has historically been overshadowed by fellow Deutchlanders such as Sodom and Kreator. However, with both aforementioned bands departing from their original sound (Kreator taking a melodic turn and Sodom displaying preference for mid-tempo war ballads), Exumer is possibly more relevant now than at their inception.

Fire And Damnation showcases simplistic song-writing, which is instantly gratifying if a bit uninspired. The result is a brainless good time, symptomatic of excessive head-banging. From the first prototypical riff of the title-track, the album aims straight for the throat, eventually loosening its grip at the half-way point. Exumer then resort to repeating old material, peppered with a few weaker original tracks.

On the subject of the two self-covers, the question once again presents itself. Why? Why choose to include a modernized rendition of "Fallen Saint", a track that has been heavily criticized for its unsettling similarity to Slayer's "Black Magic"? Surely "Destructive Solution" or "Xiron Darkstar" would have been more effective at alluding to Exumer's merciless aggression and stylistic diversity of years past (although these do appear as live bonus tracks). The second recycled song is "I Dare You" off the tepidly acclaimed Rising From The Sea album. While the song does feature some brain-bruising instrumentalism, the lyrics could pass as Nuclear Assault style self-satire if they didn't reek of ill-suited seriousness.

Overall, thrash enthusiasts can purchase this album assured of expectations met, but not exceeded.


Band profile: Exumer
Album: Fire & Damnation


 


written by Lemski | 28.03.2012



Comments

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Boxcar Willy - 28.03.2012 at 14:35  
Who are you?
Mindheist - 28.03.2012 at 14:44  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 28.03.2012 at 14:35

Who are you?

I think you should focus on the review rather than the identity of the reviewer
!J.O.O.E.! - 28.03.2012 at 14:53  
Written by Mindheist on 28.03.2012 at 14:44

I think you should focus on the review rather than the identity of the reviewer

Actually it seems no one knows who this guy is so far more intrigued by his identity than the review
Mr. Doctor - 28.03.2012 at 14:56  
Written by Mindheist on 28.03.2012 at 14:44

Written by Boxcar Willy on 28.03.2012 at 14:35

Who are you?
I think you should focus on the review rather than the identity of the reviewer


He wasn't the first one to raise that question though. A couple of staff and elites also wondered the same thing yesterday and still don't really know. so yeah... I am in fact far more intrigued than the band.

But in the end... this review is better than a good chunk of stuff around here. I like it.
3rdWorld - 28.03.2012 at 14:58  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 28.03.2012 at 14:35

Who are you?

backed hard.
Mindheist - 28.03.2012 at 15:06  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 28.03.2012 at 14:53

Actually it seems no one knows who this guy is so far more intrigued by his identity than the review

He's from Calgary, Canada; he's got to be a friend of Doc's.

Written by Mr. Doctor on 28.03.2012 at 14:56

this review is better than a good chunk of stuff around here. I like it.

I second that.
Lemski - 28.03.2012 at 17:46  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 28.03.2012 at 14:35

Who are you?


You know Willy, I ask myself the same thing every day.
The best I can come up with is that my name is Ian, and I will be doing some stuff on here from now on.
Cynic Metalhead - 28.03.2012 at 17:50  
It's look promising. need to check this out soon.
Boxcar Willy - 28.03.2012 at 18:23  
Written by Lemski on 28.03.2012 at 17:46

Written by Boxcar Willy on 28.03.2012 at 14:35

Who are you?


You know Willy, I ask myself the same thing every day.
The best I can come up with is that my name is Ian, and I will be doing some stuff on here from now on.

Alrighty, nice to meet you Ian, I assume you're a friend of Doc's?

Anyway I made the comment because I've never
Seen you here, and that made me a little suspicious.

Anyway, nice Review! Hope to see more from you
Alex Fenger - 28.03.2012 at 19:31  
Really good review Lemski, i might actually check this out considering the bands past.
Guib - 28.03.2012 at 21:14  
Sounds like a great album anyways ! Im gonna buy that for sure...
Mattybu - 28.03.2012 at 22:40  
Awesome review man, read really nicely.

I had not even the slightest inkling that this was coming out... I know Exumer thrashed pretty hard though, I'm checkin' it if I get the chance.
Milena - 12.04.2012 at 21:37  
A very late welcome to front-page reviewing!
Lemski - 13.04.2012 at 11:50  
Written by Milena on 12.04.2012 at 21:37

A very late welcome to front-page reviewing!

Thanks, Milena Is it?
and gratitude towards everyone for the positive comments.
I hope to become a regular here, because this site rules.
- Ian
Milena - 13.04.2012 at 22:12  
Written by Lemski on 13.04.2012 at 11:50

Thanks, Milena Is it?
and gratitude towards everyone for the positive comments.
I hope to become a regular here, because this site rules.
- Ian

It is, and you should.
Mattybu - 12.05.2012 at 08:09  
Just picked this one up today. Review seems very accurate. Serviceable, has its moments, but nothing special.

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