Sunday, March 25, 2012

Exumer-Fire and damnation

Horns Up Rocks Exumer Fire & Damnation Album Cover
Metal Blade

Every band seems to come back at one time or another. I am rarely surprised by who comes back. It's what they do this time around that matters. Some bands are content to just be a copy of themselves, others go in a different musical direction, but the most effective route is usually in taking what worked the first time around and building around that. Germany's Exumer knocked out two albums back in the 80's before calling it quite in 1990. They reformed briefly in 2001, but more line-up changes seem to signal another end for the band. However in 2009 the line-up seemed more stable and a they put together a demo so a real comeback seemed possible and now the full length album is upon us. They have two members from the old days with guitarist Ray Mensh and Mem Von Stein (who was with the for a couple of years in the 80's). Rounding out the line-up are bassist Tony Shiavo,guitarist H.K. and drummer Matthias Kassner.So what does this version of the band sound like a quarter of a century after their last album? No surprise this is 80's style thrash which is fine by me because I'm all for a band sticking with what they know. Exumer excel with wide open, straight ahead stompers like "Vermin of the sky", "A new morality" and "Fallen saint". Actually the first six tracks are all fairly impressive. After that the album shows some shortcomings. "Crushing point" isn't all that crushing with a rather lukewarm pace and it's surprising tedious for a song that's barely three minutes long. "Devil chaser" is a little better and closer to the quality of the earlier tracks although it never quite explodes. "I dare you" comes on with an adequate riff, but the lame lyrics and barking vocals soon sink it. Easily the weakest song on the album. The closer "Tribal Furies" should have a monster to end this album on the right foot. It's a decent track, but it's doesn't have near the momentum of the majority of this album. So what we get here is about 2/3 of a really good album with a couple of filler tracks tossed in at the end. Still considering how long this band has been out of action this is a decent comeback album.

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