FIRE & DAMNATION
How can a band that openly acknowledges their influence as Slayer be bad? Obviously, it could be, but it certainly isn't here. Having not released an album since 1987, Exumer storms back onto the scene with a killer collection of Thrash that will have fans of everyone from Slayer to Havok moshing around in ecstasy. FIRE & DAMNATION is a seriously punishing thrash album powered by ripping riffs and chord changes that the mighty Slayer would be proud of had they written them themselves.
The Slayer comparisons have always been there with Exumer, and it's no different now. Listening to punishing material like "Walking The Fire" will showcase quickly just why this comparison will always be made for Exumer. Ray Mensh and HK are absolutely crushing guitarists creating riffs that are just monstrous. Songs like "Fallen Saint" have a simply massive guitar sound; raging riffs and a screaming solo that just rips through the wall of metal insanity they are creating throughout. When the guitars aren't center stage, vocalist Mem V. Stein barks out raw lyric after raw lyric. He's definitely an old school barker that knows how to spit aggression with every word he records. He does have a bit of vocal range, as he showcases on the lone oddball of the album, "Crushing Point" (a song that feels more like a Pro-Pain song with its gang vocal chorus). The band is rounded out by Matthias Kassner on drums and T. Schiavo on bass. They lay in a strong enough foundation, although like most material of this style, the bass lines are fairly invisible. Every song is fast, furious, and requires a powerful bottom end that transitions tempos fluidly. Kassner and Schiavo do this very well here.
PITRIFF RATING - 89/100 - Slayer fan here...one that likes bands that take their influence from them. Exumer may have taken 25 years between albums, but they kept their core sound intact upon their return. FIRE & DAMNATION is an almost certain pleaser for fans of Slayer, or any Thrash Metal for that matter. This is simply a crushing, powerful release.