REVIEW: EXUMER – “Hostile Defiance”
There is something about thrash metal that taps into the vital essence of life. The knife-sharp riffs and roiling rhythms drill into our primordial brains. Thrash lets our raging souls run wild. On Exumer’s new album called Hostile Defiance, they exude the savage heart of thrash metal.
Founded by Mem V. Stein (vocals) and Ray Mensh (guitar), Exumer includes T. Schiavo (bass), Matthias K. (drums) and Marc B (guitars). The band got their start back in 1985 as thrash was being born. After more than twenty years on hiatus, Exumer slammed back into action with their 2012 comeback album Fire & Damnation and the furious metal feast on The Raging Tides in 2016.
The new Hostile Defiance album strikes quickly and deadly with the opening title track. V. Stein’s percussive vocal delivery reminds me of Steve Souza of Exodus. Bursts of vocal barrage tightly coupled with the attack of the song as a whole. The lyrics “We are mean and hostile, defiant to the end” are a bit cliché, but it doesn’t matter. This jackhammer of a song makes you want to get up and get crazy.
Each song on Hostile Defiance is piercing and explosive. The drumming of Mattias K. is crushing on each song. They provide a solid foundation for the guitars to mount a frontal assault. The guitars sound feral with a vicious bite. The mix and tone of the instruments give the music force and fire making the album a joy to listen.
Another excellent song on this album is “Dust Eater”. It is a mid-paced romper stomper. A perfect blend of punch and bounce that will certainly incite a mosh pit when played live. “Descent” channels a blackened Slayer-esque vibe using the exotic evil inherent in the Phrygian mode.
A gem on Exumer’s Hostile Defiance album is the resurrection of the Scorpion’s pre-thrash tune called “He’s A Woman – She’s a Man”. They have taken the song’s original heavy riffs and put them on Exumer thrash metal steroids. With chain-gun guitars blazing, this is a brilliant addition to an extremely fun album.
Hostile Defiance by Exumer is rip-roaring thrash fest. The music is bold and brash. Just as you would hope from any powerful thrash album, Exumer have captured the strength and tenacity of their music on this album. Hostile Defiance will have you boiling with rage and throwing a middle finger at those you seek to hold you back in life. Who cares if Exumer aren’t breaking any new ground; this album will fuel any metalhead’s need for speed and power.