ALBUM REVIEW: Exmortus – Necrophony

Exmortus did nothing halfway when orchestrating their epic, hourlong, quasi-conceptual new record, Necrophony (Nuclear Blast Records).

Complex, technical, and masterfully performed, the Californians put a keen emphasis on outlining an album that plays like a symphony (of the dead).
However, aside from a smattering of interludes, the thirteen songs are as alive as ever, brimming with remarkably involved compositions. There is no shortage whatsoever of towering, slithering, meandering guitar solos. The musicianship becomes almost comical and the guitar fills aplenty.
Yet, somehow Exmortus pull it off without fail, in a way that eschews arrogant showmanship. ‘Mask Of Red Death’ exudes superb intricacy; steady, concentrated drumming paired with unhinged string work present an in-your-ear preview of what to expect.
If the band wanted to, they easily could have gotten two records out of Necrophony. The sheer abundance of riffs, solos and professionally acrobatic songwriting make for an incredibly involved foray. ‘Oathbreaker’ is unwavering, adept, involved. Not to mention ‘Mind Of Metal’, yet another display of talent and vision.
Funnily enough, ‘Storm Of Strings’ is the fifth song featured, but didn’t that storm kick off four tracks before that? Lone original member Jadran ConanGonzalez (also vocals) tag teams with Chase Becker, which is to say the two consistently challenge one another in a glorified staring contest. Anything you can do, I can do better.
Number six in the band’s discography, Necrophony is the first with Nuclear Blast after releasing the last three with Prosthetic.

And perhaps it’s indicative of Exmortus’s progression through the thrash metal ranks.
It’s been over twenty years since the group formed (albeit in a much different iteration), yet instead of getting better with every release, they’ve actually been close to top-notch ever since their 2008 debut. Crisply produced and musically sensational, it’s never anything less than 100 percent.
So prepare yourself for a lengthy exhibition of dynamic, aggressive and impressive thrash metal, and good luck sitting down for the entire performance. Or really any of it.

Buy the album here:

8 / 10