Californian death metal quartet Exhumed have risen from their slumber to deliver yet another round of meat-grinding and bone-crushing metal. As their sixth full-length album, Necrocracy does not achieve anything beyond sounding like typical death metal fare. But bear in mind that this is typical death metal fare by Exhumed, and as one might expect, it’s hooky, bruising and melodic.
Interestingly, though, Necrocracy is the band’s first studio album to have a title that sounds politically-inspired. After all, “necrocracy” would literally mean a form of government in which the power to rule over the people under its jurisdiction is vested in the dead. But that literal definition didn’t make any sense at all, did it? How can dead people rule over the living? Again, sound logic is not what one would look for in the music of guys like Exhumed, so just chuckle at the nonsensical title and move along. In fact, a quick glance at the track titles (‘Coins Upon The Eyes’, ‘Sickened’, ‘Carrion Call’, ‘The Rotting’ etc.) would confirm one’s suspicions that the lyrics probably have nothing much to do with politics.
Vocalist Matt Harvey still excels at sounding as disgusting as possible when growling. The man makes filthy vomiting-like sounds with ease and constantly spits out lines at a rapidfire pace; anyone whose ears are not conditioned for death metal is certain to pass out in abhorrence. There are also extra-meaty riffs and particularly airy drumming that come together nicely on more than one occasion (‘Dysmorphic’, ‘(So Passes) The Glory Of Death’), a thunderous introduction comprising of furious double-bass kicks and the low rumble of the bass guitar (‘Necrocracy’), and numerous soaring guitar solos that ought to keep most people returning to the record for more spins.
Necrocracy is not the manifesto that its cover artwork might seem to suggest. It is simply good ol’ gore-obsessed death metal at its core. Just filter out its pseudo-political elements and headbang to it hard with the speaker volume cranked all the way up.