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Exumer - "Fire & Damnation" (CD)

Exumer - "Fire & Damnation" CD cover image

"Fire & Damnation" track listing:

1. Fire & Damnation (3:16)
2. Vermin of the Sky (3:16)
3. The Weakest Limb (3:50)
4. New Morality (3:07 )
5. Waking the Fire (3:13)
6. Fallen Saint (3:54)
7. Crushing Point (3:01)
8. Devil Chaser (2:42)
9. I Dare You (3:40)
10. Tribal Furies (3:31)

Reviewed by on April 12, 2012

"'Fire & Damnation' exceeds Exumer's most classic material by light years, truly capturing the pure essence of the old school era which was sorely needed, but could only be truly duplicated by its originating acts."

When I think back at all of the thrash revival albums that have come out in the past two or three years, there are three that stand out: Mortal Sin's "Psychology of Death," Onslaught's "Sounds of Violence" and now Exumer's "Fire & Damnation." Sure, there were others - but these three effectively captured what thrash originally was all about in the '80's. The modern thrash era has its moments and notables, but old school thrash evokes more than just a style, but great memories.

Germany's Exumer was first "resurrected" in 2009, followed by the subsequent re-recruiting of original bassist/vocalist Mem Von Stein (who now handles vocals only) and hopes for a successful reunion itself began to "exhume." This band was one of the most overlooked and underrated of the mid-late '80's. However, confidence was reserved when country mates Vendetta had made an unsuccessful bland return. Exumer was already a step ahead with Von Stein and original guitarist Ray Mensch in the fold. The end result is far better than even I was ever anticipating.

"Fire & Damnation" exceeds Exumer's most classic material by light years, truly capturing the pure essence of the old school era which was sorely needed, but could only be truly duplicated by its originating acts. Classic thrash with 21st century production is a match made in metal heaven. Clocking in at a mere 33.5 minutes - "Fire & Damnation" blazes fast and is over before it starts! The album mixes all the elements of pure thrash greatness that Exodus and Slayer had laid the foundation for. It nearly topples Mortal Sin's "Psychology of Death," a 2011 release that instantly shot to the top of my favorite thrash albums of all time. Exumer presents a blistering assault of speed riffs, often humorous lyrical content, and above all a high level of musicianship. It is as if Exumer had never left.

Check out thrash at its very best in "Vermin of the Sky," "I Dare You," "Devil Chaser," "The Weakest Limb," and candidate for one of the best ever thrash songs "A New Morality." An interesting note is the return of the band's second vocalist/bassist Paul Arakari, who sang on the band's sophomore 1987 LP "Rising from the Sea" and in again 2009 on the demo "Waking the Fire.” Arakari appears as a guest vocalist on the song "Fallen Saint," one of the album's best, and although the styles are distinct, both fit very well with the material. Ironically, "Waking the Fire" also appears on this new release with Mem at the helm.

It is quite clear that Exumer is back to stay, making the first true stab at the old school thrash crown in 2012. With Mem Von Stein residing now in the United States, there is hope for an Exumer tour on these shores. Now, just imagine Exumer, Mortal Sin and Onslaught (which is currently touring the U.S.) as a package deal. Put another seasoned veteran like Destruction and yeah...I'd be the first in line. I am quite certain that the pit at this show would encompass the entirety of every location!

Highs: True old school thrash from thrash veterans actually done right!

Lows: At 33 minutes, the album is over before it starts!

Bottom line: Unearthed from the "fires of damnation," Exumer throttles you with the pure ecstasy of old school thrash!

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)