Sometimes bands can sell themselves with one aspect of their sound. One part of a band is good enough to attract people to check them out. One such band is Exmortus. Their most recent album, “ The Sound of Steel” is 100% driven by the guitar, and holy hell does it work. The guitars on this album is tremendous, and with the support of solid drumming, and a decent vocal performance, make this an album not to miss. “Make Haste” opens this album, and does so with the guitar at high speed. This song shows off the band at the middle of their sound. This perfect mix of the band’s use of thrash and death metal works really well, as does the mix of heaviness and melody.
“Flesh of Feast” slows down the album a bit, but is a very solid song. The band leans more into the thrash side of this song, and the shredding guitar is awesome. “Into the Maw of Hell” is the next song, and starts off slow before picking up. The writing is solid here, and the solo is definitely worth checking out. Up next is “To the Ends of the Earth”, which is a longer song at almost six minutes in length. This song is a fast and heavy, with a solid riff to carry the song at the beginning. This song is much more death metal influenced, changing up the style and adding some much needed to variation to the album. “A Minor Instrumental” is up next, and surprisingly is an instrumental. This is a solid melodic thrash song. Here the guitars are really front and center, and this song is one of the most enjoyable instrumentals I’ve listened to recently.
“Strength and Honor” is a slower paced song that is pretty damn heavy. It has a nice early solo before the trash influence takes over. There are chant vocals on here, but they’re an example of chant done right. “Turn the Tide” opens with a really cool dual melody, and brings the mix of death and thrash back. There’s multiple solos on here that are well done. The lead guitar is also worth mentioning. Up next is “Tempest” has a nice opening guitar, before launching into the fast and heavy main body. This song is another instrumental, and a much more intense one than the previous song, and features some great shredding. “Riders of Doom” is next, and no surprise, opens with a nice guitar. While this song isn’t an instrumental, a large section of it is, and is only bookended by vocal sections. This is a very solid second-half track, and one to check out.
We end on “Victory or Death!”, a fast, thrashy song with some awesome riffs. The song ends with a good solo, ending the album on a good note. This is a fun as hell album. While it’s not perfect, most notably being repetitive in some parts, but this is easily one of the most fun I’ve had listening to an album lately. If you like thrash or death metal, awesome guitars, or fun as hell albums, then this is for you.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Review by Sam Hookom