Exmortus’s third album, “Slave to the Sword,” is a shredder’s wet dream and one of my most anticipated metal albums of 2014. After quite a few listens, I decided to finally jot down my complete thoughts on it. As with previous work from Exmortus, you have to fully digest an album before making a knee-jerk reaction to it.
As you would expect from Exmortus, the riffs are king to their music. The shredding riffs and hypnotic lead fills are what draws the listen in and keeps them coming back for me. While paying homage to many of the 80’s classic thrash bands musically, they could not be more different vocally. For my tastes, I was never sold on the vocals. It is not that they are bad by any stretch of the imagination, but they do not fit the thrash metal nor the power metal side of the band. With each passing listen though, I have came to the conclusion that the vocals are the only proper choice of vocals to use on the album. What seemed like an imperfect fit now seems perfect.
After the crushing opening track, Rising, the band comes back with the title track, Slave to the Sword, which is a powerful thrash gem. Generic in many ways, but so crushing in others. The madness just continues on further and further with each passing track. There is no weak spot on the album – just a series of nasty riffs and kick-ass songs.
With all of the thrash riffs that encompass, the last thing that you may expect would be a Beethoven cover of Moonlight Sonata (Act 3), but it just makes perfect sense with the talents of this band. After listening to this precise cover with the surgically performed lead sections, it all makes sense.
I have to admit that many bands that I am eagerly awaiting the releases for end up letting me down more often than not, but Exmortus has proven that they are just starting their metal revolution and have so much more to offer.