Those blood-thirsty, gore-worshiping carnivores known as EXHUMED are back with their first batch of new material since 2003's "Anatomy Is Destiny" and the folks at PETA couldn't be more upset. Since re-emerging from the depths for "All Guts, No Glory", band lifer Matt Harvey has set to tape some of the catchiest, grind-laden, old-school death metal of his lengthy career. Hell, the dude has been at it since the tender age of 15, so one would have to assume he knows what he's doing. One would be right with that assumption.
"All Guts, No Glory" is a relentless affair from the word go. The opening title track strikes like SLAYER on a strict diet of raw meat with its crash-into-the-wall dynamics and orgiastic whammy bar-ing. This flows perfectly into the bludgeoning "As Hammer To Anvil", which gives the listener a good idea of the violence EXHUMED has in store for the remainder of the album. Where the aforementioned uses razor sharp, thrash-styled riffing to latch onto your eardrums, "Your Funeral, My Feast" is predominately a balls-out grinder that allows Harvey's scream-along chorus vocals to hook you in. A fair amount of melodic lead work gives this song even greater appeal. The doomy outro feeds nicely into the moody opening seconds of "Through Cadaver Eyes". It's not long before this one breaks out into reckless abandon. Keeping up with the already furious pace of the album, "Death Knell" and "I Rot Within" both bring more grinding death fury flavored with harmonized riffs and solos that shred like it's 1992. The latter features some very cool minor scale melodies that adds a welcome bit of eeriness to the mix. "Distorted and Twisted Into Form", "Dis-assembly Line" and "Necrotized" all offer loads of amped-up, classic thrash for infectious results. The closer, "So Let It Be Rotten…So Let It Be Done" is a gore metal anthem for the ages. Hyperactive riffing topped with Harvey's enraged snarl all structured into a tune that calls for mandatory pit violence.
There was little doubt that the return of EXHUMED would send the initiated and faithful into an absolute frenzy. The band's pedigree and legacy are enough that longtime fans would swarm to this like flies to a corpse. What few probably expected is this album's ability to sink into the ears of those who got into extreme music after the turn of the century. Well, the breakdown boys and tech-heads might turn their noses up at first, but those dudes need the kind of street-wise schooling that this well-mixed and intensely aggressive album has to offer. My only real bitch about "All Guts, No Glory" is that it blew the speakers in my truck. Worth it.