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Exhorder: The Law (remaster)

While thrash metal outfit Exhorder delivered a stunningly raw and aggressive debut with Slaughter In The Vatican, their follow up album The Law, which proved to be their last, found them toning things down a bit sonically, even incorporating a funk element as far as the actual rhythms go. Vocalist Kyle Thomas sounds as pissed off as ever, yet he fines tunes his approach ever so slightly, focusing more on melody and emotion as opposed to ripping through each track with a reckless abandon, granted it was this kind of reckless abandon from everyone in Exhorder which helped make Slaughter the classic album it is. The twin guitar assault of Vinnie LaBella and Jay Ceravolo are once again a major highlight as their wailing solos and inventive, searing riffs penetrate your speakers with an impressive amount of clarity. Tracks "Unforgiven", "I Am The Cross" and a jaw dropping, spot on cover of Black Sabbath's "Into the Void" find the duo at the height of their creative abilities. Unfortunately as far as the overall sound goes, The Law is inferior to what producer Scott Burns accomplished on Slaughter In The Vatican. Whereas the guitar tones on that album were generally thicker and fuller, the production job here (shared by Rob Beaton and the band themselves) sounds noticeably thinner so the guitar attack is dulled somewhat. The above mentioned funk element primarily comes across in drummer Chris Nail's rhythms, which seem to have considerably more bounce this time around, something which is evident on "Soul Search Me" and "Unborn Again" which actually features a healthy dose of groovy, slap bass.

As far as sophomoric albums go The Law should not be considered a failure, because nothing could be further from the truth. However, it did have the unenviable task of following in the footsteps of Slaughter In The Vatican which in comparison was the sonic equivalent of turning a starving pit bull loose on a bunch of defenseless and unsuspecting poodles. The Law found the band exploring different avenues , concentrating on slightly more complex arrangements and not relying solely on heaping amounnts of straight forward aggression (never a bad thing though). That being said there are still plenty of taut and vicious sounding grooves for the serious thrash metal fan to devour here. Like Slaughter In The Vatican, The Law has been remastered by Metal Mind Productions and issued in their preferred limited edition digipak, which means you'll want to act quickly if you're planning on picking up a copy of this one.

Track Listing
1) Soul Search Me
2) Unforgiven
3) I Am The Cross
4) Unborn Again
5) Into The Void
6) The Truth
7) The Law
8) Incontinence
9) (Cadence Of) The Dirge

Added: November 2nd 2008
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 4072
Language: english

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