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Exmortus: In Hatred's Flame

In Hatred's Flame by California's Exmortus was originally self-released in 2007, but thanks to their recent signing to Heavy Artillery Records has been given a new lease on life. This is interesting stuff to say the least, an odd combination of old-school thrash, death metal, NWOBHM, and neo-classical speed metal, so expect to hear influences from Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen, Cacophany, Testament, Deicide, Judas Priest, and Exodus, among many others. Funny thing is, it all works. Growling death metal vocals combat crushing, technical thrash riffs, intricate drum fills, and blazing, sweep picked neo-classical guitar solos. The galloping "Onward to Battle" is a perfect example of all that is going on here, complex riffery & lightning leads flying about the mix amidst pummeling rhythms and brutal vocals, while "Valor and Might" shows off some pretty impressive harmony guitar lines and jackhammer drum work. "Aces of War" starts off with some acrobatic shred guitar lines and wild drum fills, ultimately turning into one hell of an exciting metal instrumental. Elsewhere, you get brutal death metal with "Onslaught", crushing thrash/death hybrid on "Wrath of Vengeance", and complex yet melodic thrash on the title track as well as "Fimbulwinter".

Overall, some very solid metal here on In Hatred's Flame, and I think as this band matures we are going to see some great things from them. In the future the group might want to mix up the vocals a bit, as they tend to be a tad one-dimensional, and they should vary the tempos of the songs so not every one of them delivers at mach10 speed. Otherwise these guys are onto something and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

Track Listing
1. In Hatred's Flame
2. Triumph by Fire
3. War Gods
4. Onward to Battle
5. Valor and Might
6. Axes of War
7. Glory on the Battlefield
8. Onslaught
9. Storms
10. Wrath of Vengeance
11. Fimbulwinter

Added: January 3rd 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Heavy Artillery Records
Hits: 2109
Language: english

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