Exumer – “The Raging Tides” (Metal Blade Records)
Neck snapping thrash from German masters Exumer! Formed by vocalist/bassist Mem V. Stein and guitarist Ray Mensh back in ’85, Exumer released not one but two cult releases in “Possessed by Fire” (1986) and “Rising from the Sea” (1987), but sadly folded due to endless line up changes. Reactivated through fan demand by Wacken 2001, things slowly started to come together around 2009 whereupon the band undertook a comeback tour, culminating in the release of 2012’s “Fire & Damnation” album, which brought the band back onto a scene that had never forgotten them. Since then things have really taken off with shows across the globe between 2012-2015 (Bang Your Head Festival in Germany, South and North American Offensive tour, Blastfest in Norway, European Frost and Fire tour, Wacken, Headbangers Open Air) further reinforcing the band’s cult status among the ranks of classic thrash metal acts in the world! “The Raging Tides” shows exactly what this band is all about and the cult fervor around them – authentic German 80s thrash executed by original thrashers as they did back in their day!! With a definite nod towards 80s Slayer, Mem V. Stein‘s rhyming thrash slang vocals definitely sound like Tom Araya, and everything else takes from the best of that era, from massive buzzsaw guitars to chopping riffs to nasty jumping licks – all delivered either at fast or neck breaking speed on raging numbers like ‘Welcome To Hellfire’, ‘Catatonic’ and ‘Sinister Souls’. That said, there are plenty of tasteful melodies and solos in Ray Mensh and Marc B’s guitars that elevate the material and keep each song fresh rather than falling into an endless thrash dirge. Conceptually and lyrically matching the music, “The Raging Tides” is based on human suffering around the globe, be it caused by war, poverty or ideology, lending even more furor to the fierce sound as reflected by Stein’s outraged vocals. Definitely a deliberate and violent thrash attack to satiate their legion of fans across the globe, “The Raging Tides” brings Exumer once again to the fore while staying entirely true to their roots.