For the Horde 7”
With a death metal name like Exmortus, going in I figured I knew what to expect. The name’s the only death metal part of the band, and thank God for that. These guys get thrash right, with a very Annihilator-esque sound, very welcome in these days of power punk and death metal.
“For the Horde” features the same driving guitars and rhythm attack as all the classic thrash bands ever did, complete with the growly-yet-coherent vocals favored by Annihilator and other acts that weren’t willing to all the way to the grumbling incoherence of death metal. It opens with the most Mettalica-ish guitar-based opening before being joined by Conan Moreno’s snarling vocals. This marriage of sounds brings one back a long ways - if one can remember as far back as me – to the joy of discovering a new band as great as the bands you loved.
The B-side tune covers Yngwie Malmsteen’s “As Above, So Below.” Covering, as it does, one of thrash metal’s favorite tropes of death and the undead and the sinister side of mysticism, the track holds up well, and guitarists Moreno and David Rivera hold their own on a tune penned by one of the 1980s’ most gifted metal guitarists, and the solo embedded in the center of this tune kicks some righteous ass.
The whole enterprise would fall apart without the gifted support of bassist Michael Cosio and Mario Moreno (cousin to vocalist/guitarist Conan) on drums. Based on these two tunes alone (and it’s all I’ve got to go on right now) I sincerely hope Exmortus gifts the world with more, much more of this pure thrashy excellence.