Five years after the release of their acclaimed debut album Bloodcurdling Tool of Digestion, Italian metallers Exhumer unleash its eagerly anticipated successor in the grievous furious shape of Degraded by Sepsis. A torrent of voracious energy and spiteful craft, the album is a swift and thrilling pestilence of brutal death metal which chews up ears and senses whilst rewarding their blood stained carcasses with a thoroughly pleasing scourge of invention and technical violence. It is not a release without flaws or arguably has one issue certainly, but nevertheless stands as a confrontation which returns the band to the frontline of extreme metal.
Formed in 2004 by guitarist Marco “Furiogrind” Aromatario, the band made its first impression in the local underground scene with the Sick & Deviance demo of the same year. Line-up changes followed as did their continually driven attack on the live arena. The release of Bloodcurdling Tool of Digestion in 2008 brought Exhumer into a worldwide awareness, the album lodged firmly in many end of year best death metal lists whilst the band itself under took their debut European tour not long after as well as appearing at numerous festivals across the likes of Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. With the band continuing to ignite stages since and with vocalist Diego Fanelli, bassist Alyosha Danisi, and drummer Paolo D’Amato alongside Aromatario, the band turns predator of the senses once again with the Comatose Music released Degraded by Sepsis.
Admire Your Ending graces the entrance of the album with a sinister instrumental soaked in bedlam and mental provocation, its demonic breath a hint of things to come without revealing the extent of the violation impending which soon bears its claws with Vapours of Cadaveric Mucilage. Savage and carnivorous, the track is a torrid speeding scourge of ruinous rhythmic aggression and grinding voracious riffing driven on by the excellent guttural vocals. With the rabidity which soaks every moment of the album, the song alone leaves senses and thoughts exhausted whilst the appetite for the assault comes with strong hunger.
As the following Pungent Aroma of Uterine Necrosis and Effervescence of Corroded Coarse Remains carnally expose the senses and emotions with their exhaustive sonic brutality, the previously mentioned problem with the album shows itself a nagging annoyance. It may just be down to the fact that the promo for the album was a digital one, a format that can come polluted, but the production on the release does it no justice at all, its touch shallow and smothering creating frustrating smog across the music. The fact that the tracks can still impose their explosive qualities through the stifling conditions is an indication of their strengths and potency but as said it might just be the version Degraded by Sepsis came in that is the cause and once eager hands are on the CD the full majesty of the album can be explored. Nevertheless both tracks are still epidemically contagious, grooves and hooks insatiable and irresistible within the sprawling tempests whilst riffs and vocals simply enslave as equally as the twisting invention.
The likes of the intensive Foaming Secretions, the track a slaughter of the synapses which once it has caused full devastation and lustful greed takes its unbridled attack into a crawling stalking of the ears, the maniacal Enzimas Podridas, and the deliciously cruel sonic taunting spawned by Adipocere Corporal Glue continue the impressive ravaging. They all come with the same sadistic charm and ferocious turn of invention as well as a mutual senses grinding malignancy but each holds a threatening individualism which the band furthers across Degraded by Sepsis with the two instrumentals Misery, which lies within that trio of furies and Scent of Decomposition which follows them. The two tracks provide a rich evocative respite from the sonic scarring, though the haunting intimidation of the pieces still challenges nerves as the imagination explores the corners and depths of their musical narrative before being thrust once more into the fire.
The title track and the closing Putrescine provide that final furnace of intensity and annihilating consumption bringing the excellent confrontation to a blood boiling close. The first of the pair weaves a provocative melodic web around furious sonic terrorism to exploit further the striding imagination whilst its successor is a vicious brawl leaving senses and strength labouring before its primal malevolence.
Exhumer has uncaged a beast in Degraded by Sepsis that is thoroughly enjoyable and openly impressive, but with that question mark against the production misses grabbing the fullest acclaim, though inventively and musically it is masterful. A should investigate release for those with an appetite for the likes of Suffocation, Devourment, and Cryptopsy
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