Album Review: Exhorder - Defectum Omnium

Album Review: Exhorder - Defectum Omnium

Formed in 1986, Exhorder’s journey has proven to be exciting, yet tumultuous. After a twenty-seven-year absence following their final Roadrunner Records release in 1992, Exhorder released an album that many considered to be a massive comeback record with Mourn the Southern Skies in October of 2019 through Nuclear Blast Records. Exhorder presents yet again via Nuclear Blast their fourth full-length album, Defectum Omnium, the Latin phrase for "The Failure of All".

Vocalist Kyle Thomas leads the charge with determination, drive and power. Add the recruitment of ex-Cannibal Corpse legend Pat O'Brien on guitars, the new line-up will not only see the band through, but propel them to the next stage of their career.

Kyle Thomas explains that the album title is representative of the current state of affairs that the world is in:

"The world is a dumpster fire, and we are all complicit. People have been talking about, ‘...viruses killing us off, blah-blah, blah...', when in actuality WE are the virus to the Earth. Mother Nature is simply trying to shake off the fleas, and her ‘viruses’ are the antibodies combating US. Earth will survive, and we will join the dinosaurs, wooly mammoths, and saber-toothed tigers soon enough in her history."

'Wrath of Prophecies' rips you apart from the very first second with furious riffage, thunderous drums and commanding, screaming vocals with a sprinkling of southern attitude. The contrasting tempos between the lightning speed verses and chugging, sludgey yet groove-laced choruses and solos demonstrate the band's expert ability in keeping things interesting. 'Under the Gaslight' begins with a heavy bassline and rolling drum beat before Kyle roars out of nowhere. A muscular onslaught of groove-metal battering you in the face relentlessly. 'Forever and Beyond Repair' continues the charge with a violent tidal wave of savage groove but slows down to a trudging, mid-tempo stomp and melodic riffs before the flying solo takes over. 'The Tale of Unsound Minds' is sinister in its introduction with a Slayer-esque atmosphere about it. Kyle's crooning vocals creep up on you and lull you in to the murky deep of this sludgey, crushing offering.

'Divide and Conquer' picks up the pace once more with a consistent stampede of technical riffage and a rolling storm of drums. Much like its predecessor, it slows briefly for a groovey repreave before charging forward again. 'Year of the Goat' begins with an echoy, death metal style riff before the cacophony of thrashing madness kicks it in to gear. This is followed by 'Taken by Flames' which incorporates that Slayer-esque, sinister sense of foreboding that we are all familiar with but with a southern edge of flexing power. Then suddenly, the pace is quickened and the blistering blast beats and soaring solos explode out of nowhere. 'Defectum Omnium/Stolen Hope' is the shining diamond in the crown of this record. A massive 7 minute long monster, it begins with haunting church chants and vocalisations which slowly build with an eerie atmosphere, quietly fading out to introduce furious riffage and rampant drums. This track twists and turns in every direction as it suddenly slows down to a swinging hammer of pure bluesy groove, a devastating slab of evil, sludgey, heavy metal with dense basslines and savage riffs. Kyle's vocals are charismatic, commanding and  the power is beyond comprehension.

Next up, 'Three Stages of Life/Lacing the Well' introduces a somber acoustic moment which floats with intricacy and softness. However, it's not long before the barbarity rips you open with more sledgehammer riffs, intense drums and crushing basslines. 'Sedition' is a short, old school thrash attack on the senses at less than 3 minutes long that packs a serious punch full of pulsing attitude. 'Desensitized' is the record's penultimate track which is brimming with muscular energy and despite it descending in to its conclusion, the pressure is still very much there as you're battered in to submission. A rampaging race of frantic shredding and addictive chants. Finally, 'Your Six' broods its way through a sludgey groove stomp full of pulsating energy and a swinging anvil of power.

Exhorder have always been one of those bands that are really difficult to categorise. Thrash, sludge, groove, hints of death and hardcore all rolled in to one. Nevertheless, whatever it is that they decide to do, they do it remarkably well. Defectum Omnium is a snarling, riotous, venomous onslaught of killer riffs, brutal thunderous attitude and an unstoppable bulldozer of solid Heavy Metal.

Rating: 7.5/10
Release Date: March 8th 2024
Released By: Nuclear Blast Records
FFO: Pantera, Crowbar, Testament, Death Angel

Track List

01 - Wrath of Prophecies
02 - Under the Gaslight
03 - Forever and Beyond Despair
04 - The Tale of Unsound Minds
05 - Divide and Conquer
06 - Year of the Goat
07 - Taken by Flames
08 - Defectum Omnium - Stolen Hope    
09 - Three Stages of Truth - Lacing the Well
10 - Sedition
11 - Desensitized
12 - Your Six

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