Ah, Exmortus heats up another day in metal-dom! Stark black and white imagery, a dragon, swords, horns, a battle, a horde, scantily-clad women, blood, and fire: these California natives have heavy metal’s best and brightest tropes fenced in and neatly dispatched.
The quartet works diligently on their music, and the effort pays off. For a listener who wants high energy, uptempo string work mated to vocals that won’t cause high-frequency hearing loss, and lyrical fodder involving something besides religion, disease, rape culture, or gore, this is fantastic. This is top notch speed metal, well mixed into layers of exceptional shred guitar wizardry, complemented by menacing, growled vocals. Exmortus puts a lot of effort into a full, punchy sound. The bass guitar doesn’t disappear, the drums don’t get too clicky, and the guitars sure don’t pass up any opportunity to throw in another incendiary show of chops. Paired guitar harmony lines and two full solos assail the listener’s ears. To match the artwork, the song has a battle-ready, adrenalized atmosphere and an invulnerable, ass-kicking aura.
Kept simple, the video itself is basically the artwork with the lyrics animated as an overlay. Lyrics are presented onscreen in a large, ‘scrawled’ font, so the video doesn’t fall prey to a karaoke look. The lyrics are nicely rhymed, well-timed, and obviously carefully crafted. The fantasy battle metal market has been cornered for aeons by Manowar, though. While not lyrically innovative, the visceral music and razor sharp delivery truly sets Exmortus apart from the metal hordes; the band’s musicality is its outstanding asset. Everything that was good about the band’s previous release, Slave to the Sword, reviewed here, is neatly bundled into “For the Horde”, still good. Check it out – it’s free, and some aggressive shred does a body good!
Conan – Vocals, Guitar
David Rivera – Guitar
Jovanni Perez – Bass Guitar
Mario Moreno – Drums