Released By: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: January 29th, 2016
Genre: Thrash Metal
Mem V. Stein – Vocals
Ray Mensh – Guitars
T. Schiavo – Bass
Matthias K. – Drums
01. The Raging Tides
02. Brand Of Evil
04. Sacred Defense
05. Welcome To Hellfire
06. Sinister Souls
07. Shadow Walker
08. There Will Always Be Blood
09. Dark Reflections
10. Death Factory
11. Forever My Queen (PENTAGRAM cover; bonus track)
12. Hostage To Heaven (GRIP INC. cover; bonus track feat. Rob Dukes, Waldemar Sorychta, Markus Freiwald)
German Thrash Metallers Exumer have crawled back from the dead since the reformation in 2008. Known for riding high in the German Thrash Metal scene back in the mid-late eighties after the release of Possessed by Fire (1986) and Rising from the Sea (1987). A few years after the band reunited, Fire & Damnation (2012) released and appeared to be well received from veteran and newcomer fans. One can learn a few things from Exumer; Patience is a beautiful thing.
It was over the summer in 2015, where the band joined forces with producer/engineer Waldemar Soychta to create a brutal masterpiece. Many groups produce albums on a one-two year basis, Exumer despite their near-eternal break is one who focus on quality over quantity. Following their rules and creative visions that surpass the standard Thrashing attire. The meaning of each track is displayed on a deeper level, adding a well-educated balance to showcase turmoils and political struggles across the globe. Naturally, they are pissed off and are not afraid to speak up for all of us.
Mastermind Mem V. Stein set the tone for this album to be based on human suffering as he explained, “The album is called ‘The Raging Tides,’ and the title represents the ebb and flow of human misery and despair around the globe.” Marking The Raging Tides the fourth album which sets them as Thrashing geniuses with well-known bands such as Slayer, Exodus, and Overkill.
With no hesitation, the album opens up with the titled track, “The Raging Tides.” It plows through with explosive brutality while angrily expressing the unavoidable truth with its disturbing lyrics such as, “death will be spared to none.” Continuing with a deceased theme in “Brand of Evil,” keeps the intensity afloat. Quite a few flavorful guitar riffs occur once again that viciously mix with fast and futile rhythms. One of my favorites is “Catatonic.” Despite a few cheesy lyrics including, “sticks and stones may break my bones,” I find it catchy and enjoyable. One can say; it brings out the humor in our daily misery.
The album does not slow down as “Sacred Defense” hits, reminding all of us to stay firm stating, “the weak won’t win.” There’s a rioting amount of goodies including fast pedaling, hard riffs and a callous melody. “Welcome To Hellfire” and “Sinister Souls” both reminded me of old-school Slayer. Shredding in with the mighty “Sinister Souls,” maintains a hellish aggression that stands out even further from the prior tracks. I can see this one live as well, where fans will most likely shout out “blood, smoke, denial!” A delicious guitar solo is thrown in briefly enough to leave an additional favorable mark. Slowly chiming in next with harsh atmospheric guitar play until it cuts through the Metal flesh in “Shadow Walker.” It is one of the best tracks on the album; it roars in with energy inflation.
Sticking true to the Thrash style, the album continues with unstoppable momentum during “There Will Always Be Blood” and “Dark Reflections.” Once “Death Factory” climbs in with blood-thirsty mayhem with ferocious lyrics as it officially surpasses the quality from their previous releases.
Thrash Metal was my initial gateway into Metal and listening to Exumer’s The Raging Tides reawakened my love for this winged beast. There have been many albums missing quality in this area where it was beginning to feel empty and repetitive. Finally, with The Raging Tides it pours out a well-crafted production. For all those Thrashers out there, this is a must listen.
Written by: Zenae Zukowski