Exumer - Rising From
The Sea (Disaster)
Fast, heavy, crunchy, noisy, Slayer-inspired, German thrash metal. "Rising from the Sea" is the band's sophmore release and featured a new singer in Paul Arakari, who has a similar tone and style to Tom Araya. "Winds of Death" reminded me slightly of Slayer's "Angel of Death" as it starts off with a similar falsetto scream as on the Slayer song. That is not to say the music is a rip-off of this song though. Actually, starting from the first note right through to the last note of "Ascension Day" the speed, intensity and chaotic riffs never let up. "Are You Deaf?" reminded me of Nuclear Assault with it's mix of insanely fast punk and metal. This song actually manages to take the intensity level up a notch for the rest of the album. In conclusion what we have here is one of those lost thrash metal gems that is unforutunately buried forever in obscurity due to the fact that the CD came and went out of print almost as quickly as in was released. The Disaster (10007) version of this CD is very rare. This CD was reissued by High Vaultage Records with three bonus demo tracks.
1. Fire & Damnation (3:16)
Exumer are a German band that were part of the Second Wave of Thrash in the mid-80's. The band's debut Possessed by Fire debut is a frantic, over-the-top, minor thrash classic, with crazed vocals by Mem Von Stein. The 1987 follow-up "Rising From the Sea" was done recorded Von Stein and featured a sharper, less chaotic sound that didn’t thrill me, and after that, Exumer faded into oblivion. After 25 years on hiatus status, Exumer releases "Fire & Damnation" bringing back vocalist Mem Von Stein.
When it comes to German thrash metal, there is a certain sound and style that those bands seem to have. The same holds true for U.S. thrash metal, though with both Germany and the U.S. there are always exceptions to the rule. Exumer are one of those exceptions. They played meat-and-potatoes thrash metal but it's closer to an American style than to Kreator, Destruction or Sodom. Mostly the music on "Fire & Damnation" reminds me of Exodus and Slayer with a few songs adding in some punk and groove elements. "I Dare You" is one of those songs that has a crossover thrash sound, as opposed to "Vermin of the Sky" which has a definite Exodus meets Slayer vibe. The title track is a great opener, with a ton of energy and aggression; buzz-saw riffing and a heavy dose of Exodus influence. "The Weakest Limb" is likewise built around machine-gun riffs and features some smokin' lead guitar work. The entire first half of the CD is a metallic baseball bat to the head with everything form the title track through "Waking the Fire" being vicious thrashers. (Waking the Fiyah!)
Mid-way through this platter there seems to be a shift back to Exumer's old sound. This starts with a re-recording of "Fallen Saint" from the debut, which sounds great with a new production and those biting guitar tones. Follow-up songs like "Crushing Point" and "Devil Chaser" sound as if they were written during the "Possessed by Fire" sessions and have that classic sound. These two tracks are followed-up with another re-recording, "I Dare You" from the underrated "Rising From the Sea" album. As stated earlier the song has a slightly more punk-edge to it. Purists may scoff, but in reality thrash metal has always been that blend of punk and heavy metal, some bands and songs just lean closer to one side than the other. As might be expected, the lyrics on this album aren't exactly thought provoking, either being of the "tough-guy" or "look how evil we are" variety.
As much as the internet is a constant flow of news and blurbs, somehow I missed the news of this release and discovered it the old fashioned way. A friend and I walked into a brick and mortar record store in early 2014. As I was flipping through the used CDs this one was in the pack. Of course I snatched it up, checked the back to see the year of release as 2012. With as many metal discussion boards and Facebook groups as I belong to I am surprised this one didn't get more notice from the denim and leather clad thrash fans.