German thrash has proved itself time and time again as a major contributor to the thrash genre. When one thinks German Thrash you immediately think of the likes of Kreator, Sodom and Destruction who are all still going strong. The German big 4 was never quite complete as Exumer broke up in 1990 after only 2 full-length albums. The now legendary “Possessed by Fire” is still regarded as one of the best out of the German Thrash scene. The band reformed in 2001 releasing an EP in 2009 and a single earlier this year. “Fire & Damnation” is the bands first full-length album for about 25 years. So let’s get stuck in shall we?
The album has a clear no bullshit approach and gets straight down to some hardline thrash with the first track titled ‘Fire & Damnation’, which already has some really tasty riffs from the word go. This is follow with a belter of a scream, reminiscent of Razor’s song ‘Marshall Arts’. Not as intense, however the riffs and drumming that follow puts you in an alcohol fueled thrash coma. The vocal style has not changed much with Mem Von Stein still at the helm. The breakdowns are well structured and aren’t overdone. Pre-chorus and chorus interlink as smooth as you like. This just steadies the tempo before the drop into a sublime solo will give you flash backs of the 80’s.
With classic thrash riffs all over the show and exceptional drumming it becomes increasingly difficult to pick only a few good tracks off this album, as they are all brilliant in their own right. Another track that stood out for me though, is titled ‘Walking The Fire’ which jumpstarts your senses with an awesome drum and guitar intro exchange that sets the atmosphere. As is custom this far into the album they get right to it in great fashion. The riffs chug along, setting the pace as we are treated to a solo that can only be described as German precision and perfection. They immediately pick up where they left off before the riff. This is good for the momentum of the song as it juggernaut like before treated to another solo. The song ends off strongly. This has to be my favorite track off the album.
Lastly, one of the tracks that really made an impression is titled ‘Devil Chaser’, it is also the shortest song on the album, but probably the most intense. The riffs for example can only be described as a blast from the past. The song kicks off with a drumming intro. The track also has one of the best solos of the album in my opinion. The song is well under 3 minutes, but packs a mighty punch. It ends off rather gingerly before picking up right before the very end to just lift you for the last two tracks.
There has been a lot of hype and expectation among Exumer fans that have waited a while for this album. I am pleased to announce that it has been worth the wait! The thrash maniacs from Frankfurt are back in full force. One can only hope that this return will serve as a swift kick to the ass of the other German Thrash icons, in a good way of course.
The album in it entirety consists of 10 tracks and will have you banging away for a good 30 minutes. I assume this is because of health and safety regulations. Any longer and spinal injury might become a common occurrence within the Exumer fan base. Over all an excellent album and I would definitely recommend it to the thrash maniacs among our readers. Killer album!
Finally, Exumer might not do it all that often, but when they release an album it destroys! Enjoy this one!
Our Rating: 8/10