CD Review: Exmortus / Slave to the Sword
Reviewed by: B. Cross
Want some classic shred backed by harsh vocals and some serious power-thrash melodies? Your search has ended. Marking their Prosthetic Records debut, Exmortus recently unleashed their third album Slave to the Sword.
“Rising” kicks things right into high gear with blistering dual guitars that would make Judas Priest proud. Jadran “Conan” Gonzales and David Rivera showcase extreme talent and musicianship across the entire record, and the rhythm section of Jovanni Perez (bass) and Mario Moreno (drums) are not to be denied, either. There’s enough low end and double-bass pounding to make any fan raise their horns in triumph.
Slave to the Sword is tightly wound together, but never feels like shredding just for shredding’s sake, nor do the songs get boring. From the title track to crushers like “Immortality Made Flesh,” Exmortus put forth a solidly crafted metal record, indeed. When Gonzales and Rivera aren’t running up and down the fretboard in the finest power metal tradition, their neoclassical skills are on display, especially in the aptly-named “Moonlight Sonata (Act 3).” Classical music seems to fall in and out of favor with metalheads as time marches on, but Exmortus wear their love for the powerful music of centuries past on their sleeves. Add a layer of Gonzales’ brutal roars atop this mix, and you’ve got a recipe for conquest.
Slave to the Sword is a record that belongs in any metalhead’s collection. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any better…Exmortus go ahead and do something like this. (Thanks to MetalSucks for the heads-up.)
Exmortus is currently touring with Dark Tranquility and Omnium Gatherum, following it up with a jaunt alongside Lich King, so you’ve got plenty of time to see that shit live. In the meantime, give Slave to the Sword a spin; you’ll be playing air guitar at your desk, I guarantee it. Metal is king!