Friday, 11 October 2019

Album Review: EXHORDER - Mourn The Southern Skies

Exhorder - Mourn The Southern Skies


01. My Time
02. Asunder
03. Hallowed Sound
04. Beware The Wolf
05. Yesterday's Bones
06. All She Wrote
07. Rumination
08. The Arms Of Man
09. Ripping Flesh
10. Mourn The Southern Skies

I first heard about Exhorder when I was a kid. All of my friends loved Pantera, as did I. Back then, if you were a metal fan who wanted to present as cooler and more knowledgeable than your average Kerrang! reader, the 'in thing' to say was that Pantera was nothing more than a rip-off of Exhorder.

Finding Exhorder records back then was no easy task, so to stand by this claim, you had to be a top-level Metal expert. Incidentally, Exhorder front-man Kyle Thomas was in a band called Floodgate in the mid-nineties that was really cool and worth checking out. 

Anyway, back to Exhorder. Regardless of the Pantera schoolyard controversy, there is no doubt that Exhorder have a massive historical significance in the world of Metal. They were pioneers of a sound later referred to as 'Groove-Metal', and were basically the forerunners of bands like Machine Head, Lamb Of God, Five Finger Death Punch, and I'd argue even Fear Factory.

Having split up and reformed on more than one occasion, Mourn The Southern Skies is only their third studio album, and it's a formidable come-back! Purists will hate me for saying this, but I think it's easily better than the first two albums, especially in terms of production and song writing.

Mourn The Southern Skies sounds massive, powerful, and crystal clear. It's the audio equivalent of being hit with a sledge hammer.

Opener My Time is a groove-laced Thrash behemoth of a song. It's quite possibly my Thrash song of the year so far and could easily break the band to a new audience.

Asunder is a more mid-paced tune, but is still heavy as Hell. It has a nice Southern Metal feel, a bit like Down, and once again, is all about the groove. That's the common theme running throughout the album, and the mighty groove is what separates Exhorder from the countless Thrash bands out there who are happy to mercilessly blast-beat away.

Every song is solid and hits the mark. I also particularly like Yesterday's Bones and Rumination, as well as the savagely fast Ripping Flesh. The latter is a re-recording from their 1986 demo Get Rude, and features former drummer Chris Nail behind the kit for that one track.

Make no mistake, Mourn The Southern Skies is a tremendous album. Exhorder may not be as big as some of the bands they influenced, but they've put out an album that stands up to anything their peers have released.


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