The American Thrashers are back!! Following their two short reformations since the 1993 break-up, November 2017 saw Exhorder return to be unleashed on the world. Forged by founding members Vinnie LaBella and Kyle Thomas, they reached out to long-time friend and former member Jason VieBrooks and then grabbed Sasha Horn and Marzi Montazeri to finalise the line-up, it was decided that the world should be treated to the first studio album since the 1992 release The Law.
From the opening of the album, as ‘My Time’ begins to whip you fasted than a flogged horse, you know that this is some serious breakneck Thrash that is going to get the heart racing as it begins to destroy everything in its path. The impressive pace is created by slashing guitars and pummelled drums with the gravelly vocals being spit over the top. Then we get the occasional face melting solo to raise the bar even higher. It is clear by the end of the opener that this Mourn The Southern Skiesis going to be the new standard for all other Thrash bands to try and meet.
The album isn’t solid all out Thrash, as some New Orleans southern influenced grooves flow through the foundations of the tracks, creating a wonderful blend to both rage along to as you drink whisky. We experience this for the first-time n the album on ‘Asunder’, a track that is certainly one to join in and get that wide stanced, slow, moody head nodding too.
The ability to switch paces and embrace the differing influences allows Exhorder to create what they want and go in whatever direction feels good to them and this 10-track release is certainly a direction which I am pleased that they have taken.
A special re-recorded version of 1986 track ‘Ripping Flesh’ is included on the album to wad the end before the mammoth album title track closes the release. Clocking in at 9:30 takes a different approach and utilises some different instruments and speeds than what we have experienced and flows across sounds as the hugely murky and chucky riffs tear through you and the cleaner vocal grips you and takes you on a emotive journey. Be prepared to need a few minutes to take in what you have just heard following the end of the 53-minute album, then get ready to press play again and be taken on this wonderous journey again.
Mourn The Southern Skiesis far more than a triumphant return for band that the world has missed, Exhorder have created an album that feels like it is exactly what the music world have been yearning for.
- My Time
03. Hallowed Sound
04. Beware The Wolf
05. Yesterday’s Bones
06. All She Wrote
08. The Arms Of Man
09. Ripping Flesh
10. Mourn The Southern Skies