Thrash Metal / Groove Metal • United States
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Exhorder was formed in 1985 and have being viewed as one of the pioneers of the "groove metal sound" especially after their second album "The Law" was released. It has been said that Exhorder was the main reason Pantera changed from a glam to groove metal sound as Phil Anselmo was a huge fan of Exhorder before he joined Pantera.

However, Exhorder is still first and foremost a thrash metal band, as they are fast, angry and their songs contain some of the most crushing riffs ever to grace heavy metal. Their lyrics are raging and violent, attacking religion, and discuss death and other dark things.

Their acclaimed debut album, "Slaughter in the Vatican" is a premier thrash metal masterpiece. With chainsaw-guitars and some of the fastest drumming in thrash metal, Exhorder is a good old fashion metal that is always heavy and unrelenting.

The band split in 1993, and reformed for
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EXHORDER Discography

EXHORDER albums / top albums

EXHORDER Slaughter in the Vatican album cover 4.48 | 10 ratings
Slaughter in the Vatican
Thrash Metal 1990
EXHORDER The Law album cover 4.14 | 5 ratings
The Law
Thrash Metal 1992
EXHORDER Mourn The Southern Skies album cover 3.71 | 6 ratings
Mourn The Southern Skies
Groove Metal 2019
EXHORDER Defectum Omnium album cover 3.67 | 2 ratings
Defectum Omnium
Thrash Metal 2024

EXHORDER EPs & splits

EXHORDER Live Death album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Live Death
Thrash Metal 1994

EXHORDER live albums

EXHORDER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

EXHORDER Get Rude album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Get Rude
Thrash Metal 1986
EXHORDER Slaughter in the Vatican album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Slaughter in the Vatican
Thrash Metal 1987

EXHORDER re-issues & compilations

EXHORDER singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Legions of Death (live)
Thrash Metal 2019

EXHORDER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


EXHORDER Defectum Omnium

Album · 2024 · Thrash Metal
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"Defectum Omnium" is the fourth full-length studio album by US thrash/groove metal act Exhorder. The album was released through Nuclear Blast in March 2024. It´s the successor to "Mourn The Southern Skies" from September 2019. There have been a couple of lineup changes since the predecessor as guitarists Vinnie LaBella and Marzi Montazeri have left. To replace them lead vocalist Kyle Thomas has picked up the guitar in addition to singing, and Pat O'Brien (Cannibal Corpse, Nevermore) has joined as the second guitarist. The split with especially founding member LaBella didn´t go down without some mud-slinging in the press, with LaBella saying that the current incarnation of Exhorder shouldn´t release music under the monicker without him in the lineup, as he was the main composer of the band´s music.

Thomas stepped up to the plate after LaBella left though, and he and his new bandmates (two of which also performed on "Mourn The Southern Skies" and have been with Exhorder since 2017) have managed to compose an album which sounds like Exhorder. Maybe the fact that none of the three predecing album releases featured a similar sound helps, because although you expect Exhorder to produce a heavy and groove laden thrash metal release, they never got to a point in their career of having settled on a sound. You could always hear that it was Exhorder playing but if you compare even the first two albums, which were released only a few years apart, they are very different in style.

Stylistically Exhorder still deliver a groove laden thrash metal style, but with both stoner, hardcore punk, and alternative metal influences. So they´ve spread their wings pretty wide on this one. Thomas has always been a powerful and skilled singer and his vocals are again strong and raw on "Defectum Omnium". The riffs are well written and the whole band deliver a sharp, heavy, and groove laden attack. Another feature which deserves a mention is the many well played guitar solos. Although slightly sterile the sound production is still of a good quality, and I especially enjoy the guitar tone and the vocal production. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

EXHORDER Slaughter in the Vatican

Demo · 1987 · Thrash Metal
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"Slaughter in the Vatican" is the second demo recording by US, Louisiana based thrash/groove metal act Exhorder. The demo was recorded in 1987 at Ultrasonic Studios, and released independently on cassette tape in mid-1987. Since the first demo guitarist David Main and bassist Andy Villaferra have left. New guitarist is Jay Ceravolo and along with original guitarist Vinnie LaBella, Ceravolo also performs the bass parts on "Slaughter in the Vatican".

The eight tracks on this 1987 demo are almost one-to-one the same tracks as you find on their 1990 debut album. The only track featured on the debut album which isn´t featured on this demo is "The Tragic Period". So we get early versions of classic Exhorder tracks like "Desecrator", "Homicide", and of course "Anal Lust", and they sound really great in these demo versions. Raw, unpolished, and caustic in their aggression. Stylistically this is aggressive and fast-paced thrash metal which is however also often quite heavy featuring brutal groove laden riffs and rhythms, with lead vocalist Kyle Thomas snarling and screaming his way through the songs. The sound production is raw, savage, and effective. It´s not a problem at all that the sound production values are as raw and gritty as they are. It just adds more rawness an authenticity to the material.

Having listened to the debut album for many years, it´s interesting to note how these 1987 demo versions are very close to the fully developed versions featured on said album. Exhorder could easily have released their debut album a few years before they did...judged on the quality of this demo they were arguably ready. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.


Demo · 1986 · Thrash Metal
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"Get Rude" is the first demo recording by US, Louisiana based thrash/groove metal act Exhorder. The demo was recorded in September 1986 at Stonee's, New Orleans, Louisiana, and released shortly after that. Originally on cassette tape.

The material sounds like it was recorded live in the studio as it features a lo-fi and authentic sounding production. I´d be surprised to learn if there are any overdubs on this recording. Exhorder play some pretty fast-paced and aggressive thrash metal on this demo but sometimes they play mid-paced and heavy grooves too. Three of the tracks from the demo would also be included on Exhorder´s second demo "Slaughter in the Vatican" (1987) and all three of them would eventually also be re-recorded and incluced on Exhorder´s debut full-length studio album also titled "Slaughter in the Vatican" (1990). The remaining songs on the six tracks, 22:47 minutes long demo are exclusive to this release.

Considering that this is basically a live in the studio recording it´s great to hear how well playing Exhorder were already this early on. This is pretty sharp and precise playing. Kyle Thomas has a raw snarling delivery which is pretty aggressive. Upon conclusion this is an interesting release, which is slightly marred by the lo-fi sound production values. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

EXHORDER Mourn The Southern Skies

Album · 2019 · Groove Metal
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"Mourn The Southern Skies" is the third full-length studio album by US, New Orleans based thrash/groove metal act Exhorder. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in September 2019. It´s the successor to "The Law" from 1992 and therefore the first album by the band in 27 years. There are only two out of five members left from the lineup who recorded the predecessor, which are lead vocalist Kyle Thomas and guitarist Vinnie LaBella. Exhorder formed in 1985 and their original run ended in 1994 after releasing two full-length studio albums. "Slaughter in the Vatican" was released in 1990 and featured a raw and brutal thrash metal sound, while "The Law (1992)" featured a more heavy groove influenced sound.

So with only two full-length releases under their belt, which are in two pretty different sounding musical styles, it wasn´t easy to guess which direction Exhorder would pursue on "Mourn The Southern Skies", but as it turns out there are a little of both worlds featured on the album, and some new features too. Granted "Mourn The Southern Skies" sounds the least like "Slaughter in the Vatican (1990)", but there are some fast-paced thrash metal tracks on the album. Opener "My Time", "Beware the Wolf", and especially "Ripping Flesh" are examples of that (the latter is an incredible fast-paced and aggressive track and one of the highlights of the album). "Mourn The Southern Skies" is predominantly a heavy groove laden metal album though, and sometimes the band even touch southern stoner/sludge territories. Take a listen to "Yesterday’s Bones" for proof of that. I´d mention Pantera, Down, and Crowbar among some of the artists that Exhorder share some similarities with on this album.

Thomas still has a raw voice and a powerful delivery, although his voice is a bit lower and more worn and raw sounding these days. I think they´ve made an unfortunate production choice on the vocals on some tracks as the vocals are often layered, and it has the consequence that the vocals aren´t as punchy and powerful as they could have been. A track like "Asunder" features an example of that recording technique, but it´s only a minor issue overall and only occurs on some tracks. As something new Thomas also has a clean vocal part on the opening minute of the closing 9:29 minutes long Down influenced title track. Other than the vocals, it´s the many heavy and groove laden riffs and rhythms which are the main focus of the music. There are a couple of well played guitar solos on the album too. Take a listen to the solos on the above mentioned "Yesterday’s Bones"...that´s some really great solo work.

"Mourn The Southern Skies" features a powerful, heavy, and detailed sounding production job, and although a bit more grit and rawness wouldn´t have hurt, it´s arguably a sound production which suits the material well (I wasn´t surprised to learn that Jens Bogren is credited for mixing and mastering the album). Upon conclusion "Mourn The Southern Skies" is a welcome comeback for Exhorder, but it is not an album which blew me away upon initial listen. The tracks are maybe a little too formulaic vers/chorus structured and therefore a bit predictable, but once I got locked into the heavy grooves and started to appreciate that part of the music and also got accustomed to Thomas new low register voice and more raw singing style, it all started to make more sense, and repeated spins have revealed that "Mourn The Southern Skies" is a good quality groove/sludge/thrash metal album with an emphasis on the groove/sludge and more sporadically on the thrash metal elements. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

EXHORDER Mourn The Southern Skies

Album · 2019 · Groove Metal
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Kev Rowland
Some 27 years since the last album ‘The Law’, and nearly 30 years since the iconic debut ‘Slaughter In The Vatican’, Exhorder are back. The only original members are singer Kyle Thomas and guitarist Vinnie LaBella, but they knew what they wanted to achieve this time around and soon brought longtime friend and former member, bassist Jason VieBrooks (Heathen, Grip Inc.). Soon added were drummer Sasha Horn (Forbidden) and guitarist Marzi Montazeri (Heavy As Texas, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals) and they hit the ground running, playing gigs concentrating on material from the original two albums, before turning their attention to this, the “comeback” album.

What we have here is a thrash album, hugely influenced in particular by Testament, combined with groove in a manner which is incredibly accessible. Some may know Thomas from his time with Trouble (with whom he is still playing), and there is no doubt that he is quite some singer in the style of Chuck Billy. While he has plenty of power and range, he is a singer as opposed to a screamer and is fond of going into a lower register, especially when the music slows down. His annunciation is really clear for this style of music, and behind him he has a rhythm section which keeps it locked down and two guitarists who are obviously having a blast playing off each other.

Old fans of the band will be pleased to have them back, especially as they tear through the high-octane thrash of “Ripping Flesh” which originally appeared on the first demo, 1986’s ‘Get Rude’. If that isn’t enough, they also invited back original drummer Chris Nail to hold it all together. This is a fun romp, and let’s hope there is enough success for the band to keep it together and produce more albums like this one.

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