The Law is the 2nd full-length studio album by American groove thrash metal act Exhorder. The album was released in March 1992 through Roadrunner Records. The Law was re-issued by Roadrunner Records in 2003 in a low price double CD package with Exhorder´s debut full-length studio album Slaughter in the Vatican (1990).
While the music on Slaughter in the Vatican was brutal thrash metal that besides the aggressive thrash metal vocals, was as close to death metal as you come without being death metal, the music on The Law is much more groove based and The Law is often, and rightly so, considered one of the seminal albums in the groove thrash movement. lead vocalist Kyle Thomas has a voice that´s pretty similar to the voice of Phil Anselmo ( Pantera) and Pantera is definitely a valid reference also when it comes to the groove based music. Now I know the band hate this comparison but there are simply too many obvious similarities between those two acts that I´ll risk my neck and make it anyway. While the quality of the tracks is generally very high, and I´m blown back in my seat more than one time because of the powerful aggressive music, there are unfortunately a couple of tracks that drag the album down just a bit. Exhorder flirt a bit too much with alternative metal in Unborn Again for my taste and they even incorporate slapbass, which usually is a big turn-off for me. Their cover of Into the Void by Black Sabbath doesn´t leave more than a slight impression either. Now as there are only 9 tracks on the album and two of them are sub par ( and Into the Void is even the longest track on the album), it will have some effect on my final rating.
The production is actually not that good, but strangely after a couple of minutes I seem to be adjusting and end up finding the sound allright. It´s especially the guitar sound, that sounds strange to my ears.
While The Law rightly should be called a seminal album in the groove thrash movement, my overall feeling about the album is actually that it sounds like a transitional album. The band try new things and the album is a bit inconsistent, which is rather typical for transitional albums. The problem here is that there never came a 3rd album, so we never learned what Exhorder could have transformed into. They disbanded after the album was released. A 3.5 star rating will do.