EXMORTUS — Ride Forth

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EXMORTUS - Ride Forth cover
3.75 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2016


1. Speed of the Strike (4:43)
2. Relentless (3:59)
3. For the Horde (4:40)
4. Let Us Roam (3:56)
5. Black Sails (4:54)
6. Hymn of Hate (5:13)
7. Appassionata (5:08)
8. Death to Tyrants (4:43)
9. Fire and Ice (6:10)

Total Time 43:26


- Jadran "Conan" Gonzales / Guitars, Vocals
- David Rivera / Guitars, Vocals
- Mike Cosio / Bass
- Mario Mortus / Drums

About this release

Label: Prosthetic Records

Release Date: January 8th, 2016

Official music video:
— "Let Us Roam"
— "Appassionata"
Official lyric videos:
— "Relentless"
— "Death to Tyrants"

Thanks to DippoMagoo for the addition and adg211288, UMUR for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Ride Forth" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, California based metal act Exmortus. The album was released through Prosthetic Records in January 2016. It´s the successor to "Slave to the Sword" from 2014. There has been one lineup change since the predecessor as bassist Clodoaldo Bibiano has been replaced by Mike Cosio.

Stylistically "Ride Forth" continues the energetic and melodic death/thrash metal style of the predecessor, but with an even stronger emphasis on their neo-classical leanings. It´s an interesting combination of elements, which also includes traditional heavy metal styled riffs and lyrical themes/imagery. When Exmortus play their most raw death/thrash parts they occasionally remind me of early- to mid 90s Carcass, but that´s only a very few times during the playing time, and overall I´d say a less known artist like Arghoslent are a more valid reference (minus the white supremacy lyrical themes of their fellow countrymen).

Exmortus are an exceptionally well playing act, and the listener is exposed to raw snarling vocals, neo-classical guitar shredding (and occasionally bass ditto), a tight playing rhythm section, and just overall powerful and memorable songwriting. Sometimes it´s almost a little too polished and nice, and a bit more rawness could have made the listening experience slightly more interesting, but it´s still relatively organic sounding and I particularly enjoy how it´s clearly audible that the guitars are played by two different guitarists, and that the guitars are produced with a "human" touch. The album is overall well produced.

The material on the 9 track, 43:26 minutes long album is generally well written and memorable. I could have wished for slightly more variation between tracks, but it´s not a major issue. One of the tracks which does stand out from the rest of the material, is the instrumental classically influenced "Appassionata". Upon conclusion it´s another quality release by Exmortus and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Ride Forth (2016) is the fourth full-length album by US thrash metal act Exmortus. The band previously caught my attention with their previous effort Slave to the Sword (2014); an excellent thrash metal effort that had a strong footing in both the power metal and neoclassical metal camps.

This time around though the Exmortus sound has evolved to greatly favour their neoclassical element, which I’d say is the dominant sound on Ride Forth. There is still some thrash here, but I have great difficulty considering this to be a thrash metal album (especially a technical thrash metal album which is Exmortus’ usual niche). The riffs are fast paced but overall more in line with power/speed metal, a feeling only enhanced by how melodic the album is. Thrash metal implies a level of raw abrasiveness that musically Ride Forth severely lacks. The vocals are growled (yet intelligible), but that nods more towards melodic death metal, or more aptly extreme power metal (which contrary to popular belief is not what Dragonforce play), to my ears.

Of course having heard Slave to the Sword previously this all just seems like a natural progression of the band’s sound. Exmortus are pretty damn good at writing an awesome neoclassical guitar lead. Overall though, I have to say that I don’t find Ride Forth to be an as interesting album as Slave to the Sword. It’s a good well crafted release from the US band but it doesn’t have me clambering for more nor overly interested in giving it many re-listens down the line. I find that the opening track Speed of the Strike really hits its mark in terms of making the record’s new direction felt, but once you get a few tracks in the album starts to sound a bit business as usual. The instrumental Appassionata is insanely awesome though, also a clear highlight of the album.

While I do have to concede that Ride Forth is a step back for Exmortus I don’t actually feel let down by this album. I think it’s great that Exmortus choose to try something a little differently with the influences I heard on Slave to the Sword. It shows that they’re not a one trick pony who are content to make a carbon copy of their previous work, which of course means that there’s every chance that those who didn’t enjoy Slave to the Sword as much as I did will in turn enjoy Ride Forth more than I have. It takes all kinds after all.

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