EXMORTUS — Ride Forth (review)

EXMORTUS — Ride Forth album cover Album · 2016 · Neoclassical metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"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 There has been one lineup change since the predecessor as bassist Clodoaldo Bibiano has been replaced by Mike Cosio.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.
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