|1985 marked the year when Mem V. Stein decided that it was time to form a thrash metal outfit based out of Germany, that would embrace the sound and the feel of his favorite bands form the thrash metal genre to the fullest degree. With that in mind, the 17-year-old metal head plowed his local scene to find suitable players with the same vision; creating fast and furious thrash metal with over-the-top vocals and twin guitar assaults.
Mem found his partner in crime, guitarist Ray Mensch, at a Slayer show in the same year, where both of them were hired to perform local road crew duties. The president of the VENOM's LEGIONS/Germany Chapter, Matthias Prill promoted the highly popular show. Mem was impressed by Ray's appearance, long hair, torn jeans, and asked the guitarist to journey to Wiesbaden, where Mem had a rehearsal space built at his father's garage. Ray agreed to come out within a few weeks and the two musicians began writing material by them selves in the rehearsal room. Mem was playing bass and performing vocals duties while Ray was playing guitars. However, Mem remembered a drummer with whom he had played in an earlier band of his and who was out of a gig at the moment. Syke
Bornetto, who also lived in Wiesbaden at the time tried out for Mem and Ray and was recruited by the two for the job. The only missing piece at that point was a second guitarist. Ray befriended a young military dependent Hawaiian guitar player by the name of Paul Arakaki, whose parents were stationed in Germany and who was eager to show off his chops. Paul completed the first line-up of what became EXUMER, in late summer of 1985.
The four-piece wrote material and rehearsed at a grueling pace and soon it became evident that Paul could not meet the heavy academic workload of high school and keep up with rehearsals. Mem who was ever pushing the project forward asked Ray to look for another guitarist who could meet the demands of the band. Bernie Siedler entered the line-up in fall of '85 and became the last addition to the roster before the band went on to record their first and only demo in December of the same year.
Ralf Ludwig who was CELTIC FROST's fan club president at the time distributed the "A mortal in black" demo. The tape received mixed reviews in the metal press. The demo was quickly sold out despite the press clips and the band severed ties with their manager after he refused to pay the band their share of the profit from the demo sales.
The band asked Matthias Prill to manage them after the debacle with the band's first manager and Matthias came through in a major way in summer of 1986. The second show that EXUMER ever played was with Warfare from England headlining and German bands opening for the lunatics from Newcastle. Matthias also invited the label owner of Disaster Records that night to check out EXUMER. That night EXUMER played a high-energy set of unrelenting thrash metal and was signed to Disaster records shortly there after.
The signing of the band lead to booking time with Harris Johns at the Music Lab studios in Berlin, spewing out the band's cult classic thrash whirlwind, "Possessed by Fire" LP.
It became clear during the recording sessions for P.B.F. that there was going to be some major change in the band's line-up and so EXUMER's founding father Mem left the band shortly after the album was completed.
The departure of the vocalist/bassist meant that the band would need not only a singer/bassist that could deliver the material from the band's first album but also what was in store to come for EXUMER's sophomore release. The band decided to ask Paul Arakaki to re-join them as their new vocalist/bassist and moved ahead with writing new material that would suit his Tom Araya style of vocal delivery.
With Paul in place the band embarked on their first German tour supporting SUICIDAL TENDENCIES who were touring Europe in support of their "Join the Army" album. The tour proved to be a great success and expectations were high for EXUMER to deliver a crushing follow-up album to P.B.F.
The band went back into the studio in summer of 1987, to record the second output; "Rising from the Sea." The sessions for EXUMER's sophomore release were plagued by time constraints and the fact that the band had to finish writing material for the record in the studio.
The band marched on and played a lot of shows and braced themselves for some groundbreaking tours, including the now infamous European tour package with NASTY SAVAGE and ATOMKRAFT. EXUMER played some sold out shows in Poland during that tour in 1988, in front of over 10,000 enthusiastic and frantic thrash metal fans.
Paul, who was a few years younger than the rest of the band, became restless again as the touring went on and played his final shows with the band in Brazil, with SEPULTURA opening up for EXUMER in Saul Paulo. The band was embraced by thousands of thrash metal maniacs but Paul had made up his mind and left the band shortly after their return to Germany.
EXUMER found themselves without a singer for the second time, some heavy financial problems and internal turmoil. Drummer Syke Bornetto was next to go and left Ray and Bernie as the only two remaining members. The two guitarists recruited British born John Cadden as vocalist, John used to front the NWOBHM band DEMOLUTION, Brazillian bassist Franz Pries and German drummer Bernd Cramer to record a final demo in 1990. The "Whips and Chains" demo was pitched to several labels but did not accumulate the desired results and so the band was disbanded in 1991.
In 2001, Mem, Ray and Bernie reunited for a final show at the WACKEN festival in Germany as a "thank you" for the fans, and it appeared to be very last time that fans had the chance to see EXUMER live with their original singer.
Finally in 2008, Mem and Ray began talking about reforming EXUMER. The discussion about reuniting the band was driven by the never-ending requests of fans from all over the globe but also by a friendship between Mem, Ray and Paul that has lasted for over 23 years.
In 2009 the thrash metal legend EXUMER will return with both vocalists for the first time in the band's history and will deliver a new, third album that will prove that EXUMER deserves their cult status in the realm of thrash metal and beyond.
The journey to oblivion has begun…the cult prevails.