Exhorder - Mourn The Southern Skies review



Reviewer:
N/A

53 users:
7.57
Band: Exhorder
Album: Mourn The Southern Skies
Release date: September 2019


01. My Time
02. Asunder
03. Hallowed Sounds
04. Beware The Wolf
05. Yesterday's Bones
06. All She Wrote
07. Rumination
08. The Arms Of Man
09. Ripping Flesh
10. Mourn The Southern Skies


Kyle Thomas: "The live shows after our reunion went very well. Maybe we should make another album; everybody else is doing it, so why can't we?"
Vinnie LaBella: "Well, I do have some leftover riffs from The Law and I am sure I can craft a few new ones. Hey, we can always re-record an older song, too."
Kyle Thomas: "Yeah, and I can still sing. Maybe even better than I could three decades ago."

I imagine this could be the story behind Mourn The Southern Skies. An album that is a mixed bag of sounds, something that sadly doesn't make it diverse but rather disjointed.

I had low expectations for this and the opener, "My Time", did not do much to raise them. Not because it's a bad song, it just sounds more like Exodus or Testament rather than Exhorder. But then again, Exhorder never had their own sound; their debut wanted to be a Slayer album, both with its blasphemous artwork and lyrics, as well as with its music, and The Law jumped on the Pantera groove bandwagon in an effort to mimic its magnetism.

Not a very successful effort, that was.

In the review of Awakening I wrote that "what saved Sacred Reich from being just another uninspired copycat band was their talent in writing good songs". Exhorder did not have such a talent, at least not for more than a few songs in each album and Mourn The Southern Skies reaffirms this 27 years later. "Arms Of Man" is more boring than watching paint dry on the wall, and "Asunder", "All She Wrote" and "Rumination" sound like they weren't good enough to make the cut in The Law.

On the positive side, the sludgy/doom and Down-esque (and with the presence of a Hammond organ!), "Mourn The Southern Skies", is a real treat despite being a tad too long and "Yesterday's Bones" is full of groove and boasts an absolutely stunning solo that breaks into a beautiful clean guitar outro that unfortunately ends too abruptly. Exhorder also hit the mark with the speed and aggression of "Beware The Wolf" and especially with the cataclysmic fury of "Ripping Flesh", even though the latter feels completely out of place, being a re-recorded version of the track that appeared in the band's Get Rude demo back in 1986. But I have already mentioned that this record feels disjointed, haven't I?

As far as performances are concerned, Kyle's clean vocals in the title track are great and a very pleasant surprise, the drumming stands out in a few instances, like in the intro and outro of "Asunder", and all the solos are impressive and in stark contrast to what many bands do, thinking "hey, we should squeeze in a five-second unmemorable solo in each song just to appease the purists". Jens Bogren's mixing and mastering is also on point.

However, Mourn The Southern Skies feels like Exhorder's take on a Southern-flavoured album in an effort to mimic the magnetism of The Great Southern Trendkill.

Not a very successful effort, that is.


 



Written on 21.10.2019 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 63 users
21.10.2019 - 19:05
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Quote:
and The Law jumped on the Pantera groove bandwagon in an effort to mimic its magnetism.


According to some people Pantera copied Exhorder. But having lived at the time I wholeheartedly agree with you on Slaughter wanting to be a Slayer album and The Law jumping on the Pantera bandwagon.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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21.10.2019 - 19:05
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Slaughter In The Vatican was a great album, but The Law was boring AF with its pedestrian grooves.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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22.10.2019 - 20:31
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
I enjoyed the latest offering. It had all elements one comeback records possess.
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23.10.2019 - 00:01
Baz Anderson
I've always been big on this band. This new album maybe isn't all I could have hoped, but it's still pretty good!
Saw them live not long back and they were amazing!
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23.10.2019 - 00:37
Nice try, Exhorder, but Pantera's still better.
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26.10.2019 - 12:22
nikarg
Old Nick
@Marcel Hubregtse: To say that Pantera copied Exhorder is plain ridiculous of course. As for Slaughter, it is clearly their best album by far.

@Cynic Metalhead: I am pleased you enjoyed it. I found it less interesting than The Law, and for me that album's best song was the Sabbath cover and it is never a good thing when the best track on your album is a cover, even if it is one of the most iconic tracks in metal history.

@Baz Anderson: Haven't seen them live but I hear they are great. Still, if I ever do, I wouldn't want them to play more than two or three tracks from this album.

@The Witchfinder: As far as this album is concerned, you can also say that Down is still better.
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26.10.2019 - 14:37
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by nikarg on 26.10.2019 at 12:22


@The Witchfinder: As far as this album is concerned, you can also say that Down is still better.


Or Floodgate (also with Kyle Thomas on vocals)
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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