Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Exmortus: Slave to the Sword (2014)

Welcome to Chotchkies

I had joanismylover move his desk to the file room before writing this review.

Exmortus - We need to talk about your flair. I mean Exmortus, come on. You only have fifteen pieces of flair. Dragonforce, they have thirty seven pieces of flair. And a heck of lead guitarist. Yes we know that 15 pieces is the minimum. But people can get guitar leads anywhere. People listen to this kind of metal for fun - for the super noodling guitar licks. The air guitar action. That's what flair is about. Yes we know we could tell you to be more about the flair. But we want you to express yourself. If you think the minimum of flair is enough, well, ok. But some bands choose to do more flair, and, well, we encourage that. You do want to express yourself, don't you Exmortus? Don't you?

Certainly, Exmortus, you have a lot pizza shooters, shrimp poppers and extreme fajitas of metal on Slaves to the Sword. You have a really great instrumental intro there in "Rising" - you earn lots of flair points for the extreme licks on show here. Even though the intern was bangin his head to it there's quite a bit of flair and it's a great entree to what we hoped was some super awesome guitar metal action inside. Then, the title track dissuaded us. This is just heavy metal here that gallops, and drives. There's a distinct lack of flair there. You could almost do hair whips to some of that stuff, if we allowed long hair here. No. We need more of that insane finger picking and hyper soloing that was at the end of "Immortality Made Flash". Corporate did not think it was possible you could put the whammy bar in so many times in such a short time frame. Kudos!

By the way, did you get that TPS report? I only ask because it seems like "Warriors of the Night" distinctly ignores the flair requirements set forth in that memo. People don't really want rocking, headbanging stuff in their metal. So cut that out. More noodling. Faster. Stronger. More extraneous whammy. Like it says in the TPS report. Your production is clean and punchy, and antiseptic just like Michael Bolton (the consultant, not your boyfriend's office worker friend) recommends, so that everyone can hear your flair. So why ruin it with songs like "Ancient Violence". Again these driving, kind of thrash/US power metal songs detract from the fun. The flair.

While we're on the subject, the whole theme of the album is anti-flair. A sword wielding warrior laying waste to his mortal enemies? I mean, classic marketing for the pre-internet age, yes. But not something that screams "flair." More video game-like artwork preferred. Maybe something in Neon? And these song titles - "Metal is King." No it is not. It is a platform for flair. Don't forget it. We will not have any of the thrash that starts out that Abyss song. Yes the noodling arrives, but then you get to some kind of death metal riffing. That's a no-no. But we will have the classical moonlight sonata cover, metal flair-ized. That always works.

Maybe I have a case of the Mondays, Exmortus. Clearly you have the ability to express yourself. Yet you choose the minimum flair. We just a little bit - well - confused. Are you really Chotchkies material? You think about it. And let us know. Mmm-kay. That'd be greeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaat.

3 out of 5 stars.

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