CD Rack Records
On the Indian music scene, Exhumation is a bit of an elusive entity. The band’s releases are few and far between and their live shows even more so. But every time they’ve have released new material, it’s been far and away better than most of the death metal being written in the country at that point. Effortlessly intelligent riffing, compact, concise songwriting that packed a wallop into three to four short but detailed minutes ”“ these are the hallmarks of your average Exhumation song. You approach Consider This, the band’s second full-length, expecting all this and more. And even though it’s all there, you come away uncertain, unable to put a finger on the exact from the record.
Consider This belongs, without argument, to Prashant Shah’s mastery of riffage. Here they come in all shapes and sizes and forms ”“ crushing, bottom heavy monsters (”˜All That Is,’ ”˜Blood Drenched Flags’), surprisingly melodic licks (”˜Consider This,’ ”˜Blood Drenched Flags,’ ”˜Worship Thyself’), raging odd-time chuggers (”˜Consider This’), with occasional meanders into vaguely Indian melodies (”˜Black Plague’) ”“ layered and glazed with fantastic guitar textures. The immense, gorgeously wrought title track is the centrepiece of this album, unexpected melodies and twin leads bringing a portentous menace to the underlying riffing. Surprisingly, melody becomes Exhumation; without robbing it of its aggression, it adds depth and dimension to the barrage of riffs, like on the percussive ”˜Hell Forbid.’ ”˜Absolute Power’ faintly recalls Nile on its refrain before it changes tack over a massive, fuzzed out breakdown and the fairly straightforward ”˜Worship Thyself’ is lifted out of the ordinary by its simmering, slow-burning finish.
But the album is crippled by its strange and inconsistent production that buries Aditya Mehta’s usually fantastic, feral vocals under an avalanche of guitar layers, turning into a breathy roar rather than the guttural instrument it should be. Hamza Kazi’s programmed drums are also lost in the guitar haze and the overall production dulls the band’s jagged edges and robs it of its visceral energy. It’s a good album but it could have been extraordinary; therein lies the tragedy.
Key Tracks: ‘Consider This’, ‘Blood Drenched Flags’