Exhorder-Mourn the Southern Skies

The first time I looked at this album cover I honestly thought the little skulls at the end of the sticks impaling the voodoo dolls were little marshmallows.  Like it was a weird voodoo s’more maker.  I don’t know, man.  I should probably get out of the house more.

At any rate, this album isn’t about cookout treats, but is a blistering return of underground Louisiana thrashers Exhorder.  These guys were seen as one of the first bands to employ a groove heavy component to the classic 80s thrash sound and were seen as a direct influence on Pantera.  Unfortunately, they just never really broke through to the mainstream.  They put out two albums in the 90s and then broke up.  After a couple of reunions, the band has now finally put out their third studio album.

This one is fairly straight ahead thrash metal.  I hear some of the Pantera-ish sound from time-to-time on this one.  This is going to be a bit of an off-the-wall comparison, but the vocals of Kyle Thomas remind me quite a bit of Symphony X’s Russell Allen when he performed with the Mike Portnoy/Mike Orlando side project Adrenaline Mob.  In fact, the album’s lyrical content kind of reminds me of Adrenaline Mob as well with it’s macho don’t-mess-with-this attitude, but it comes off across as more genuine and real by these guys than it does coming from the normally frilly prog metal guys.  Guitar riffs are straight ahead crunchy and effective and the rhythm section is really solid.  This one isn’t breaking any new ground, but what it does, it does well.

3.5 flip flops out of 5