Tuesday, 22 January 2008

REVIEW: Exhorder - Slaughter In The Vatican (1990)

While this New Orleans outfit were mightily strong in an overall sense, their greatest assets were riffs. Oh yes sir, Exhorder could play a riff or two. Guitarist Jay Ceravolo and Vinnie Labella were - and quite possibly still are - two of the hottest players in the thrash field. Their most mind-boggling hour would come with 1992's The Law follow-up, but Slaughter In The Vatican acted as a remarkable showcase for their fret-bothering bombast. Christ only knows how many strings they must have got through, during these sessions.

Aggression and a genuinely nasty edge also helped set Exhorder aside from much of the pack. Homicide, Exhorder and The Tragic Period all demonstrate this amply. The latter epic is one of the most remarkable thrash riff-fests you'll ever hear, shifting restless from section to section with barely a pause for breath. Sure, the odd track like Legions Of Death, might not be as advanced as the others in a technical sense, but Exhorder had made their mark for sure.

TRACKLISTING: Death In Vain, Homicide, Desecrator, Exhorder, The Tragic Period, Legions Of Death, Anal Lust, Slaughter In The Vatican.

AVAILABILITY: Released by Roadrunner Records on vinyl and CD. Was also issued in a double-CD package with its follow-up album, The Law.