Nima : It's been ten years since the American Exmortus released its debut, ’In Hatred’s Flame’. Since then the band has released three more strong albums and has been conquering the world through tours with bands such as Amon Amarth, Flotsam And Jetsam and Enforcer, and recently Overkill. The band around guitarist/vocalist Jadran "Conan" Gonzalez was already a technical band from the beginning. Throughout the years, neo-classical influences and shredding have been playing an even more important role, with which the band distinguishes itself from the rest of the technical death/thrash colleagues and also appeals to a larger audience.
In early June Conan and co. will unleash their fifth album, 'The Sound Of Steel'. All in all, this has certainly not become a surprising record. The album is simply a continuation of (mainly) its predecessor, ’Ride Forth’ and the aforementioned developments are also continued here. That means less death metal, but more thrash and traditional metal, but especially more technique and even more neo-classical shredding. In my review of 'Ride Forth' I proclaimed that album the most versatile work of the band until then. On the 'The Sound Of Steel' they even add a little extra to that. However, the gentlemen have also developed their qualities further and what we hear on this record – and especially guitar-wise – is impressive, to say the least.
For musical nerds, the fans of technical music and extreme metal with neoclassical influences, and for the fans of neoclassical metal who are not afraid of extreme influences (are you still following?) 'The Sound Of Steel' is an absolute recommend, and especially guitar freaks will definitely love it. For the "average" metalhead and straightforward maniacs like yours truly, however, it is bit more difficult to digest, since the versatility of the music requires a lot of attention. All in all, my preference goes a bit more to 'Ride Forth', but 'The Sound Of Steel' is just a bit stronger on the musical and technical level.