Exhumed is an American death metal band. They have gone through multiple genre changes throughout their career, having started out as a goregrind act in the vein of Impetigo and early Carcass before gradually changing to a death metal act. Characterized by fast, thrashy riffing, highly complex and often darkly humorous lyrics, and an instantly recognizable "low grunt, high rasp" vocal style, Exhumed have had a long and rocky career that has included many, MANY prominent figures in metal, but their recent reunion has brought a surprising amount of success that bodes very well for their future.
Formed in 1990 in San Jose, California by Matt Harvey (guitar, vocals), Col Jones (drums), Rocky Torrecillas (guitars), and Peter Rossman (bass), their early work was very much in the goregrind vein. The amount of early releases nearly equaled the amount of lineup changes; that is to say, of course, that they released a ridiculous amount of material, almost all of it splits. After a long period of releasing nothing but splits and demos (including a rough, amateurish full-length that has more or less been forgotten about), they finally released Gore Metal, their proper full-length debut, in 1998. They would go on to release Slaughtercult, their follow-up album, in 2000, though not without another lineup shake-up or two (noticing a theme yet?). From there, they went on to release Anatomy Is Destiny in 2003; intended to be their breakthrough album, it represented a change in sound to death metal, paralleling what Carcass did with Necroticism. Unfortunately for Harvey and co., however, it didn't make anywhere near as much of a splash as they had been hoping for. The band still soldiered on for two more years, releasing Garbage Daze Re-Regurgitated (a cover album) in 2005; it would ultimately prove to be their last release for some time, as they were put on indefinite hiatus that same year.
Five years came and went without any real change in status, with Harvey and friends focusing on their own endeavors. Come 2010, however, Harvey decided to resurrect the carcass of Exhumed, this time with a lineup of Harvey (guitar, vocals), Wes Caley (guitar), Leon del Muerte (bass, vocals), and Danny Walker (drums). A year later, they had released All Guts, No Glory, their comeback album, to positive reviews and surprisingly decent sales. Also, to the surprise of many, the band actually began to gain some momentum. Having gained supporting spots with various high-profile acts, they began to rise in the ranks, finally gaining a VERY lucrative spot on the 2012 Summer Slaughter festival. This being said, however (and to the surprise of very few), the band had yet ANOTHER total lineup change in between the release of the new album and the touring bonanza, welcoming in Mike Hamilton (of Deeds of Flesh fame) on drums and welcoming back former members Rob Babcock (bass, vocals) and Bud Burke (guitar). This lineup has recorded a new full-length, Necrocracy, which will be released on August 6, 2013. As of October 2014, Babcock has left yet again, and Matt "Slime" Ferri of Coffin Dust will be taking his place. A re-recorded version of Gore Metal is on the way, as is more touring (what else is new?). Ferri himself left sometime in 2015, and after a period of minimal activity while Harvey focused on Gruesome, the band has officially announced that Ross Sewage has returned to his old post on a full-time basis as of 2016.
Major albums: (their discography is quite large thanks to the sheer amount of splits, demos, and compilations they've released over the years)
- Goregasm (1992) - rough full-length, has more or less been forgotten about
- Gore Metal (1998) - considered to be their true debut
- Slaughtercult (2000)
- Anatomy Is Destiny (2003) - Genre Shift to death metal
- Platters of Splatter (2004) - compilation of demos and other assorted unreleased material
- Garbage Daze Re-Regurgitated (2005) - cover album
- All Guts, No Glory (2011)
- Necrocracy (2013)
- Gore Metal: A Necrospective 1998 - 2015 (2015) - rerecorded version of the original
- Death Revenge (2017)
- Horror (2019)
The band provides examples of the following tropes:
- Absentee Actor: Ross Sewage, for the most part. He can't really tour and mostly just does fests and local one-offs, and Matt Ferri is fine with being his on-call fill-in because it gives him plenty of time for tattooing (his day job) and doing stuff with Coffin Dust. This was also the case with Bud Burke for some time before he finally left again in 2018, as his job just didn't really afford him many opportunities to tour.
- Ascended Extra: Sebastian Phillips was a good friend of the band well before he even got the job as Bud Burke's live fill-in, and after Burke left in 2018 (after Phillips had been filling in for almost a year), he took over as his full-time replacement.
- Ascended Meme: Pounder (Harvey's traditional heavy metal side project) was originally just one of many fake band names that the members of Exhumed used to fuck with people at gas stations and truck stops who asked if they were in a band; for some reason, "Pounder" had a particularly nice ring to it, and Harvey even went so far as to create a fake Facebook page for the band in case anyone actually took him seriously and decided to look them up. Fast forward to some nebulous timeframe around the very end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017, and Harvey wound up turning it into an actual band.
- Audience Participation Song: "Limb from Limb", to the point where the band will often extend it to almost twice its original length just for this purpose. Mind you, the original song is just a little over two minutes, so it's not as much as you'd think.
- Badass Beard: Rob has quite the impressive one.
- Big Fun: Matt Slime, the eternal Walking Shirtless Scene.
- Black Comedy: Most of their lyrics.
- Body Horror: Pretty frequent theme, but "Consuming Impulse" takes the cake.
- Chainsaw Good: Part of their stage show (barring certain venues) involves Dr. Philthy (the alter-ego of their longtime roadie) running onstage with a gas-powered chainsaw and menacingly brandishing it.
- Concept Album: Death Revenge is based around the "career" of Burke and Hare.
- Death Metal: From Anatomy Is Destiny until Death Revenge, after which they returned to playing grindcore.
- Disco Dan: Col Jones. If it's not Iron Maiden, Sodom, or Repulsion, he doesn't give a fuck. If he actually does praise a new act, Harvey will check them out no questions asked.
- Gorn: What else would you expect?
- Goregrind: Everything up to Anatomy Is Destiny, though Slaughtercult displayed prominent death metal influences. Horror revisited this style with an approach closer to their demo era.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Matt and Col. Col barely has time to play live any more, and getting him to go to shows is like pulling teeth, but the two will always be best friends. This is also why Dekapitator fell off the map: Col simply didn't have the time for them, and Matt refused to do it without him because he concluded that Dekapitator with anyone else on drums wasn't right.
- I Am the Band: Matt Harvey, mostly because he's the only consistent member.
- Lead Bassist: The vast majority of their bassists have been Type B examples because of Exhumed's signature trade-off vocals. Matt "Slime" Ferri also qualified as a Type C due to his Memetic Badass status within the Philly metal scene.
- Mad Doctor: Dr. Philthy, the alter ego of their roadie.
- Magical Defibrillator: Another part of their stage show, which typically involves Sebastian (or Bud before him) "dying" onstage mid-solo before being "jolted" back to life by Dr. Philthy to finish the solo (occasionally with the aid of a can of cheap beer).
- Mascot: Dr. Philthy, who doubles as their stagehand and general tour assistant.
- Melodic Death Metal: Necrocracy, though they've been flirting with elements of this since Anatomy Is Destiny.
- Metal Scream: Matt Harvey is a Type 3, while the secondary vocalists (primarily bassists) are usually a Type 2.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Solid 10 for the most part, hard 9 at their lowest. They were mostly 11 in Gore Metal.
- New Sound Album: A few.
- Gore Metal, while a goregrind album, fleshed out and added some coherency to their established sound.
- Anatomy Is Destiny was a full Genre Shift to death metal, making use of complex, winding arrangements akin to Carcass' Necroticism album. By Matt's own admission, it was more than a little cumbersome and clumsily written at times.
- All Guts, No Glory toned down the complexity of their arrangements and went for a far more direct approach, essentially going for a straightforward blasting death metal sound with a bit more thrash than usual.
- Necrocracy slowed things down and featured some major Bay Area thrash influences due to Matt being the main songwriter once more; to paraphrase his words, he wanted a hookier, groovier album to contrast the very in-your-face feel of All Guts.
- Death Revenge is something akin to a mix of All Guts and Necrocracy with particularly pronounced thrash elements.
- Horror is a throwback to their earliest demos, with a very straightforward early grindcore/proto-goregrind sound.
- Protest Song: Most of the material on Necrocracy, albeit with lots of gore and death-related metaphors.
- The Remake: Gore Metal: A Necrospective 1998-2015 was a full rerecording of Gore Metal with the then-current lineup, as Matt Harvey didn't like how the original turned out and wanted to redo it with the same level of polish as their current material. At the same time, he absolutely understood why some people would prefer the original and its rawness and lack of polish, and so it was bundled with the rerecording.
- Retraux: Matt's Dekapitator side project was an homage to all the thrash bands he had grown up with, particularly the German acts; cheesy stage names, lyrics in purposely-mangled English, and a generic executioner mascot were all employed to help aid in this. His other new side project, Gruesome, is a tribute to Leprosy-era Death, complete with Harvey doing his best Chuck Schuldiner impression vocally, along with a classic Ed Repka cover artwork piece. As for Exhumed, Horror is musically a throwback to their absolute earliest demos (albeit played much more competently), while its packaging is a throwback to low-budget 80s and early 90s VHS cases, the disc itself is made to look like handwritten notes on an old tape, and the highest-end preorder bundle comes in a box that is made to look like a VCR (complete with a limited-edition VHS tape with the entire album loaded onto it, a fictional video store employee shirt, and a membership card to the same store).
- Revisiting the Roots: Horror is something of a throwback to their earliest days, with a raw, stripped-down, primitive feel with none of the melodic or thrashy flourishes of Gore Metal and a very straightforward proto-goregrind sound.
- Revolving Door Band: To a truly absurd degree; blink, and it's entirely conceivable that there will have been a lineup alteration in that time. Touring schedules and day job conflicts are the usual culprit, though Mike Hamilton has been in the band full-time for seven years at this point.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Owing to their Carcass influences, Matt Harvey's lyrics frequently use accurate medical terminology; actually, his lyrics in general display a very florid vocabulary.
A morbid matter on which to meditate or mutilate.A deathly detail to deliberate and desiccate.
- A good example from "The Matter of Splatter" (also falling under Added Alliterative Appeal):
- Signature Style: Fast, heavily thrashy riffing, heavy use of blasts and thrash beats, a high howl/low grunt dual-vocal system, highly complex lyrics with a heavy black comedic element, and melodic, technical soloing with frequent tradeoffs.
- Soprano and Gravel: Exhumed has almost always used a dual-vocal approach, with one member (usually a bassist) using a low grunt to contrast Matt's raspy howls.
- Special Guest: This is essentially Matt "Slime" Ferri's role at this point, as Ross Sewage cannot tour full-time, while Dan Gonzalez (Possessed) and Sebastian Phillips (Noisem) have filled in for Bud Burke at various points before the latter eventually replaced Burke in 2018.
- Start My Own: Matt Harvey and Col Jones started Dekapitator sometime in the late nineties as a tribute to the thrash acts that they grew up on. As of 2014, he has formed the early Death worship project Gruesome with Daniel Gonzalez (Possessed), Robin Mazen (Derketa), and Gus Rios (ex-Malevolent Creation), and he also started Pounder (traditional heavy metal) and Expulsion (old-school grindcore with Matt Olivo from Repulsion) sometime after.
- Thrash Metal: The band displays very heavy thrash influences in their riffing, as well as Matt's vocals; he would expand on this with Dekapitator, his retro-thrash side project that he started sometime around the release of Gore Metal, and Scarecrow, another project that he had for several years after Exhumed broke up that he resurrected in 2020.
- Title-Only Chorus: Frequently, with "As Hammer to Anvil" and "Limb from Limb" serving as the most notable examples.