October 23, 1990 - 2020: 30 years of: Slaughter In The Vatican.
New Orleans's swamp-thing.
A vulgar display of power. Aggression, hate and vile human misbehavior, World, please welcome into the mosh-pit: EXHORDER. After the 1986 Get Rude demo-cassette, the band landed a deal with up-coming label Roadrunner Records and then things got really ugly.
1990, the summum for thrashmetal and simultaneously the springboard for deathmetal and EXHORDER happened to kick both of their asses. Part NYHC-styled vocals, part L.A.-styled shred speedmetal leads, part Bay Aera metal riffing all produced with a Floridian deathmetal-tone, this lethal US-of-A mix is pure-fucking-adrenaline.
The pit is instant as the 9-feet tall "Death In Vain" blows the hinges of the front-door. Downstroke-riffing and matching kick-drums slaps you in the face for a full 5:34sec of brutality and fist-flying fun. The aural-massacre continues with an "Homicide", where drummer Chris Nail proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is a buffalo stampede.
The razor-sharp riffing of "Legions Of Death" and the controversial title-track would make Gary Holt re-question is riff-master status. The mid-paced 60-ton vanitous "Desecrator" is free hate and random violence. Gigantic SABBATH-sludge heaviness and how can you not make friends with lines like: "...and I'll make you, eat my shit"
Half-thrasmetal, half-deathmetal and fully loaded, this SRT8-primed album caught everyone off-guard. The scene was ready for new extremes, but never for a punch such as strong as Slaughter In The Vatican was.
Timing is everything and by 1991, the thrashmetal scene was in a dire state. EXHORDER did release the streetmetal powerhouse The Law in 1992 but sadly disbanded shortly after.
N.O.L.A.: four letters that spells FEAR !
Slaughter In The Vatican 1987 demo
At Morrisound Studios in 1990
Live in 1991
Let's put this one to rest once and for all: EXHORDER were thrashmetal before PANTERA !
The year 1986, thrash and glam are battling to the Top and way down in the slums of New Orleans, Louisiana, EXHORDER where thrashing up their chops with the Get Rude demo. The 4-track cassette comfortably rubs shoulder with DEATH ANGEL's Kill As One and TESTAMENT's Demo 1 demos. The underground tape even features the song "Anal Lust" re-recorded for 1990's controversial Slaughter In The Vatican CD.
Meanwhile in Arlington, Texas, the colorful rocknroll machine of brothers Diamond Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott were fixing their hairdo and spandex to the cool lip-stick licks of 1985's I Am The Night LP. An album that fits with the likes of KIX's Midnite Dynamite and STRYPER's To Hell With The Devil LP.
NO CONTEST !
EXHORDER is one of those bands that bleeds between scenes. While the music is clearly energetic groove thrashmetal, their sound, their production and even their record label where all from the deathmetal scene. Their debut album Slaughter In The Vatican is a blatant 360° fuck-you to the world and it's inhabitants ...yet we've seen nothing yet !
Before heavy-hitter like 1993's SEPULTURA Chaos AD, FIGHT War Of Words and LIFE OF AGONY's River Runs Red ...1992's The Law was the authority in American streetmetal ! Yes PANTERA's 1992 Vulgar Display Of Power was already out and charting, but please refer again to the opening paragraph of this review. Also take into consideration that Vulgar Display Of Power was released on February 25th 1992 and The Law was released of March 15th 1992 ...again no contest !
The Law is a lethal hybrid of various metals: aggressive North-Californian thrashmetal, mixed with NYC-area thrashcore DIY attitude, all produced with a Floridian deathmetal feel ...you will not survive this assault !
The wounds are opened wide and burned to a crisp with "Soul Search Me" while "I Am The Cross" is pounding metal madness as the downstroke-riffing makes even the hardest of thrashers fall unto their knees into submission. Worship them ! "The Truth" is another bare-fist back-alley brawl while the instru-metal "Incontinence" is a far beyond vulgar display of reinvented steel riffing. Once again killing the kit through the album is underrated master skinsman Chris Nail, a one of a kind beat-machine, just like the Kontos, Tempesta, Cavalera and Bostaph of the era.
The cover of the BLACK SABBATH classic "Into The Void" blends perfectly as the band itself is clearly influenced by the almighty gods. The title-track lays a strong foundation with it's off-set patterns and blowtorch-like vocals and the closing track, the explosive "(Cadence Of) The Dirge" defines the term machine-gun riffing. Über sick staccato guitars with bassdrums to match at the 2:01sec point are heavy enough to initiate a geomagnetic-reversal !!!
The head-shot track is "Unforgiven", a tame title that dates all the way back to 1986, yet the sick mechanical riff and WW3-type drum Armageddon sets this one as a true mosh-pit monster.
Unfortunately the band and the then rock/metal landscape was under fire from the flannels of Seattle and the band broke-up shortly after The Law's touring cycle, until it's recent re-incarnation.
It is only in recent times that the truth about EXHORDER's very own existence and the musical similarities came to light to most metalheads. We say "similarities" because in no way, shape or form, PANTERA stole the sounds of EXHORDER, as Cowboys From Hell + Vulgar Display Of Power does NOT sound like Slaughter In The Vatican + The Law, or vice-versa, but the similarities ARE evident between both bands, which with time became a heated subject of debate thru the metal-scene.
Still one fact remains: PANTERA made it to the bank, but cred-wise, the truth lays with EXHORDER.
See you tonite.
Live in 1992
(c) (p) 2021 helterskelter.ca. All Rights Reserved. Tous Droits Réservés.