Gory Details From the Exhumed Cult
CoC talks to Matt Harvey of Exhumed
by: Adrian Bromley
Gee, I wonder what Exhumed's new disc, titled _Slaughtercult_, will be about? Daisy-filled fields? Beautiful songs about love and inspiration? Perhaps a song about the wonderful world we live in? Don't count on it, people. With song titles like "Slave to the Casket", "Funeral Fuck", "Dinnertime in the Morgue" and "A Lesson in Pathology", Exhumed are back and they are here to fuck things up more than they already are. All in the name of gore!

The one thing that has always impressed me about Exhumed is the fact that the band (rounded out by vocalist/guitarist Matt Harvey, guitarist Mike Beams, drummer Col Jones and new bassist Bud Burke, ex of Pale Existence) has always been about what they want. They write what they want to. They play how they want to. As long as they can fuck things up and make things as gorified as possible, then all is good in the Exhumed camp.

Matt Harvey agrees. "We do what we want to do and we don't conform to anyone. We do what we want and we put what we want on the front cover. We don't place a nice piece of artwork on top of the brutal music within. I hate those bands that do that or put on photos to rationalize a justification of singing about rotting corpses. We know at the end of the day that a rotting corpse is just that, a fucking rotting corpse. We just don't care. I guess it can all be summed up in one sentence: we don't give a fuck!"

And with such putrid images of blood and body parts, severed limbs and death sequences adorning their album covers, what sort of flack or censorship have they attained thus far? "Oh yeah, man. We get a lot of shit about what we are doing and to tell you the truth, we don't really deal with it. We don't care what people really say about Exhumed, good or bad. There are always people out there saying that it is "juvenile and stupid", and you know what? It is juvenile and stupid. Who cares? We are just having a good fucking time. I don't care what people say, as long as they don't say we are just "okay". I want people to either hate what we are doing or love us. People that think we are just "okay" piss me off and make me wonder just where we went wrong." He laughs.

"We are just fans of music and we just can't get enough of metal", explains Harvey. "I think the main reason why we all enjoy playing in Exhumed so much is that we want Exhumed to be the band we'd like to see. We sit around smoking and drinking beer and saying, "What kind of band do I want to see?" Or "What kind of record do I want to hear and have it kick my ass?" That is what we strive for, and will continue to strive for, with this band. That's the whole secret, man. It isn't anything fancy. We just want to play straight up death metal that is fast and brutal as fuck."

Ah -- that would explain the reasoning behind Exhumed's passionate throat grabbing sessions with each release. These guys go for the jugular and won't leave until your blood-soaked corpse has stopped convulsing. These are sickos at work and they mean business.

"I just want people to get a lot out of what we do. To let people know that we are paying respect to the bands that inspired us, but doing it the way Exhumed was meant to do it. You know, it is us playing the music and you can tell where our roots are coming from. We just keep it messy and full of gore." He adds: "I think death metal in general, I'm talking the whole genre, has become quite cautious and so overproduced and clean. We aren't about that. Exhumed didn't use drum triggers or computer editing. We went in to the studio, sung into the microphones and played our music and this is the result. Deal with it."

Those who hear the Exhumed record will no doubt hear the raw yet symphonic wails of aggression take shape into a sonic wall of intensity. Thanks in part to Nasum frontman Mieszko Talarczyk, Exhumed has presented a much fuller sound to digest, though still chock-full of all those gory details. About working with Mieszko, he says: "We wanted a really clear sound, but not a clean and safe one. He is more like a punk producer and that is what makes him so good. It is like the best of both worlds, a raw in-your-face sound that has metal riffs played with clarity and it just brings out the fierceness of it all. We really saw eye to eye on a lot of things, and we knew what he was all about, seeing that we are Nasum fans. He wasn't afraid to push us to try harder too. I'd be playing my part and he'd turn to me and say, "I thought we were making a death metal record. Why are you playing like a pussy?" <laughs> Then I'd go back and play it again until I got it the way he saw it to be. He pushed us and totally whipped us into shape as a band."

Besides the gore aspect of Exhumed, the band has also changed quite a bit over the years in terms of a revolving door of musicians, each time out adding a unique feel to the sound and style of the band. How does Harvey feel about all of the band member changes throughout their existence? How do things stay intact? "<laughs> We have been through a lot of changes, but it has been worth it, I guess. All of the members now have been with the band for a while and we are all contributing to the record. We have had a lot of line-up changes and I think that is just because me and Col are a bunch of pricks. We want things our way. We want Exhumed to be A-B-C and if you want D-E-F then you can fuck off. It is so funny to hear all of these bands that have line-up changes go and say, "This guy was a jerk and we couldn't work with him." Yeah, right. Those guys in the band are probably assholes. You have to be an asshole to do this and get things done. If you are not part of the solution, then you are the problem. It is that simple."

He finishes: "Like I said, I'm an asshole about a lot of things and Exhumed means a lot to me. I am this way because Exhumed has to be a certain way. If it isn't the way we want it to be, then why the fuck do it then? Plus, being an asshole is fun."

(article submitted 25/10/2000)

3/14/1999 A Bromley Exhumed: Madmen of Mutilation
8/15/2003 J Smit 7.5 Exhumed - Anatomy Is Destiny
8/12/2001 P Schwarz Exhumed - Slaughtercult
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