Exumer - Possessed by Fire
Disaster Records
Speed/Thrash Metal
9 songs ()
Release year: 1986
Reviewed by Cody
Archive review

Exumer, one of underground thrash's best kept secrets and hidden gems. Hailing from Frankfurt, Germany, the band released two albums and split up as a main act leaving the world with an eternal duo of blindingly aggressive albums that are sometimes overlooked in many circles or dismissed as lower class thrash. First off, the first endeavor by Exumer, Possessed by Fire, was almost pure speed metal, and secondly, they are not lower class by any means. In fact, Exumer defined the art of speed metal on Possessed by Fire, and by the time their second album Rising From the Sea came about, they were busting chops with thrash licks that would make make Jenna Jameson blush!

Okay, enough of the documentary style fellatio, here is my meat and potatoes take on Exumer's first undertaking into the world of speed/thrash. Possessed by Fire is not really a landmark effort, it's not a classic by any means, the vocals suck, there are not a lot of stand out tracks, and the playing is sloppy, yet there is not one fan on the face of this planet that would change any of that! This album represents everything great about the gritty, dirty, the badly produced, the ballsy, the underground...hell, I'd say Exumer on this album defines what it meant to play thrash and speed metal in the mid 80's! While many of the Bay Area wonderboys were beginning to sell more records with slick production and artful interludes, guys like Exumer were more concerned about picking up instruments to play head banging lightning fast music that defied what it meant to be intricate and melodic.

Being a HUGE thrasher, I take great pride in being able to pick apart thrash to determine what makes it tick and why it as good as it is. In Exumer's case, I really do not quite know why I personally enjoy this album. Yes, it attracts me for the reasons previously listed, but I am usually a fan of the Bay Area wonderboys that were borderline early power metal. Something about this album though, between the scratchy vocals and the muddy guitars, really turn my head and make me listen. When I am in the need to just stand in the middle of my room and headbang until I fall over from dizziness, I break out Possessed by Fire to help alleviate my needs.

If you are new to thrash I would suggest NOT starting with Possessed by Fire. If you are a newbie to this band, check out Rising From the Sea first, as it MUCH more refined and shows off the band's growth in just a year's time, and has some kick ass thrash moments. If you are looking for a speed metal album, PICK THIS SHIT UP IMMEDIATELY! The genre of speed metal was not invented by Exumer but if there was ever a band that really defined that it meant to be speedy without alot of punk and hardcore influences, it is Possessed by Fire. Once you listen to their second album and maybe give some other German thrash the go around, come back to this rough and tumble album and you'll be able to not only appreciate the speed metal moments, but you'll also be able to pick out the thrashy bits giving you a whole new appreciation for the piece.

Possessed by Fire is not one of my favorite speed/thrash albums, but it definitely has its qualities that should be heard by anyone into this form of metal. So....if you are done reading this review, go out and buy this album, or if you already own it, break it out and begin listening immediately. Exumer should be heard by one and all.

Killing Songs :
Journey to Oblivion, A Mortal in Black
Cody quoted 75 / 100
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