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Since the early '90s, San Francisco's Exhumed have honed their brand of gore-obsessed death metal with a tongue-in-cheek flair and an overall musical approach often reminiscent of Carcass, a band that they have frequently acknowledged as a primary influence. Diligently led by founding guitarist Matt Harvey, they have endured constant lineup changes over the years. Exhumed formed in 1990 with a lineup consisting of Harvey (guitar, vocals), Col Jones (drums), Derrel Houdashelt (guitar), Jake Giardina (vocals), and Ben Marrs (bass). They made their first recordings under this formation, including the Excreting Innards 7" for Afterworld Records. Giardina and Marrs left the band within the next few years, with Matt Widener (bass) and Ross Sewage (vocals) brought in as replacements. After recording the Horrific Expulsion of Gore demo (1994), Widener left and Sewage took over bass duties. This lineup eventually recorded a split-CD with the Ohio band Hemdale, In the Name of Gore, which came out on Visceral Productions in 1995 and featured an absolutely revolting album cover.
Soon after, Houdashelt left and was eventually replaced by Mike Beams. With this lineup intact, they signed to Relapse Records and finally released their first official full-length, Gore Metal, in 1998, with guitarist James Murphy (Death, Obituary) at the production helm. Sewage left the band shortly after this record, leaving the trio of Harvey, Beams, and Jones to record the follow-up, Slaughtercult. The album was released on Relapse in 2000 and was enthusiastically received on the death metal scene. Exhumed supported the album with three coast-to-coast American tours and a European one, where they co-headlined the Fuck the Commerce Festival in Germany and the Obscene Extreme Festival in the Czech Republic. In 2003, they recorded the more progressively arranged -- and most critically acclaimed -- recording Anatomy Is Destiny, which was released by Relapse. Bassist Bud Burke left the band before their tour and was replaced by Leon del Muerte.
Exhumed experienced another critical blow following their U.S. and European tours with the departure of founding member and drummer Col Jones. Rather than enter the studio without a permanent replacement, they chose instead to release the compilation Platters of Splatter; they toured using fill-in drummers. The band also eventually lost guitarist Mike Beams before axeman Wes Caley and drummer Matt Connell joined the band permanently. This version of Exhumed decided to follow Metallica's concept of a covers album and issued Garbage Daze Re-Regurgitated in 2005; the band also assembled a live DVD before disappearing from the scene for nearly five years. The quartet of del Muerte, Caley, Connell, and lone founding member Harvey (on guitar and vocals) spent a year writing and emerged with All Guts, No Glory on Relapse in the summer of 2011. Returning two years later in a completely different configuration, Harvey recorded the slow-grooved Necrocracy with a new rhythm section of Rob Babcock (bass) and Mike Hamilton (drums) and a former bassist, Bud Burke, playing guitar. In 2015, with early-days member Ross Sewage resuming his role as singer and bassist and Burke moving to guitar, Exhumed re-recorded their debut album and issued it under the title Gore Metal: A Necrospective 1998-2015. With the same lineup intact, they produced the band's seventh effort, 2017's Death Revenge, again via Relapse. ~ William York & Thom Jurek
- San Francisco, CA
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