For the last thirty years, Exhumed has solidified their position among specialized practitioners within the ranks of heavy music.
Among the most prolific contributors to the lexicon of gore metal, the band's brand of brutality has been a continuous stream of metal-driven macabre that began with their eponymous 1998 full length debut, Gore Metal and has remained unwaveringly grim ever since.
The remaining constant throughout the band's run of eight albums and extensive archive of extended plays and split releases has been the voice and vision of frontman/guitarist Matt Harvey. The widely-recognized, universally respected name among the death, grind, thrash contingent has established a reputation for his authentic immersion in the culture.
The grim, gore-obsessed aesthetic that anchors Exhumed's signature is the direct result of Harvey's unwavering fascination with the fucked up. The result is an artistic interpretation that balances the extreme with the entertaining - a grindhouse flick conveyed with drums, guitars, and a vile, guttural rasp.
With a catalog that includes essentials of the genre like Slaughtercult, All Guts No Glory, and the acclaimed Anatomy Is Destiny, it's no wonder that Harvey's affinity for bloodlust and extremity has strong ties to cult-driven cinema.
To better understand some of the source material that helped to shape Harvey's creative path that would eventually develop with Exhumed, the frontman detailed 10 cinematic references that are intended to completely re-fuck your mind.
Be warned... this list is NOT for the casual horror fan. Some of these films consist of the kind of visuals that stick with you long after you've watched them. In addition to the list of gruesome flicks, stream the surprise 4-track EP from Exhumed, Worming, below.
Harvey - This short Spanish film is very simple in terms of "plot," but it's effective as hell. A woman is the victim of a car accident, and her autopsy is performed by a pathologist who's... less than ethical. It's all done in a way that's cold, grim and real. Great film.
(The entire film can be streamed below. It's most definitely NSFW and not for the squeamish. You have been warned.)
Harvey - This German classic is a bit nonsensical in terms of "story" but who cares? If explicit gore and necrophilia are your thing (and if they aren't, please stop reading) you get a real eyeful of it here. The whole affair is gleefully over the top with a bit of black humor so you can observe these gruesome tableaus without that pesky pang of conscience getting in the way. Who wouldn't want to work for the Streetcleaner after seeing this truly deranged flick?
(Even this trailer features some graphic, bloody, pretty suggestive stuff. This is very much intended for adult audiences only.)
8. Tetsuo: The Iron Man
Harvey - This is no PG-13 Robert Downey Jr. popcorn thriller, this is a straight-up bizarro fever dream of Japanese body horror. If you haven't seen it yet, I assure you, it's beyond anything you think it might be. It's gory, shocking, mind-bending and just really fucking weird. And of course, utterly classick.
7. Guinea Pig II: Flowers of Flesh and Blood
Staying in Japan for this one, another short film where a maniac in a samurai helmet dismembers a woman over 40+ minutes of very discomforting blood and guts. What else do you need?
(This trailer is gory. AF. It depicts dismemberment and features a dude in a samurai helmet doing some wild stuff with an axe. It's over the top, but can be pretty gnarly nonetheless. Proceed with caution.)
6. Bloodsucking Freaks
Harvey - Is it horror? Is it exploitation? Is it satire? Whatever it is, shit is fucked up as hell, yo. Trigger warnings would do no justice to this truly tasteless film, full of degradation, vice, mutilation and sleaze, and one of the coolest little people in horror history.
(The trailer for this exists everywhere online but there is a bunch of nudity in it. Like a bunch. So, here is the film poster instead.)
5. Cannibal Holocaust
Harvey - Again, this is a film that does not stand up to modern sensibilities well. It's sleazy, it's full of graphic scenes of animals getting killed, and it makes you feel like you need to take a bath afterwards. But once you finally get to the cannibal gore, it's all worth it. There is some intense genital violence, people impaled on poles, and lots and lost of people eating people.
4. Altered States
Harvey - This one feels a little dulled by time, but seeing it as a kid was a complete mindfuck. Using a sensory deprivation tank, a scientist taps into a primitive, devolved state of pre-human consciousness. What could go wrong? It's a slow-burning, plot heavy film, but I think it's a very, very good one. Fun fact: The cover art from Godflesh's "Streetcleaner" masterpiece is a still from this film.
3. The Beyond
Harvey - Fulci's masterpiece, The Beyond sometimes doesn't make narrative sense, feeling very dreamlike and almost stream-of-consciousness at times, if you let it that is. If you're not all in, you'll find yourself deploring its plot-holes, but c'mon! A guy gets whipped with a chain until his skin peels off, a woman vomits her intestines up after staring into the eyes of a dead priest's hanging cadaver. What else do you need in a film? A great score? Got it. Gateways to hell? Got it. Bleeding Eyes? Got it. This song has inspired everyone from Death to Sodom to Regurgitate to more than one of my bands. Total classick.
2. Faces of Death
Harvey - A classick "documentary" (mockumentary?) that's a beautiful insight into the horrors and neuroses of the Reagan era and the sordid scintillating thrills disaffected young boys craved during those halcyon days of cartoon horror. The transparent moralizing of the narrator "Dr. Francis B. Gross" is the flimsiest of justifications to parade a barrage of lurid, desensitizing imagery in front of a rabid adolescent audience, and I should know - I was one of those pimple-ridden virgins gorging my pubescent mind on these kinds of over-the-top splatter-fests in the mid / late 80s.
Harvey - Cinematically, intellectually and philosophically obtuse (or maybe I'm just dumb?), the film is less a narrative than a series of evocative images pulled from the collective unconscious of myth and symbolism, but presented in an extremely gory fashion. It's a mindfucking splatterfest of Jungian proportions that's not a good idea for your first (or any?) acid trip. Begotten is a difficult and monolithic cinematic achievement that's not for the faint of heart. You'll have a hard time washing it off your brain for a long, long time.
Exhumed kick off their Worming Through America tour this Friday October 22nd along with Creeping Death, Bewitcher, and Enforced. Check the complete list of dates below.