Disabled – The Final Exhumation

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/Label: Xenokorp
Released: 2020
Buy Album: Webstore / Bandcamp
Band Website: Facebook / Website / Spotify 

Band Line-up:

Stéphane Morillon – Vocals
Eric Moyen – Guitars
Pascal Bironneau – Bass
Laurent Roy – Drums

Tracklisting:

01. Exhumation
02. Massacred By Slitting
03. The Beast of Csejthe
04. Ultimate Desecration
05. Stabwound Butchery
06. Abolish the Church
07. Child Abuse
08. The Eagle of Eli
09. Back to the Beyond

Review:

Collectors and completists rejoice! There’s nothing like the discovery of some buried treasure to reignite the enthusiasm for plugging gaps in your record collection.

For this current edition of The Final Exhumation, Disabled have secured a CD release for what had, until now, been a long-forgotten, and long sold out, document of a nineties session by the band – previously limited to a cassette release.

The band elaborates – “Taking place a bit before we went on to record what would become our final release, the “Faith Ablation” EP, this crude session features rawer versions of four of the five tracks that would end up on the EP and songs that were exclusively available as live versions prior to this exhumation.”

Personally, I haven’t heard the Faith Ablation EP, so find myself coming to this with no expectations or prior knowledge of the band’s music. The album opens with the ominous sound of the earth being dug away before a demonic growl confirms we are absolutely in death metal territory. Any further doubts are blown away as, Massacred By Slitting whisks it’s way in to begin the maelstrom.

While there is a good level of brutality from the start, I’d say this release takes a little while to warm up. The first song and it’s immediate follow up, The Beast of Csejthe are both credible songs. They make the right moves but ultimately fail to offer anything beyond standard death metal fare. If this was a plate of food, I’d say it was missing some of the seasonings. Good enough, but not really memorable.

Ultimate Desecration sounds better, there are some gnarly pinched harmonics that prick up my ears before Stabwound Butchery brings in some tougher riffs and a contrasting grindcore vocal style that has me nodding my approval. For me, this song is the point where I feel a bit more invested – It’s also the first track I went back to for a second listen.

Notably, the temptation to seek the re-recorded versions of this material (as released on the aforementioned 1997 follow-up) revealed a preference for these rawer tracks. A song like Abolish The Church retains its savagery on the latter, Faith Ablation EP, but on here, it is undeniably rougher and filthier. It has a layer of grime to give it a delightfully miserable edge, making this a worthy release, particularly if you are familiar with the band’s later albums and want to hear the roots of that material.

The second half of the album is infused with increased energy and I find myself enjoying what, in old school terms, would be considered “Side B” more than “Side A.” For me, the band hit a frenetic gear that increases the likelihood of repeated listens. The ferocious, Napalm Death scream that closes the final track, The Eagle Of Eli absolutely ensures a rewind and sees me pushing play for another spin.

The significance of this is to acknowledge how the record won me over from my initial uncertainty. Reluctant at first, but ultimately punching the air with the savagery of it all. Play it loud!

Review by Beandog

Share