Holy shit!! What an opening. This latest offering by the veteran German thrash quintet lovingly assaults your eardrums from the outset. The opening, and also title track 'The Raging Tides' aggressively grabs and hooks you in, then throws you straight into the next track. This formula is repeated throughout this work refusing to let go of you for the albums' entirity. By the end of the final track 'Hostage To Heaven' I felt as if I'd been involved in a multitude of circle pits, mosh pits and walls of death. Happy days!
The sheer aggression here is on a par with such iconic albums as Slayers 'Hell Awaits', Sepultura's 'Arise', and Testament's 'Souls Of Black'. These incidentally being my three favourite thrash albums of all time, so I make these comparisons as a glowing compliment.
Upon further analysis of the albums' content, the tracks all seem to follow a particular theme of human suffering. Not the brooding hellscapes as portrayed by bands like Slayer, but rather an exposition of the human abuses that are prevalent around the globe today. Vocalist Mem V Stein has obviously done his homework as the lyrics are cleverly written in such a way that no particular agency is called out for blame but instead, allows the listener to read between the lines. These being subjects I'm particularly passionate about, I felt a deeper engagement to the music beyond the superficial.
Exumers' 31 years of experience really shows through here with expertly written lyrics and aggressive brilliance. The band claim 'The Raging Tides' to be their pinnacle, and I would be very inclined to agree with that statement. This is definitely album number 4 in my thrash hall of fame..
Words by Paul Clarke.
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