Literally everything I have ever read on the band describes Exhumed one of two ways: if positive, as "Carcass-worshipers" or, if negative, as "Carcass clones." Guess I need some more Carcass. Admittedly, all I have ever heard by Carcass is the used copy of Heartwork I bought in college and, frankly, haven't really played at all in the last 19 years or so.
It may be the production. It may be the infusion of melodic leads and solos. It may be the precision and power of the drums. Then again, it may be - and probably is - a maturity and honing of songwriting as the band had taken a five-year or so hiatus since their prior record and, in the meantime, cooked up a veritable feast of gore. "As Hammer to Anvil," the record's first fully-realized number, is as good as any single song I have heard in the last year.
It's nice to just enjoy music that aspires to do nothing more than rock. It's even better when a band succeeds in that aspiration as well as Exhumed has on All Guts, No Glory. I don't necessarily care if it's original. And I'll likely never claim Exhumed are the best in any particular category or subgenre or my favorite anything, for that matter (I still gotta hand the gore crown for 2011 to Autopsy). Exhumed are, instead, purveyors of another great, fun set of records on my shelf and, like my Tombs of the Blind Dead box set, a reliable source of ambling, decrepit, bloodthirsty, tasteless entertainment.