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Bonded By Blood

Exodus - Bonded By Blood ©1985 Combat
1. Bonded By Blood
2. Exodus
3. And Then There Were None
4. A Lesson In Violence
5. Metal Command
6. Piranha
7. No Love
8. Deliver Us To Evil
9. Strike Of The Beast
10. And Then There Were None (live)
11. A Lesson In Violence (live)

Once considered one of the originators of Bay Area Thrash, Exodus made every effort to circumvent success and noteriety in their very bumpy career. As most everyone knows, the original lineup of the band contained a certain Kirk Hammett, who would eventually wah-wah his way to fortune, fame and fashion no-no's in some other area band. But despite being around longer than nearly every other thrash band, Exodus endured delays and problems that ultimately would reduce their impact on the metal world. For instance, Bonded by Blood, the band's first album, was delayed for quite some time and by the time it was released, it sounded a bit quaint compared to their contemporaries, who were already passing them by. From that point on the band never quite found their wheels and endured a career of constantly being the second man off the starting blocks.

Bonded By Blood has of course been cannonized as the band's defining moment, although I'd be hardpressed to agree with that. Exodus was quite infamous for their incredibly violent shows and their lyrics reflected the obsession with it. After all, a song like "A Lesson in Violence" doesn't exactly leave any gray area about the matter. Musically, the band sounds a bit compressed and subdued, moreso than a band like this should. Whether that was inexperience in the studio or a producer who wasn't quite sure what to do with these rowdy boys is hard to say. But regardless of reason, the album seems tame and under far too much control for a band who suggests you bang your head against the stage. Riffs abound, which has always been a trademark for Exodus, but the biggest detriment is vocalist Paul Baloff. Apparently personality overshadowed actual ability and this is quite obvious. Wielding a high pitched shrieky voice, Baloff is the the type of singer that can make your ears run from the room, demanding to be traded to another head. And you will either love it or hate it. I fall into the latter category. To make my feelings more concrete, the 1989 reissue of Bonded By Blood includes two bonus live tracks featuring Baloff's eventual replacement, Steve Souza. Both songs sound so much more tolerable and powerful with Mr. Souza handling the microphone.

Despite my reservations about Bonded By Blood, it is still a focal point for the thrash scene of the 80s. Perhaps an earlier release would have helped the band evolve more quickly, but sometimes things just don't work out like that. I'll still reach for later Exodus albums when I'm in the mood for thrash, but for those who wish to acquire a deep understanding of the style, Bonded By Blood is one for the archives.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/2002

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Pleasures Of The Flesh

Exodus - Pleasures Of The Flesh ©1987 Combat
1. Deranged
2. 'Till Death Do Us Part
3. Parasite
4. Brain Dead
5. Faster Than You'll Ever Live To Be
6. Pleasures Of The Flesh
7. 30 Seconds
8. Seeds Of Hate
9. Chemi-Kill
10. Choose Your Weapon

This recent insurgence of so-called Retro Thrash has done little but chaffe me. I grew up in the latter part of the 80's with the real thrash and the modern attempts by such bands as Deceased and most of the Osmose roster are nothing but immature imitations of the past. So that's why digging up this Exodus album on CD was one of the more gratifying events of my life. (Well, not really, but it was pretty darned cool nonetheless.)

Last year's Exodus reformation of nearly all the Bonded By Blood lineup put a lot of focus on the original Exodus effort and generally poo-poo'ed all the Exodus efforts made afterwards with vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza (the former Legacy/Testament singer who replaced Paul Baloff). Well, I'm here to tell you that Exodus' best days are found here and on their third album Fabulous Disaster. Zetro was an excellent thrash vocalist whose Bon Scott with a rasp infliction was colorful and fun. Naturally, he was lucky to have riffmeisters Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt (arguably one of the best thrash guitar tandems ever) churning away behind him. While a listen to this album in 1998 is a complete trip into nostalgia, this album aged very well. The minor hints at melodicism on tracks like "Seeds of Hate" and "Chemi-Kill" were appealing, as well as their full throttle attacks such as "Choose Your Weapon". So the next time someone offers you lukewarm rehashes of thrash of yesteryear, proudly display your Exodus collection and remind them of what Nancy Reagan told you.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/1998

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Fabulous Disaster

Exodus - Fabulous Disaster ©1989 Combat
1. The Last Act Of Defiance
2. Fabulous Disaster
3. The Toxic Waltz
4. Low Rider
5. Cajun Hell
6. Like Father, Like Son
7. Corruption
8. Verbal Razors
9. Open Season
10. Overdose

Despite the fact that there are legions of naysayers out there who will disagree, Fabulous Disaster is Exodus' finest moment as a band. Having spent some time together as a complete unit, Exodus had shaken off some of the initial problems of integrating a new singer on Pleasures of the Flesh and came blazing out the door like a pack of rabid dobermans ready to tear your flesh off by means of guitars, drums and vocals. Sure, Bay Area Thrash existed before Fabulous Disaster, but to my ears, this album defined precisely what it meant to be a thrash band in that bloated genre by the Pacific.

The elements were all in place: riffs flying furiously from the twin guitars of Rick Hunolt and Gary Holt, Steve Souza's blistered Bon Scott vocals and rampaging waterfalls of abused drums courtesy of manic skin pounder Tom Hunting. The final piece of the puzzle lay within the songwriting, where the band put it all together in a collage of aggression and power. Yup..this rocks like none other. The first five tracks are damned near perfect. "The Last Act of Defiance" is as perfect of an album opener as you can find on any metal record. Unleashing unbridled energy, the song declares this band has come to punch your figurative lights out and there is little subtlety in their methods. The title track and the very amusing, yet thrashing, "Toxic Waltz" (the infamous ode to slam dancing that offered the great lyrics, "You used to do the monkey/Now it's not cool/The twist and mashed potato/No exception to the rule") both continue the madcap pace with riffs aplenty. The surprising cover of War's "Low Rider" is actually very accurate to the original, if perhaps a bit modified to heavy thrash. "Cajun Hell" offers a bit of delta blues guitar, showing the H-Team was a bit more than heavy riffs and speed, and a somewhat goofy story about those crazy Cajun boys down in Lousiana. "Verbal Razors", far along in the album, is a blistering attack on a poor enemy of the band's while "Open Season" is an insane blitz of completely unfettered aggression that nearly, but not quite, sails out of control. The CD contains another cover, this time AC/DC's "Overdose", which is extremely true to the original and proving Steve Souza was indeed a Bon Scott disciple.

Except for a couple weak tracks on the second side, all of Fabulous Disaster is a masterful display of Bay Area Thrash, unparalleled by anyone before or since. This is music that was sonic violence and perfectly captured the fun and power of the band at that point in 1989.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2000

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Impact Is Imminent

Exodus - Impact Is Imminent ©1990 Capitol
1. Impact Is Imminent
2. A.W.O.L.
3. The Lunatic Parade
4. Within The Walls Of Chaos
5. Objection Overruled
6. Only Death Decides
7. Heads They Win (Tails You Lose)
8. Changing Of The Guard
9. Thrash Under Pressure

Exodus was standing on top of the world after their excellent Fabulous Disaster, one of the most defining Bay Area Thrash records ever. They had a lucrative contract with Capitol (who was making Megadeth into rockstars) and all the momentum in the world. But then drummer Tom Hunting had to depart the band due to health problems and the Exodus balloon quickly deflated. The result is this rather limp work, easily the worst of Exodus's career. It was if the band went into practice saying, "Well, if we play fast, no one will notice this isn't up to par." Yet Hunting's replacement, John "Upwardly Mobile" Tempesta, was not the flurry of percussion of his predecessor and the riffmasters of Holt and Hunolt just couldn't string enough of them together to soar. The results are in abundance: "Lunatic Parade", "Within the Walls of Chaos", "Thrash Under Pressure" are all examples of second rate Exodus. "Only Death Decides" is one of the rare examples where the H-Team pulls some good riffs out of their bag. Naturally the result of this weak album was Exodus's quick downward spiral from the thrash world (coupled with the death of the genre around the same point in time). Too bad, really. They always were my favorite from the Bay.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/1998

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Good Friendly Violent Fun

Exodus - Good Friendly Violent Fun ©1991 Relativity
1. Fabulous Disaster
2. Chemi-Kill
3. 'Til Death Do Us Part
4. Toxic Waltz
5. Cajun Hell
6. Corruption
7. Brain Dead
8. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

In the early 90s, many of the various thrash metal bands on the Combat music label ended up having output that is far from mandatory. Combat's parent label, Relativity, issued a bunch of "best of" type releases as well as the occasional superfluous live album. Exodus ended up having both inflicted upon their discography, with Good Friendly Violent Fun being a live release that completely avoids being mandatory. The recording captures a home, Bay Area show presumably before Impact Is Imminent was released. Of course, the lack of any tracks from the album's setlist probably had much more to do with licensing rights from Capitol Records rather than a specific omission of any sort. While it's somewhat amusing to hear a bit of the stage banter by Steve Souza and definitely enjoyable to hear the live version of AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap", there's not a whole lot going for this particular release. The sound quality is good and not overly doctored up in post production (they allow feedback squeaks and squawks to remain in the mix). It simply just captures part of an Exodus set right around their career peak, but without actually making the listener feel a part of the moment. This is a general criticism for most live records, of course.

From the cartoon front cover (rarely a good sign for any music release) to the fact that this release most likely appeared to generate record label revenue, very little about Good Friendly Violent Fun is worth a recommendation. Exodus did manage to later record an interesting live album with 1997's Another Lesson in Violence, featuring the reunited Exodus with original frontman Paul Baloff. But as for the Steve Souza era Exodus, this live recording is all there is and it's not something you'll miss if you never happen to hear it.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/2011

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Force Of Habit

Exodus - Force Of Habit ©1992 Capitol
1. Thorn In My Side
2. Me, Myself & I
3. Force Of Habit
4. Bitch
5. Fuel For The Fire
6. One Foot In The Grave
7. Count Your Blessings
8. Climb Before The Fall
9. Architect Of Pain
10. When It Rains It Pours
11. Good Day To Die
12. Pump It Up
13. Feeding Time At The Zoo

It's too bad Exodus never really got their prize in the Bay Area Thrash sweepstakes. One of the original thrash bands and one of the most vicious (refer to any Exodus show with original singer Paul Baloff), Exodus always seemed to be a step behind in keeping up with the market leaders. By the time this album was released in '92, the sun had set on thrash and soonafter Exodus broke up. Now the only thing of note concerning Force of Habit is that there is at least one secondhand copy in every single used CD store in the world. In fact, it's a bylaw in the industry that you have to have a copy on the shelves before you can open your store.

Darn shame, really. The album is actually a very solid piece of work that serves as a nice bookend to a career. (Yes, I know they reformed with Baloff in '97 for a tour and perhaps studio work, but their career was built with Steve "Zetro" Souza on vocals.) Featuring, of course, the excellent guitar tandem of Rick "I got riffs" Hunolt and Gary "So do I" Holt, this album is chock full of chugging thrash. The boys slowed down a bit after mad-paced albums like Fabulous Disaster and Impact is Imminent, so this album actually serves as a precursor to later Bay Area bands like Machine Head and Skinlab. Souza, meanwhile, has never sounded quite so confident in his Bon Scott growl. Their cover of the Stones' "Bitch" shows him in fine form and the blues lyrics of "When It Rains It Pours" are handled well by him. My only real concern to the album is the drumming by Johnny "Pay Me Enough & I'll join White Zombie" Tempesta, which just pales next to original drummer Tom Hunting. Otherwise, you've got an album that is pure Exodus through and through.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/1998

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Another Lesson In Violence

Exodus - Another Lesson In Violence ©1997 Century Media
1. Bonded By Blood
2. Exodus
3. Pleasures Of The Flesh
4. And Then There Were None
5. Piranha
6. Seeds Of Hate
7. Deliver Us To Evil
8. Brain Dead
9. No Love
10. A Lesson In Violence
11. Impaler
12. Strike Of The Beast

Exodus was one of those bands who never quite got lucky. Although the band formed in the very early 80s and helped create the entire Bay Area thrash scene, success at the next level constantly eluded them. Sure, one of the original members of the band (some bloke named Kirk Hammett) went on to find the kind of success that you only hear about in fables, but Exodus themselves languished away in the "always the bridesmaid" category. Their classic debut, Bonded By Blood was delayed and released perhaps a bit past the time the band could have impacted the thrash scene the most. Then troubles with original vocalist Paul Baloff led to his dismissal from the band. His successor, Steve Souza, was considerably more tuneful and spent years slogging away, but many fans regard post-Baloff material as subpar. Eventually Exodus signed a life draining major label contract with Capitol and broke up after the release of Force of Habit, an album unleashed onto a very apathic market well after any sort of thrash metal pinnacle.

Although various members of the band attempted projects, none of them ever got off the ground. Baloff had been rumored to be in various bands, but nothing ever panned out. Apparently the only success to be found was in the non-musical business Steve Souza started after his time in Exodus. But by 1997, the various members of Exodus apparently got an itch to play together again. As a result, a nearly complete reunion of the Bonded By Blood lineup came together to play some one-off shows in their hometown of San Francisco. One of those shows was documented on this live release, Another Lesson in Violence.

Despite years of non-activity, the 1997 reincarnation of Exodus is razor sharp and shows they still have the ability to play their earliest material with hardly a drop-off in intensity or speed. Granted, I bet guitarists Rick Hunolt and Gary Holt felt like their arms might fall off after the first rehearsal, but on this live album, you'd never know they had been away for so long. Baloff, who was the one downfall to Bonded By Blood with his often irritating shrieking, is a bit more subdued in his delivery here, which results in a much better presentation of the songs. He's still obviously the same nut that inspired so much violence during the band's early shows, but his years away apparently took the edge of his voice. Instead, he uses his rasps and unique growl to get the lyrics across. Most amusingly, he rambles on and on between songs and thankfully these parts weren't edited out by the producers. In one hilarious section, Baloff goes on a long introduction for "No Love", except that the rest of the band was about to play "Brain Dead".

The material for this life show was taken almost exclusively from the band's debut, although songs bearing Baloff's cowriting on Pleasures of the Flesh (the band's second album, which was the first one released after Baloff's exit from Exodus) are also presented. For longtime fans, a pre-debut track, cowritten by Kirk Hammett, called "Impaler" is also given a run-through. The song had never been released anywhere else, so it's a nice little touch to the CD.

Generally live albums are subpar filler material to fulfill a record company contract. However, Another Lesson in Violence comes across a lovingly recorded bootleg by a fan for the fans. Granted, the sound quality on this CD is one hundred times better than any bootleg you'll ever hear, but the spirit remains intact. One gets the feeling that this exists to document a fun-filled night of thrash and memories from a bunch of friends. And for the fans, you really can't ask for much more than that.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2003

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Tempo Of The Damned

Exodus - Tempo Of The Damned ©2004 Nuclear Blast
1. Scar Spangled Banner
2. War Is My Shepherd
3. Blacklist
4. Shroud Of Urine
5. Forward March
6. Culling The Herd
7. Sealed With A Fist
8. Throwing Down
9. Impaler
10. Tempo Of The Damned
11. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Reunions are a terrifying concept. The punk world has seen dozens of early 80s acts get back together for one of two reasons. A) They missed making music together and wanted to have some fun. B) They had kids getting close to college age and needed to raise some cash. As one can imagine, this has led to some varied results when the bands inevitably find their way back into a recording studio. Now we're getting to the point where all sorts of thrash bands from the 80s and early 90s are reuniting, which brings us to Exodus.

Exodus is one of the very earliest Bay Area thrash bands and has had a rollercoaster career. Credited with being an influence for most every thrash band in existence, Exodus never quite broke through to the next level. Then, worse yet, they signed a bad deal with a major label and released a couple subpar albums that essentially finished the band. But 2004 doesn't mark the original reunion of Exodus. The band got back together in 1997 with original singer Paul Baloff and recorded a live album in San Francisco. The results of that album were actually quite promising. It was a fun throwback to the past and got people hoping there would be some future studio work from the band. Unfortunately, the rollercoaster headed back down. The deal with Century Media apparently wasn't all roses and no one seemed to get their act together to actually write some new tunes. Then, worst of all, Baloff passed away from a stroke at a far too early age. But that tragedy had unexpectedly good results, making his early passing a bit less horrible. The remaining members of the band renewed their interest in music, those with some drug problems cleaned up and they reunited with longtime vocalist Steve Souza, finally recording a studio album.

Tempo of the Damned should not be lumped in with bands simply trying to cash in on past successes and hoping to make a few bucks from curiosity seekers. Exodus charges out from the onset of the album to prove that they still have the chops, aggression, anger and speed to make any current band weep with their patheticness. For Cliff Notes enthusiasts, Tempo of the Damned sounds like a cross between Fabulous Disaster and the better parts of Force of Habit (and yes, dammit, there were quite a few good moments on that album, so shut your piehole). Half the songs tear things up with as much speed and fury as you can find on any previous Exodus album and the other half work a slower, groovier crunch that this band happens to be quite adept at throwing down. This album also unleashes a new and improved Steve Souza, who has found a few new approaches to his style. Along with his Bon Scott rasp, he provides some powerful screams and very gutteral low tones for a whole new dimension of vocal variety. Souza has obviously taken care of his throat over the years as his delivery is stronger than ever.

The tracks are a mixture of material from the ages. "Impaler", an early demo track, finds its first studio treatment (it appeared on the 1997 live album with Paul singing). There is also a song from guitarists Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt's Wardance project. (Wardance provides bassist Jack Miller for this new Exodus lineup.) And finally the band gives us a good cover version of AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap". Longtime fans might recall there was a somewhat half-assed version that appeared on the 1992 live album "Good Friendly Violent Fun", a Relativity cash-in release that just could have been avoided. So fans are treated to a little from the past and a little from the present, all of which is quite good.

With luck, the monkeys have jumped off the collective Exodus' backs and they can stick around this time with some better success. Tempo of the Damned proves not all reunions are cash-in comebacks and that some of these bands actually have some fuel left in the tank. Exodus appears to be running on high octane and have released one of the best albums of 2004.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2004

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Shovel Headed Kill Machine

Exodus - Shovel Headed Kill Machine ©2005 Nuclear Blast
1. Raze
2. Deathamphetamine
3. Karma's Messenger
4. Shudder To Think
5. I Am Abomination
6. Altered Boy
7. Going Going Gone
8. Now Thy Death Day Come
9. 44 Magnum Opus
10. Shovel Headed Kill Machine

In 2004, Exodus re-emerged from thrash obscurity with Tempo of the Damned, a mighty fine effort that reestablished them as one of the top notch Bay Area thrash bands of all time. In the preceding twelve years, the band had suffered through a breakup, drug addiction, the death of their original singer Paul Baloff and much more. The mere fact they finally got their act together to record was impressive; that the CD was extremely good was icing on the cake.

Naturally, Exodus is not the most stable band in the known universe and since Tempo was released, the band saw the departure of vocalist Steve Souza, longtime guitarist Rick Hunolt and drummer Tom Hunting. Despite the setback, guitarist (and de facto leader) Gary Holt recruited Rob Dukes to assume vocal duties, former Heathen guitarist Lee Altus and legendary drummer Paul Bostaph (a fellow whom you might remember from such bands as Slayer). If you have to start over essentially from scratch, why not go for the best? The resulting album, the cumbersomely titled Shovel Headed Kill Machine, is a remarkably consistent follow-up to Tempo of the Damned.

Shovel Headed Kill Machine essentially picks up where the last album left off, offering a punishing battering of classic Bay Area thrash with all the trimmings. You know the drill: a barrage of drums, growled and shouted vocals, crunch-laden guitar hijinks. Exodus helped invent this style many years ago and time hasn't led them very far away from their creation. Instead, the band has simply refined what they do. Even with three new members, Exodus sounds like Exodus. Granted, Rob Dukes' style lacks the hint of melody that Steve Souza possessed and thankfully avoids the weird shrieking of Paul Baloff. His vocals come across as adequate and functional, though lacking the character of either of his predecessors. However, when you're at an Exodus show avoiding boots to your skull, it's doubtful you will pay attention to nuances such as melodic phrasing. Dukes gets the job done. Guitarist Lee Altus steps in as a perfect match to Holt's playing. And you simply must give the respect to Paul Bostaph, who may be one of the best thrash metal drummers of all time.

Exodus has obviously decided to stick to what they do best and it serves them well. There are tons of retro thrash bands doing a second rate job and worse, bands from the era reforming without the same passion of 80s thrash. Exodus retains all their credibility with these last two releases. This album is recommended for those who have a hankering to hear honest-to-goodness thrash metal done by those who do it best.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2006

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The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A

Exodus - The Atrocity Exhibition...Exhibit A ©2007 Nuclear Blast
1. Call To Arms
2. Riot Act
3. Funeral Hymn
4. Children of a Worthless God
5. As It Was, As It Soon Shall Be
6. The Atrocity Exhibition
7. Iconoclasm
8. The Garden of Bleeding
9. Bedlam 1-2-3

Out of the various thrash revival acts and reformed acts that actually existed when the style was relevant in the 80s, Exodus was one of the few bands that justified any attention when they finally got a new studio album in 2004 (Tempo of the Damned). True to form, they couldn't maintain a stable lineup and longtime singer Steve Souza departed for the thirty-eighth time in band history. The subsequent release, Shovel Headed Kill Machine, featured a vocalist named Rob Dukes who was adequate at best in the role. Now we find Exodus on their third reformation album and they're starting to run thin on their various songwriting ideas.

The biggest flaw with The Atrocity Exhibition...Exhibit A is that the Metallica disease has found its way into the band's songwriting. No, no, not the one where you water down your sound and ultimately collaborate with Lou Reed, but the one where you just can't help yourself from writing overly long songs that simply don't need to to be that lengthy. The album is full of eight to ten minute long songs, none of which exactly demand that sort of endurance test from listeners. Although the typical Exodus riffing style is well intact, the songs rarely offer up a spark that has always set this band apart from the pack. Perhaps Dukes' monotone approach can be faulted as he truly lacks the character of either of his predecessors (Souza or the deceased Paul Baloff). Or perhaps this particular lineup (which does find original drummer Tom Hunting back in the fold yet again) just doesn't quite have the same chemistry as other lineups. Whatever the case may be, I've always found this album as too much filler with almost nothing that stands out as a great (or even good) song. It's a collection of thrash metal riffs without a lot of hooks to retain my interest.

Although Exodus manages to retain their career long sound without getting too caught up in contemporary metal ideas, this album is just a bland release, perhaps one that rivals Impact Is Imminent for simply falling short of expectations. If I'm feeling nostalgic for Exodus, there's literally no chance I'll play this album when they have a far superior back catalog of albums to choose from.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2012

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Let There Be Blood

Exodus - Let There Be Blood ©2008 Zaentz Records
1. Bonded by Blood
2. Exodus
3. And Then There Were None
4. A Lesson in Violence
5. Metal Command
6. Piranha
7. No Love
8. Deliver Us to Evil
9. Strike of the Beast
10. Hell's Breath

One of the more disturbing trends in metal is for long running bands to re-record classic material with a newer lineup. Suicidal Tendencies pulled a major boner with their speed metal remake of their punk classic debut while bands like Testament and Sodom have more recently re-recorded old material with new members. In Testament's case, they at least gave the bands a treat by having original vocalist Steve Souza sing on a couple songs. And as for Exodus, another band that featured Souza for quite a few years, we are given a truly superfluous album, one that has no authority in suggesting we spend money on this product.

Bonded By Blood has already seen a couple reissues since its original 1985 release date and the majority of its songs were recorded for the 1997 live album Another Lesson in Violence. As it turns out, the live album was the real treat for the fans, featuring original vocalist Paul Baloff reunited with his old chums for a rather enjoyable concert. If you're going to re-record old material, this is definitely the proper avenue.

So why the hell, in 2008, did stalwart guitarist Gary Holt think it'd be a nifty idea to charge money for yet another go at these old songs? Sure, his current lineup is solid, featuring ex Heathen guitarist Lee Altus. However, Exodus' current vocalist, Rob Dukes, lacks the charisma and identity of either Steve Souza or the deceased Baloff, which instantly downgrades the necessity of this recording. While it is well recorded with very solid modern production, Let There Be Blood sounds like a cover band making a dry runthrough on the material, injecting it with zero enthusiasm or charm. I find more warmth in listening to midi tracks played by my computer.

At one point, Exodus promised to have a wham-bam pair of recordings for The Atrocity Exhibition but quite a bit of time has passed since Exhibit A. I don't know if the songwriting well ran dry or the band coldly calculated they could make more money with this cash-in. Either way, it's utterly unnecessary, entirely unwanted and a waste of everyone's time. Gary Holt and Tom Hunting (the only two members from the original lineup) should be ashamed for conceiving such a contrived, useless recording.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2009

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