Nov 10, 2014

Exodus: Bringing Thrash Back From The Dead

Exodus's new album is probably the first album by a late 80's Thrash Metal band released in the last 20 years that doesn't completely suck zebra balls.  Slayer's had some ok stuff but I believe it's never been on par with even Seasons In The Abyss.  Metallica has been a total joke since 1993.  Testament kind of changed gears and went a little darker. I dont know what the fuck Death Angel is now but I definitely wouldn't call it Thrash. Megadeth is just out of gas putting out disappointment after disappointment. Anthrax completely fucked up by hiring John Bush. The last one with Belladonna was okay but still nothing like Persistence of Time. I think Pantera has sucked since The Great Southern Trendkill but that's a controversial opinion I know. Anyway, now they're dead.  Kreator's was a valiant effort but it actually sounds like an album performed by 45 year olds.  Who else is left?  GWAR? GWAR gets a pass even tho they don't need it. GWAR can get away with anything because of how completely awesome they are. If there were any others then they don't matter because they obviously weren't memorable to me.

Then there's Exodus — who really, back in the day was not a top shelf thrash name.  They were one of the many powerhouse bands coming out of the elite SF Bay Area Thrash Metal scene in the mid-late 80's coming up in the shadow of Metallica.   Personally their 1998 effort 'Fabulous Disaster' was my favorite tape for a while around that time, (yea I said tape but by the time they came out with "Thorn in My Side" ...it was the same old watered down radio metal everyone else was doing at that time.  Fast forward to 2014. By now I'd completely written them off just as I did all of my thrash metal idols from my youth.  When I heard they were doing a new album I had the same reaction I have when any of the aforementioned bands say they're putting out new shit.  A big "meh" and a courtesy listen and be glad I didn't buy the album.

So I hear Exodus of all names is doing a new record and I wait for a single or youtube clip to drop and have a listen.  My first reaction is that it's not bad... not bad at all.  Then by the fourth or fifth listen I'm air drumming and fist pumping in my car chanting "blood in - blood out!"  Finally I pick up the full album and track by track I'm totally digging it.

It's been in my car's CD player a week or so now and I've come to the realization I mentioned at the top of this review.  This is the first real Thrash album that's come out in 20 plus years.  There's been several so-called  "modern" thrash bands like Toxic Holocaust and others that to their credit have clung to a genre that's seated firmly in the past but they just can never really be as authentic as the originals.  Exodus, a group of over the hill rockers have succeeded to create a collection of music that my 16 yr old self would completely accept an enjoy. This album welcomes back Steve Souza whose vocals are as fresh and shrill as ever. He sounds like he did in 1989. The rest of the band, who are essentially all members who go back with Exodus to the 80's which is a big part of why this album sounds like it could have been made in 1988.

 I was driving home from work today just blasting it thinking to myself "this is thrash... this is legit 80's thrash... that was made now"   Exodus did something that none of the other big thrash bands of the day could do.   Bottom line; Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out is an honest to goodness, no bullshit, kick ass Thrash record.  Call in sick, drop the kids off at school, put the CD in the big living room surround sound home theater, turn it up to 11 and do the toxic waltz in your living room around the coffee table while your cat looks at you like you're mad.



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