Exodus – Blood In, Blood Out – Nuclear Blast Records – Release 10 – 10 – 2014
These sure are great times for old school thrash metal fans. It’s not too long ago since fellow-veterans of thrash Overkill released their superb album “White Devil Armory” (check out my review here: http://wp.livereviewer.com/2014/07/20/overkill-white-devil-armory-nuclear-blast-out-now/ ) and now Exodus are about to release their tenth studio album, four years after their last effort. Mister Holt’s been thrashing about with Slayer after all, so hopefully he hasn’t lost his edge. And it’s the first album with the re-recruited Steve Souza since “Tempo of the Damned” from 2004. Out with the ‘new’ blood Rob Dukes and in with the old blood Steve!
Steve “Zetro” Souza – vocals
Gary Holt – lead and rhythm guitars
Lee Altus – lead and rhythm guitars
Jack Gibson – bass
Tom Hunting – drums, percussion
Blood In, Blood Out
Christ, the intro to “Black 13” sure gave me a shock, is this some sort of metalcore stuff I’m about to enter? Luckily this intro with the help of hip hop producer Dan the Automator doesn’t last too long before your ears get singed by some blistering riffing, drink up and bang you head! It’s way past time for a new ‘Big Four’ and throughout this album Exodus show that they deserve to be part of it. Hot on the heels of “Black 13” is the titletrack “Blood In, Blood Out” which is a great anthem song.
Finally a momentary rest with “Collateral Damage”? Nope, that’s just the engine revving up, you’re still deep in thrash country here and you will shout your throat raw.
It’s good to hear Souza back in Exodus. Nothing against Rob Dukes, but Steve’s slightly higher screeching voice fits the music a tad better, that coupled with the blistering lead guitar and machinegun rhythm machine going in makes this album one violent ball of energy.
“Salt the Wound” features a visit from a band member about thirty years ago: Kirk Hammet! Good to hear that he still knows how to do some good thrash soloing.
If there’s one thing in music that makes my pants go tight, it’s a good twin guitar solo and oh my gods, does “Body Harvest” deliver. Pure eargasm!
“Btk” has another guest joining and this time it’s Chuck Billy from Testament and Dublin Death Patrol, of which Souza is also part of. A slower track, but all the more heavy for it. His deeper voice makes for a good contrast. “Wrapped in the Arms of Rage” starts off with a fast finger exercise and is one of the shorter song on this album, with only four and a half minute of playtime. Quite a lot of songs pass the six minute mark, yet not one single moment is spent in boredom. Speaking of Testament, “My Last Nerve” could’ve easily fitted on one of their most recent albums. Slower paced than the rest of the album, focusing more on a truckload of different riffs.
“Food for the Worms” would have you believe that the album ends on a slow note, but once again the band tricks you with a slow intro before unleashing thrash mayhem one last time.
The only excuse not to be headbanging during listening is… balls to that, there is no excuse!
Four years since the last album and not a since glance of metallurgy to be found. Thrash metal fans are having a superb year and this awesome piece of work is sure to end up very high on thrash metal lists all around. Required purchase if you want to get a good metal party going!
- Black 13
- Blood In, Blood Out
- Collateral Damage
- Salt the Wound
- Body Harvest
- Wrapped in the Arms of Rage
- My Last Nerve
- Honor Killings
- Food for the Worms
Score: 4.5 out of 5
Text by: Robert Popovic