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Exodus - Tempo Of The Damned

=Staff's pick

Scar Spangled Banner
War Is My Shepherd
Shroud Of Urine*
Forward March
Culling The Herd
Sealed With A Fist
Throwing Down*
Tempo Of The Damned*

Genre Thrash Metal
Steve Souza
Tracks 10
Gary Holt
Runningtime 54 Min.
Rick Hunolt
Label Nuclear Blast
Jack Gibson
Release 04 Feb. 2003
Tom Hunting
Country USA
Similar artists Overkill, Testament, Reverend

Let the thrashing begin, Exodus has returned with their highly anticipated comeback album Tempo Of The Damned, again with Steve Souza behind the microphone. Old thrash-legends perhaps best known among some as the band where Kirk Hammet later in Metallica roamed for awhile, he actually left the band before the release of their first album. Exodus debuted in 1985 with Bonded In Blood but never quite made it to become one of the big acts, mainly because they destroyed their career due to drug-problems and then released their last album Force Of Habit (1992). In 1997 they released the live album Another Lesson In Violence as a result of a reunion with their original vocalist Paul Baloff, but once again they disappeared and sadly Paul Baloff died on February 2:nd 2002 from suffering a stroke.

Exodus sound more vitalised and hungry than what I ever have heard them before, this might just be their best album but I will let time has its way with it before I make that as a final statement. Scar Spangled Banner opens the album and it lets you know right from the start that these guys still knows how to thrash the good old way, the energy level is high as Souza screams out his anger. Blacklist is a track that is a little slower but with an excellent thrash-groove that just comes pumping out of the bass and drums just like Throwing Down that is another one that goes on forward as a bulldozer.

Shroud Of Urine sounds like it was picked straight out the eighties and bares strong similarities with old Overkill, not least since Steve Souza and Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth has vocals that reminds of one and another, Souza also has similarities with David Wayne (Wayne, ex-Metal Church, ex-Reverend) in his a little bit whining voice, yet perfectly suitable.
The guitars handled by Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt delivers some great old-school thrash guitars when they are grinding and pumping out the riffs mixed with great harmony parts only to explode into furious solos, it makes me wonder if they have ever been this great.

A remake of the track Impaler (co-written by both Baloff and Hammet) that as far as im concerned can only be found on Another Lesson In Violence gives you a display the old full-throttle no-compromise thrash that explodes into furious speed metal reminiscent of early Metallica. The final and title track Tempo Of The Damned shows another great demonstration in that department, thrash metal that goes onto speed metal with furious guitarplaying.

Andy Sneap (Arch Enemy, Nevermore, Machine Head) has been in charge of the production and has given the sound a crisp and sharp edge wrapping up traditional thrash in a perfect modern and heavy sound. Isn't there anything bad to say about this album then? Well, hardly, this is just the kind of thrash album that I have been longing and waiting for. One could complain about that some of the tracks are a bit weak and there isn't really anything new about the music of Exodus, but on the other who wants them to change and renew themselves, this is how I want Exodus to sound.

See also review of: Exhibit B: The Human Condition , Shovel Headed Kill Machine






8 chalices of 10 - Thomas

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