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Exodus – The Atrocity Exhibition Exhibit A

Label: Nuclear Blast USA
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: Rich Catino


"The Atrocity Exhibition" is the second album with new, and third, Exodus singer Rob Dukes. With Rob behind the mic, Exodus have become more fashionable (this very well may be the first and last time I use the word fashionable in a metal review) and will surely appeal with today’s extreme metal sound lead by the like of Arch Enemy, Lamb Of God, Shadows Fall, and Trivium. Their last offering (which was Rob’s singing debut) "Shovel Headed Kill Machine" was furious relentless and kept Exodus relevant in an ever growing younger extreme metal scene.

 

Take here the lead off track 'Riot Act' and its hardcoreish attitude but more so the excellently crafted thrasher 'Funeral Hymn' which is classic Exodus complete with tempo/riff changes and a charging rhythm section and killer lead work by long time guitarist Gary Holt. 'Funeral Hymn' is the Exodus I love, a song carried by strong aggressive rhythm changes that keeps the head banging and could drive the insane even more towards insanity. The way well written thrash should sound and Exodus have always been about riffs.

As a voice, Rob does embrace some of original singer Paul Baloff’s snarl in a track like scorcher 'Children of a Worthless God' more so than replacement Steve Souza’s tone. This music here was written by guitarist Lee Altus and is another one with excellent composition changes and twin guitar harmonies and includes some clean vocal. Constant movement, forceful yet melodic playing with properly placed tempo changes ('Iconoclasm'). Barn burners as guitarist Holt called Exodus songs when I interviewed him and how right he is about many. What can I say, when you get it right you get it right.

'As it Was As It Soon Shall Be' slows down the speed but not the heaviness as the hammer still pounds your toes till you bleed. The title track is Exodus at one of their harsher moments with a pattern of grinding riffs and Rob belting out gut wrenching vocals. I love the playing towards the end on this one the leads are blazing.

"The Atrocity Exhibition" is an Exodus that is still hungry for playing thrash metal. "Exhibit A" is surely a “barn burner” and if "Exhibit B" is anything like it then farmers you’d better protect your livestock.

 
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