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Exodus – Blood In Blood Out

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD download
Released: 2014
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 9/ 10


Aside from the very inconsistent “Force Of Habit”, Exodus have made eight more albums that always made me just wanna pull my hair out. Hahaha. The relentless aggression, psychotic vocal…this is what it must sound like in one’s head stuck committed in a mental institution. “Blood In Blood Out” is no different, and sees the return of Steve Souza behind the mic, a recognizable voice in thrash, and part of Exodus’ chemistry to success in the 80s.

 

After a 1:25 build, ‘Black 13’ goes for the throat with a riff and organization that is modern fast and furious Exodus meets the 80s tempo switches for groove. Like their fellow American thrash founding fathers from the 80s (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Overkill, Testament), musically, original guitarist Gary Holt continues to be the key to Exodus being unique amongst the rest in how the riffs are delivered and integrated around the second guitar, bass and drums.

Title track is a salute to the band’s history with lyrics “,We’ve been here from the start with a one track mind, We kept the hate alive. Always had the power, now is zero hour, Tonight we’re gonna fight like it’s 1985”. Again, not letting up on the speed or attitude, Souza’s snarl spitting lyrics covered in blood and Hunting’s drums the driving force (man, he must be worn out after this one, and looks forward to the solo break) to all this chaos. ‘Salt In The Wound’, reminiscent of “Pleasures of the Flesh”/ Fabulous Disaster”, features a solo by one time guitarist Kirk Hammett (pre Metallica), pulling back on the speed for more a groove. I hear a little “Impact Is Imminent” in the riff for ‘Body Harvest’ and includes big gang vocals for the chorus, and with ‘My Last Nerve’ the slower arrangement and structuring recalls the better ones from “Force Of Habit”. Two good choices for variety. ‘Wrapped In The Arms Of Rage” is more the Rob Dukes era in assembly and the second riff. If things didn’t slow down for some relief during ‘Food For The Worms’ after two minutes was afraid I might have started breaking things, hahaha.

All around Exodus show no signs of letting up. Like Slayer, and Overkill to an extent, they have little regard for melody or anything less than what is painful to the senses.

 
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