Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1979 in Richmond, California. Spanning a career of 38 years, Exodus has gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the deaths of two former band members. Their current lineup consists of vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza, guitarists Gary Holt and Lee Altus, bass guitarist Jack Gibson and drummer Tom Hunting. Hunting is one of the original members, and departed from Exodus twice, in 1989 and 2004, but rejoined in 2007. Holt joined the band about two years after its formation, and is the only member of Exodus to appear on all their releases.
Since its formation, Exodus has released ten studio albums, two live albums and two compilations. Along with Possessed, Testament, Death Angel, Vio-Lence, Forbidden, Lääz Rockit and Metallica, whose longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett was an original member of Exodus, they are often credited as pioneers of the Bay Area thrash metal scene, and have sold over five million albums worldwide as of 2013. Exodus had particular success in the mid-to-late 1980s with their first three studio albums: Bonded by Blood, Pleasures of the Flesh and Fabulous Disaster. The critical praise given to Fabulous Disaster garnered attention from major labels, including Capitol Records, with whom Exodus had signed in 1989. Exodus released two more studio albums (Impact Is Imminent and Force of Habit) before disbanding in 1994. After temporarily reuniting in 1997–1998, Exodus reformed once again in 2001, and since then, they have released five more studio albums, the most recent being 2014’s Blood In, Blood Out. The band is expected to release their next studio album in late 2017.
Bonded by Blood is the debut studio album by the San Francisco thrash metal band Exodus. Although the album was completed in the summer of 1984, it was not released until 1985 due to issues with Exodus and their record label. It is considered one of the most influential thrash metal albums of all time. It is also the only full-length studio album of Exodus to feature Paul Baloff on vocals, though he was also on their 1982 Demo. Baloff was back in Exodus for five years (from 1997 to his death in 2002), and appeared on their 1997 live album Another Lesson in Violence.
In 2008, Exodus re-recorded Bonded by Blood and re-released it as Let There Be Blood, featuring a new line-up of members aside from drummer Tom Hunting and guitarist Gary Holt who played on the original.
Bonded By Blood—-Coming out of the fog, the somewhat primitive Thrash Metal kicks in and smacks you in the face. the vocal is interesting….sounding full of tin and lacking any deeper tones. The musicianship is extraordinary. The unrelenting blasts fill me with energy and an almost joy. I love this…reminds me of early Testament.
Exodus—-Delivering much in the same vein as the opener, the voice and the delivery makes you think this could all sound like one long song. I’m not saying it is bad…I love the energy and the shout a long chorus that the song delivers. The music is pushed to the back so much…it amazes me how the vocalist kept his time. I like the range…you get some good screams and yelps…..this is full of vigor!
And Then There Were None—-Beginning with a much clearer guitar sound and direction, the pace of the song is more moderate than previous tracks…this is nice…giving the record some variance. The vocal is fantastic….the entire band joining in on the chorus…making it appear very large. This has definite punk leanings in the delivery…I love this.
A Lesson In Violence—-Nice speaker play introduces the track as the song begins at full throttle and allowing you no time to catch your breath. The pummeling drums are fantastic…this has long been a very favorite track of mine….kind of my introduction to the whole Thrash scene before I became familiar with the band. This is energetic…dark enough for an impressionable listener and fast enough for a short attention span.
Metal Command—-With a nice chugging bass line to kick off the track, the drums are very upfront in the mix. The energy is undeniable…the vocal almost pleads with you to pay attention. I love the higher tone now…it really grows on you as the release continues on. It fits the entire sound damn perfectly. This is brutal….fast and energetic….never giving you a respite.
Piranha—-Again with the phenomenal drum intro….it leads the entire band at a frenetic pace throughout the entire song. The galloping bass line is just incredible. The vocal enters with a nice evil tone that gives you the whip cream on the top if you will. This is classic Thrash…one of the premier bands that started it all.
No Love—-Oddly pretty at the onset, this will take you by surprise. The gentleness is rather shocking after the thrashing you received. But the track does open up and deliver you back to the comfort zone the band set forth. This is fantastic….shows nice diversity and talent. I love the teasing intro…followed by the smack in the face.
Deliver Us To Evil—-No new surprises are delivered with this track….the consistency and the talent are remarkable though. This is exactly what you signed up for when you laid down your cash for this epic release. The vocal has grown on me so much…there is a certain evil quality that matches the music. The drums are just incredible…and the flourishes of the lead guitar are fantastic.
Strike Of the Beast—-The onset of the track almost magically seemed to have a better production quality….but you are returned to what you expect. This is not pretty hair metal or glam rock…this is pure pummeling to your forehead Thrash that still plays so well today…..such an epic release!
**** out of 5