It’s been a while since we got new music from Exodus so when word got out earlier this year that they would be releasing a new album ears perked up in the metal world. Of course during the process controversy reared its ugly head as it was announced that Rob Dukes was out and original singer Steve “Zetro” Souza was back in, which to me was a bit rattling as I was introduced to Exodus with Dukes on vocals. But after listening to “Blood In, Blood Out” I can say that while I miss Dukes‘ style I like what Souza brings back to the party and what’s been given to us.
With “Blood In, Blood Out” the discussion of whether Exodus should be added to the big names in thrash and create The Big 5 has gained ground. There truly isn’t a point on this album where I found myself drifting off in another direction cause the song had lost my attention. Each track on the album is a great mix of speed and melodies that would easily make Gene Simmons retract his statement about rock being dead.
Gary Holt and Lee Altus continue to amaze me with both their speed and accuracy when going in and out of solos. Which might I say are in this album in abundance which is refreshing in a world where guitar solos on albums aren’t as common as they once were. Wrapped In The Arms Of Rage is one of those stand out tracks where the guitars just grab you and toss you back and forth like a volleyball never wanting to hit the ground. Plus you can feel the urge to want to start a pit in you’re living room, or wherever you listen to your music, from the first seconds of Body Harvest. A track I can easily see making its way into the live set on Exodus‘ upcoming tour with Slayer.
Of course metal fans around the world would slam me if I didn’t mention Salt The Wound, the first track from Exodus to have former member and current Metallica axeman Kirk Hammett on. This is proof positive that you can go home again. He steps right in on this track without making you think of Metallica. You know he’s there, you feel his energy, but it doesn’t leave you going “he added Metallica to that track” cause he doesn’t. It’s all him as if he never left Exodus at all.
As to Steve “Zetro” Souza, for me it was a little rough at first listen. As I said at the beginning I was introduced to Exodus with Rob Dukes on vocals, so this took me a song or two to adjust. I can totally understand why long term fans were excited for his return cause there is something very unique about how his vocal style fits in.
At then end of it all Exodus has delivered one heck of an album with “Blood In, Blood Out”. This album will easily be a contender in many top album lists at the end of the year.