Blood In, Blood Out

Written by: MN on 29/10/2014 20:09:29

Spanning a career of over 34 years, Exodus have had one of the most turbulent runs with regards to line-up changes and with the tragic death of 2 two former members, it hasn't always been easy to continue with the same fervour. Luckily, pioneers of the Bay-thrash scene are not easily stripped of their axes, a point proven by the continued existence of all bands of the quartet "Big Four Of Thrash", who are still alive and consistently performing throughout the planet. Why Exodus never managed to conjure the same amount of respect and popularity than their companions in the field can be discussed, however, they retain a special place in most die-hard thrash metal fans for their no-frills, terRIFFic (pun intended) take on the 80's ultra popular thrash movement, in which their were pioneers of the Bay Area movement, which also includes bands like Death Angel and Testament. "Blood In, Blood Out" is the first record to feature Steve Zousa back as lead vocalist since 2004's "Tempo Of The Damned".

Being the 10th release of Exodus, the record retains a distinct symbolic air to it as it definitely proves that even after 10 releases and only one original member remaining, the idea and style of Exodus is far from outdated. It is easily one of the strongest thrash releases of this year with a welcoming return to Zousa's high pitched shrieks, founding member Gary Holt pairs up again with Lee Altus to provide a guitar duo worthy of praise, it really is some of the fastest efforts coming from Exodus showing that their impending middle age is of absolute no concern with regards to their skills on the axe.

The album opens with the anthemic "Black 13" where the suspense-raising intro cues full-throttle crispy thrash riffs pummelled ahead by tight drumming clearly setting pace high for this record. It does not however capture my attention until a searing solo is unleashed towards the end of the first track, but it is especially with the onset of the eponymous "Blood In, Blood Out" that I start to get more convinced of this record as it contains some brilliant chugging riffs with plenty of variety. "Collateral Damage" brings in even more variety and also has one of the more brilliant riffs to be found on the record. As is the case with many, if not most, thrash numbers, the lyrics revolve around the themes of horror, death, warfare, destruction, violence, apocalypse, and rebellion. Lyrically speaking, Exodus continue in the same vein with plenty of anger especially during the track "Salt The Wound" which features an easily recognizeable solo by the legendary Kirk Hammett. "Body Harvest" is another good track and is definitely Lee Altus best contribution in terms of composition. "Wrapped In The Arms Of Rage" is one of the more melodic tracks that brings some great guitar harmonies to the table, in my opinion it is easily the best track on the record.

Exodus have really surprised me with this release, it comes across as classic-formula thrash but it's crisp production and its signfiicant amount of memorable riffs makes it for a repeated pleasure. After 34 years in action, Gary Holt still has plenty to offer to the thrash world. Some fans will argue that the songs are too long, and that it is not 'brutal' enough, "Blood In, Blood Out" may not satisfy all the conservative minded thrash-heads but it receives commendable marks in my view and I look forward to see their efforts live at this year's Copenhell Festival.


Download: Wrapped In The Arms Of Rage, My Last Nerve, Salt The Wound
For The Fans Of: Testament, Anthrax, Annihilator
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 14.10.2014
Nuclear Blast

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