Once regarded as the unofficial fifth members of the thrash Big Four, Exodus have spent years struggling to rediscover their raison d’être. Well, this is the album that marks a return to old values with a refreshing vitality.
Vocalist Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza is back in the frame, and the whole band have a pillaging energy that makes you believe in Exodus again as a major metal force. Moody opener Black 13 has an enigmatic music bed from Dan The Automator, and it sets the tone for what happens over the next 10 bracing brawlers. Testament’s Chuck Billy complements Souza on BTK, while original Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammett lends his skills to Salt In The Wound.
But this is about more than selling the album on the back of high-profile guests. Under the guidance of producer Andy Sneap, the band have been pushed just that little bit harder, resulting in a tough edge on Body Harvest, Numb and Food For The Worms. Guitarists Gary Holt and Lee Altus rage and rasp throughout, while there’s a dedicated driving desire that tells of a classic thrash band now comfortable with their heritage.
This is the best Exodus album since 1989’s Fabulous Disaster. No contest.