1 December 2013

Exodus - Bonded By Blood

This band could've been bigger than what they were. Instead, they became known as the band that Kirk Hammet was in before he joined Metallica (And took a couple of their riffs with him). This is down to bad timing and various circumstances which didn't go in their favour. Mainly that the quality control dipped drastically after this album (And didn't pick up again until 2004) due to this-and-that and having an inferior vocalist who thought he was Bon Scott from AC/DC didn't help. After this album, the vocalist - Paul Baloff (RIP, fella) - was dismissed and replaced by the Steve 'Zetro' Souza who IMO wasn't very good at all. I have nothing against Bon Scott whatsoever, in fact I think he was the better vocalist in AC/DC but his style simply doesn't suit this style of music.

This album was originally supposed to be released in 1984 but was delayed due to artwork issues. It was supposed to be called "Another Lesson In Violence" but after being unable to find suitable artwork, they changed it to Bonded By Blood and gave it the crappy looking conjoined good-and-evil twins thing. It's cheesy as fuck but most 80's album covers were, even the classic ones by Ed Repka.

The music, however? Glorious. Utterly fucking glorious! Thrash as God intended - or more accurately, thrash before it grew up. Coming from the same scene as the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament etc, it's essentially played by a bunch of speedfreaks with buckets of enthusiasm and are they really off on one! On one hand, the music is quite sloppy in places and the production could be better but that's what gives it the charm that it has - and indeed, that is where the charm of a lot of the early thrash albums comes from. Obviously in order to survive, a genre must adapt and try new things or run the risk of stagnation. But those first few months of infancy are a wonder.

The songs themselves are utterly fucking savage. they are the sum of their parts - rabid in their execution and heavy as fuck. There are no stand-out tracks on this album as they're all equally glorious, although if I had to pick then I'd go for "Another Lesson In Violence", "Piranha", "Strike Of The Beast" and the title track. Fuck it - they ALL rule! The downside to this album? It was rerecorded with the current line-up in 2008. Modern production and more musically apt, it loses a lot of it's appeal. Exodus may be in their best form for a long time, but they REALLY should've left this alone. Listen to Uncle Jerm and stick with the original.

10 out of ten - This is proof there is a God.

No iTunes or Sportify dealys for this one but the crap re-recording is there.

Buy on amazon - may include crappy reissue artwork,,,

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