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Bonded by Blood is a masterpiece. Damned near every metal fan accepts this. What's less commonly known is that these three songs represent what should have been its rightful successor.
Exodus should have been metal legends, not also-rans. They were cut from the same cloth as thrash's "big four," with talent and inspiration to spare. This potential was squandered due to legal squabbling with Torrid Records, a general inconsistency of songwriting quality, severe substance abuse problems, and the eventual replacement of thrash maniac Paul Baloff with a pedestrian Bon Scott imitator.
But whenever these problems came to fell Exodus, they were not present on Bonded, and they did not show up on the Pleasures of the Flesh demo. Granted, this tape only contains three songs, but they show the band maturing both as musicians, composers, and lyricists. No one will mistake Baloff for Bruce Dickinson, but he displayed a concerted effort to move beyond the basic "poseurs must die" prattle.
The darkness lives forever
within your mind
No dreams, no thoughts
it's only endless time
The artistic ambitions meth heads are a notion that taxes the imagination of even a warped mind such as your arrogant narrator. It's questionable how far Exodus would have carried these themes before killing themselves or each other, but that's a moot point now. Pleasures of the Flesh was denatured from this boiling vat of caustic solution to a neutral and tepid puddle of used window cleaner. Exodus never again rose much beyond the level of mediocrity, and became another case study in self-destructive greatness.