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Call me crazy but I like this more than Tempo of the Damned which was surely the 2005 album of the year! Rick, Hunting and Zetro - three vintage members of Exodus have left leaving only Gary Holt from the original Exodus of yesteryear and Jack Gibson (bassist) picked up for Tempo Of The Damned (also plays in A Lesson In Violence). Three new members have entered the realms of Exodus - Lee Altus of Heathen fame, Paul Bastoph best known for his stint in Slayer and previously unheard of vocalist Rob Dukes.
Any metal fan wouldn't be worried about either Paul or Lee as they are of course thrash veterans and excellent at what they do. Then again, there's also a guy who has never been seen earlier in a metal band (or a band) of any kind - Rob Dukes. Is this guy up to the levels of Zetro or not? I'll give this to you straight off the platter - he isn't the easiest vocalist to digest. At first you'd believe he's imitating Zetro but falls short but after many listens you'd realize that this guy's voice is better, more manly and rough therefore perfectly suiting the music style here which I believe Zetro wouldn't have fitted in. The production is absolutely perfect unleashing the monster within the album in terms of brutality. The guitar tone is like Heathen's guitar tone for their latest demo but EVEN heavier. Rob Dukes snarls his way through in the most inhumane way and the riffs are as heavy as a ton of bricks. Solos really do the job just as Tempo did and though Zetro's lyrical sarcasm is missed, the lyrics here are pretty inhumane and brutal as well. I doubt any thrash album can be disappointed with this.
On a song level, everything rules. Exodus experiments far more than they did with Tempo. Tempo was meant to be a 'safe' album for Exodus in which they just delivered what their fans wanted to get back in the thrash fold even though it was mind-blowing but this album has Exodus experimenting much more than ever. The perfect example would be the 8 minute 30 second thrash epic Deathamphetamine which has some of the heaviest riffs ever recorded. You can see the beauty of the guitar tone in this song right away. Opener Raze is as brutal as it can get and that solo there is pure class and Shudder To Think hits you like a brick wall with its inhumane speed and brutality. Also standing out is the incredible I Am Abomination which slows down the pace a bit and is more groovy - think "Throwing Down" off Tempo Of The Damned but 100x heavier and that chorus in Going, Going, Gone! Is tailored perfectly for a live concert. Shovel Headed Kill Machine is a incredible lesson in thrash the Exodus way, never have Exodus been this good since Bonded By Blood and it isn't even the same lineup as Bonded By Blood! Buy or download now!
Standouts: Raze, Deathamphetamine, Shudder to Think, I am Abomination but the entire album is worth hearing.