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SHKM is arguably Exodus's most consistent album since Fabulous disaster. There are no huge ups and huge downs like the ones in 'Tempo of the damned'. The album is pretty solid and consistent through out. Gary holt and company come up with many great songs, proving that they still got it. The most noticeable change here is, Rob Dukes, A new unknown vocalist who just joined Exodus out of nowhere. People have expressed their displeasure at this but I have to Rob Dukes isn't bad at all. Infact, he gets the job done for the most part.
A lot of fans want Steve Souza to come back but to be honest, His time here was up already. He couldn't keep dragging exodus for any longer. In comes dukes, He sounds a bit like Baloff and Zetro when he hits certain notes but he's not quite good as either. His voice is generic, Not unusual among the bands of today. He certainly lacks the edginess of his predecessors. The strongest part about his vocals are that you can actually make out what he's saying pretty well. The song writing is still intact and pretty strong. Gary holt is still going strong, He does an excellent job on this album, There are plenty of vintage 80's exodus riffs and solos to be found. The production is good like 'Tempo of the damned', Maybe a little too good.
The best tracks on this album are 'Raze' and 'Shovel headed kill machine', They have a 'Metallic' sound about them just like most songs on this album. The drumming is good, They are very good for the most part but nothing too awesome. The lyrics are obviously a little bit immature. Dukes does a solid job for the most part. There are still lots of Intricate, groovy riffs to be found on this album and no really exceptional solos, But they're not that bad either.
There are a few problems, Most songs have the same speed and structure. Some of them feel a little too long, Rob Dukes is not Hetfield, his vocals can't carry some of the longer songs. It gets repetetive and dull by the 4th track on this album. The lyrics are pointless, The silliness is overwhelming, Rob Dukes adopts a 'tough-guy' vocal style on some of this tracks, Which will make you wonder. "Is this guy from trivium or some other metalcore band?". Gary Holt certainly trusts in him, So there must be something good about him. There are lots of groove riffs which some people detest.
Overall, a fun listen, Just don't over-analyze the lyrics and the themes found on this album, They're just silly. For 2005, you can't get much better thrash metal albums, All the 'Big 4' have slowed down, and so did Exodus. But this is still a solid offering.