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Tempo of the Damned is the album that got me into Exodus in the first place, yes, I hadn't all heard all that much of them before, but when I heard Tempo of the Damned, it immediately became my favourite album of all time. This has changed since then, but back in 2003, it blew me away.
Scar Spangled Banner starts off the journey into Exodus's remade world of thrash. A great starting riff starts us off and the drums kick in, and you can't help but bang your head. Anyone who says this track (or this album for that matter) is no good just can't handle the fact that Exodus's sound has changed since its previous albums, it's cleaner, and Souza does have a little bit of a say, whiny tone to his voice. Now that I've listened to Shovel Headed Kill Machine about a hundred times, I don't appreciate Souza's voice as much. But you know what? He sings well, and the song is pure thrash, it's great. "Red the beautiful colour of blood, flowing like a stream. White the colour of bleaching bone, lovely and obscene. Blue the bruising colour of flesh, battered ripped and torn. The colours of the flag of hate, of violence and porn." Now I'm not Anti-American or anything, but I must say that is pretty damn great. Oh ya, the solos are sweet too.
War Is My Sheppard is a track that is carried by Souza, the guitars are fast and the drums pounding, but Souza really does an excellent job on this track, his screams of "WAR, WAR, WAR IS MY SHEPPARD" are simply awesome. I must note that with about 20 seconds left in the song, the riff is a helluva lot more awesome then in the rest of the song. All in all, a fast song that carries the pace set by Scar Spangled Banner.
Blacklist slows things down a bit, and although it might not exactly be deep and meaningful, it does have a pretty damn good intro. The riff is catchy, and the bass is quite a bit more audible on this track then on most of the others on the album. The solo on Blacklist is quite nice; it's definitely the best one up to this point on the album, although later on Shroud of Urine and Forward March, the solos surpass it.
A review stated that Shroud of Urine sounded like wannabe black metal... I don't get it, I don't like that much black metal and don't listen to it too often, but I fail to see how this sounds like anything but thrash. The intro, wow, those drums sound great and the bass too. The riff is just amazing, and when the solo kicks in... sweet jesus. The lyrics are also great, "You're crucifucked and your out of luck if you put your faith in the flock", I mean, wow. The highlight of this song is definately the solo though, it's so nice, it just... fits perfectly.
Forward March. Definitely the best track on the album. This song was and might still be my favourite song of all time. It kicks in fast, and keeps on going, the gallops on the double bass are nice, the riff is awesome, Souza does a good job singing, although it's true it's almost rap like, but whatever, it's called change, I know some people might shun this as stupidity and wannabe rap metal, but I disagree. Oh well, to each his own. As the song reaches the 3 minute and 30 second mark.... well... it gets a whole lot more intense. This is perhaps the coolest instrumental part of a song I've ever heard, the solos are just mesmerizing, it's not like I'm listening to a song anymore, I feel like I'm being shown just how insanely good metal can get. This track changed life a little bit for me, and it's because of this that I decided Tempo of the Damned was my favourite album of all time.
Culling the Herd is a good track, but after Forward March, it just doesn't seem up to the task of keeping the album at a constant pace. The solos are great, but the change in pace from the last track to this one is a little bit much, it would have been better put later on in the album, with some of the faster songs right after Forward March. If I listen to this track on its own, I tend to appreciate it so much more.
Sealed with a Fist. The pissed off honeymoon story. I like the track, although it's not quite on par with the first 6 tracks of the album, I think after Forward March the album drops off a little bit and doesn't really fulfill until the title track Tempo of the Damned.
Throwing Down has some great vocal parts, and the cowbell is just great, it's hilarious. Not a bad track.
I don't see what's so great about Impaler, I kind of find it the poorest track on the album. It has an awesome riff which does kind of remind one of Trapped Under Ice... it's fairly more old school, but I don’t know, I don't really like Souza's voice on this one, I guess I'm kind of glad he got replaced on Shovel Headed Kill Machine.
Tempo of the Damned is slower paced then the other ones, I like the riff and Souza's voice. It's a good way to end off the album.
The ACDC cover is cool, but it's not on the regular edition of the album so I wasn't sure if I should say anything about it. Oh well, I love ACDC.
All in all, Tempo of the Damned was a huge comeback, it was an awesome comeback, I can't believe people don't approve, what are you looking for? Pleasures of the Flesh remake but keep shitty production? Jesus people, Tempo of the DAMNED, it's thrash! And you know what, Shovel Headed Kill Machine out thrashes this masterpiece in everyway, something which I never imagined possible.