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This album has been hyped since pretty much the reunion with Baloff in '97, and finally, seven years and one expired poseur-hunter later, it has arrived. Well, then - just what the fuck do we have here, and is it better than The Antichrist? We all know that's my gold standard for modern thrash - the textbook example of how things are Supposed to be Done.
Well, Schmier and friends, move aside. You've been pwned. It's been a great three years on top of the thrash-heap, but competition has arrived, and it's killing time. Yes, kids, holy fucking shit is about right. THIS is the best thrash album of the past howevermany years - you know, since that time when there were thrash albums released every week, and some of them didn't suck, and mercifully none of them were The Gathering.
[EDIT, FOLKS. I just, about a month after I wrote this Exodus review, heard the Torture Squad LP "Pandemonium" from 2003. THAT is the best thrash album of the past howevermany years. The fact that it wipes the floor with the new Exodus is merely a tribute to its "HOLY FUCKING CHRIST"ness, and not something to be held against the Slayteam and pals.]
But, I digress. Apparently, they decided that the 10-song promo that they released was going to be IT, and there was no song called 'Crime of the Century' after all, and no re-recording of 'Death Row', so well here it is. Slightly different in order than the promo, but all the assorted thrash parts are here, and when all is said and done, we've got a mighty impressive thrash entirety.
First, before I describe all the highlights and drown in my own ejaculate matter, I must make a mention of what sucks about this album, and what brought it down from a rating like 93 or 94, which it would've gotten if not for the presence of the downer track called Throwing Down. It's better than Machine Head, and in fact in retrospect (about the 8th listen) I realise that it doesn't suck... it's just that when I had the promo, it came right between War is My Shepherd and Impaler, where it didn't make much sense in the order. But, after Sealed with a Fist it's a decent groover number though the "throwing down... throwing down..." part is a bit stupid. But hey, there's the rest of the album!
Oh, the rest. OH, THE REST!!! Jeebus H. Phineas T. Gage! I have had a large iron rod explosively hurled through my head, entering below the right ear and exiting around the left temple! I have survived and maintained consciousness, but this couldn't have been good for the old cerebrum. This is rule of the highest order. Thrash riffs abound - the best comparison I can come up with is Vio-lence's Oppressing the Masses, especially "Officer Nice", with that middle section that comes out of nowhere and forces you to kill your royal opponents in a brutal manner with a spork for two minutes? Well, about half the songs on here have such a Nice moment. Yes!!!
Those songs include: Scar Spangled Banner, which also has some of the more hilarious Zetro lyrical masterpieces, in the form of "not a patriot, just a hate-riot" and others! Yes, Zetro still has it. Also, Shroud of Urine is similar, and then when they throw in that random Judas Priest sounding solo... MY GOD SOMETHING MUST HAVE GONE WRONG. I woke up this morning and my penis was missing. Same with Blacklist - they throw in that mosher riff and put the solo over it, and you're banging your head as if UP FROM THE DEAD (that's right kids, it's that good that it deserves this sort of a reference), and then they switch key and wouldn't you know it, it sounds excellently monkey-tacular with extra helpings of squid-sexuality! OH YES. RIFFS IST KRIEG. You say it's raining, I say give me back my clothes! I've added your name! TO MY BLACK LIST! The gang chorus at the end - dumb but effective. Kids, thrash isn't about having an IQ of 206 and coming up with creations like 'Dream Theater', which apparently I am too dumb to figure out.
Then there's some slower songs... not stupid slow like Throwing Down, but good effective crunchers like Culling the Herd, which moves on and devours, forcing you to listen to those horrendously beautiful lyrics. Then, the slightly faster Sealed With a Fist, which is a really funny listen as well. "Sixteen rounds - in case she missed!" Heh heh, overkill seals your fate. Then, there's the controversial one - Forward March. I personally love the living fuck out of this song, but then again, I like old-school rap. Okay, let's all stop beating around the proverbial fire hydrant and admit it: Zetro raps in this song. "I've got some news for you, you mother-fucker, there's a new man in town who isn't any sucker". Except it doesn't suck the big P Diddly suck because it doesn't sample any classic Queen songs, it just rips you right the fuck apart while the guitars continue to shove their collective spikes into your worthless asshole. Then there's the inexplicable long melodic section - it's kind of a mishmash of a song, but it works like a motherfucker (who isn't any sucker). I should also mention the rather fast and Germanic-sounding title track... IMMORTAL SOUL! TAKES CONTROL!!! Bow to the tempo of the damned!!!!
Oh yeah, and then the two absolute highlights of the album. Impaler is actually from 1982. People don't seem to have picked up this fact, and more importantly, that 'fast section' that Grimmy lauded actually made its major-label debut in 1984 as a fucking Suckfuckandblowtallica riff. Because FUCKMETALLICA HAS RIPPED OFF EXODUS, JUST LIKE THEY RIPPED OFF EVERY OTHER BAND IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE. Motorhead called. We rock harder than you when we're asleep, you pussies. Venom called. We rock harder than you when we're fucking dead, you fucking pussies. Weapon called. We want 'Set The Stage Alight' back. Metal Church called. We kicked you out for a reason, and were heavier and thrashier, earlier. Overkill called. We invented thrash. We don't care what you say. FUCK YOU. Mustaine called. Quit milking it. Diamond Head called. No really, quit fucking milking it. And finally... EXODUS CALLED. Take Kirk out back, and shoot him in the fucking head. Fucking pussy traitor stealing all of Hunting's riffs and making them into Trapped Under Ice, Creeping Death, etc. Yes, that fast part is indeed Trapped Under Impaler, and the song would've made Bonded by Blood if it weren't for the fact that Cuntallica literally stole the riff and put it on an album first. Thieving bunch of dildo-whores. And that was just them back in the 80s! Holy shit, you'd think they couldn't fall any further, but...
Well, I'm not going to get into that. Because there's WAR!!! WAR!!! WAR IS MY SHEPHERD! This is the greatest thrash song of the last howevermany years. Again, apologies to Destruction, and apologies to NAILED TO THE FUCKING CROSS!!!! And apologies to Overkill, and THE SOUND YOU HEAR, IS CRYSTAL CLEAR, THE SOUND OF DYING!!! But now there's a new man in town (who isn't any... oh, you know the drill) and his name is PRAY FOR ALL OF THOSE IN PAIN!! FOR THOSE WHO DIED IN VAIN!!! Jesus! I beg of thee! Return me to the womb from which I was torn!! I SHIT MY PANTS AS I WAIT FOR THE REAPER! It's that good!!!
Oh hell yes. This album brings the pain to all of my orifices, causing discharges of a great variety of bodily fluids. It rapes - and murders! - your wife!! It is the logical successor to Bonded by Blood. Zetrodus has finally come around to being a lean, mean, shredding machine. FUCK YES. AND FOREVER AFTER, YOU CAN HEAR THE LAUGHTER!!!! Communism has eaten your pants!!!