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This is a return album for the old thrash titans Exodus after a decade of silence. They come back with some of their grooviest and catchiest stuff ever. This album proves that a healthy dose of 'groove' in a thrash metal album isn't always bad. The gang are still going strong despite some adding on a little weight and being rusty for a while.
Steve souza's voice can still pack a punch, His best performances on this album is a 'rapping-sequence' on the track 'forward march'. Souza actually raps the lyrics in the "I got some news for you" part, Which works surprisingly well and is catchy as hell. 'War is my shepherd' is another example of a track which can please both mainstream and old school thrash metal fans. Gary holt is still a monster he once was. He still produces some of the most intricate and original riffs, His soloing is still top-notch. One listen to the solo of 'Blacklist' will give you an indication of Holt's impressive vision and skill as a guitar-player.
A refreshing change to be found here is the total lack of filler material, The crew are still passionate about their music, This is arguably their second best album of all time. The mid-paced riffs have a lot of crunch, The drumming is solid. The production is perfect. Souza's sometimes annoying vocals are leveled very well with the music in the background unlike 'Impact is imminent'. There is no metalcore injection to be found here as in 'shovel headed killing machine'. The bass is clearly audible, The drums sound tight and there is no 'clicking' to be found.
There are some outstanding solos on this album, such as the simple yet melodic solos of 'forward march' and 'blacklist' which are memorable and totally fit into the songs. The songs are structured very well. The only complaint i have is the somewhat silly and immature lyrics on tracks like 'blacklist' and 'sealed with a fist'. There is a cover of an ac/dc song which thankfully isn't the 2nd track of the album. An old school exodus song 'Impaler' makes a return. Which sounds better than ever thanks to the productions.
If you're an exodus fan like me, you will definitely know of the kind of intricate but catchy thrash songs they produce which work as a great soundtrack to go around destroying everything in your path. This will completely satisfy any Exodus fan and any thrash metal fan who is sick of the lackluster releases by the 'Big 4'. There are a few groove-based riffs which will not please the elitists but still there is some strong material here which everyone can like. Buy this album, It's as solid as solid can be.