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Nightcrawler, February 20th, 2004

Okay, let me get this out of the way: If you don't own this and call yourself a thrash fan, Satan will come down for your soul and drink your blood and have his demons rape you until you die. "Bonded By Blood" is thrash at it's very fucking best- it's brutal, aggressive, intense, catchy as hell, and features lyrics about headbanging, drinking blood and the almighty Satan himself. It doesn't get better than this.
The music on here is absolutely insane. Most of the songs are just fast-as-hell headbanging monsters. Imagine the fastest songs from Metallica - "Kill 'Em All" ("Hit The Lights", "Motorbreath", or better yet, the final section of "No Remorse"!), and then multiply the intensity by a hundred times, and add an attitude more evil and in-your-face than Kreator's "Pleasure To Kill" and Slayer's "Seasons In The Abyss" combined. That's pretty much what's to be found here.

But it's not a sheer speed-machine. These guys also whip out some vicious midtempo crushers, namely "And Then There Were None", "No Love" and "Deliver Us To Evil". The first is pretty interesting, and features a very nice and somewhat melodic bridge and chorus, which adds up for some interesting variety. The later two are arguably the most evil sounding songs on the album (with strong competition from pretty much all the other songs on here...), and the vicious riffs will certainly have you headbanging shortly. And as if these three songs didn't own enough already, they all speed up towards the middle/end sections with some awesome riffage all over.

And believe it or not, but I'd say these three are probably the weakest songs on here. The really good shit, is the fast stuff. We start right off with the demonic title track "Bonded By Blood". Fast, intense riffs, brutal attitude and lyrics from hell. "Taste the sweet blood of one another, sharing without any greed. Bang your head as if up from the dead, intense metal is all that you need!"
And check out the fucking solo! This also is pretty similar to "Kill 'Em All", though again viciously intensified.

And the raging thrash just continues, it never lets up. "Exodus", "A Lesson In Violence", "Metal Command", "Piranha" and "Strike of the Beast" - they're all just as fucking awesome as the title track. "Metal Command", "A Lesson In Violence" and "Piranha" stand out, but I could say the same about all songs. "Exodus" has the most brutal lyrics on here ("Kick in your face and rape and murder your wife!!") and some awesome riffage, "Piranha" has that ferocious verse riff, and "Strike of the Beast" has the most evil-sounding moment on the album, right on the middle section... "Black as night, he begins his flight, wings outstretched in the cold..." That part is so damn evil, it probably gives me goosebumps, though I'm headbanging too much to notice.

Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, metal doesn't get much better than this. "Bonded By Blood" is one of those albums that from first listen will have you headbanging while screaming along and cutting your palm to drink your blood.
The blood-drinking process has been turned into a really gay goth procedure lately, and the Satanic lyric subject has been done to death. But these guys handle both these subjects with style, and manages to totally get you into it.
What you really need to know is that Exodus' debut album is essential thrash, and an all-time classic of metal.