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Bonded By Hate - 90%

West_Ham, December 10th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2008, CD, Century Media Records (Silver edition)

Metallica and Slayer launched Bay Area thrash, but Exodus were right there as well, and released a more accomplished debut album, but without, Kirk Hammett, who had already departed to join Metallica, and that was good a good thing for Exodus, because Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt were exceptional.

This monster of an album was like Satan arriving with an arsenal of weapons, and nothing would have been more appropriate. For what Exodus belted out to mankind was like a violent barrage of grenades, flying straight towards the audience. That's what this album sounds like when it's blasting through your speakers, and through your brain. The album starts, unusually, with the title track, 'Bonded By Blood', which is a thrash metal anthem, and a classic for all time. It's the one which demands you shout at the top of your lungs, 'Bonded By Blood'. Both, Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt, don't try to overcomplicate matters; they just go for an all-out aggressive approach, and the more agression, the better the album.

The riffs are not complex, but really heavy chuggers, or lightning fast, and that's all this debut album required. What also makes this a stand-out moment in thrash history, is singer, Paul Baloff, and his psychotic, and demented vocals. He snarls, and he barks, and he screams, and he is altogether, a crazy man, which is great for this album. Every aspect of this album is about aggression, and Baloff's got this in abundance, and he even makes the more daft lyrics sound better. The lyrics, generally work well though, and some of them are occasionally misleading, making you think that a song is about one thing in the first half, and something completely different in the second. They could mix it up a little, without sounding stupid.

Even though the release of this album was delayed, and other bands got their material out first, this is still one of the most important and influential thrash metal albums of all time. It's important because the riffs and melodies are so heavy, aggressive, fast, and accompanied by killer solos, and Paul Baloff's awesome vocal display. It's one of the best examples of a great debut, and genuine thrash metal. And, don't confuse this album with the pointless re-recording, 'Let There Be Blood'. There's only one genuine 'Bonded By Blood', and it's a 'must' album for all thrash metal fans worldwide.