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Boned By Blood - 92%

torment159, July 7th, 2010

I surprisingly found this on cd at Buy Best brand new, bought it and immediately listened to the whole through. When the first riff of Bonded by Blood started, I felt a little sorry for my neck for it was about to go through a thrashing unlike it had ever felt before. The rest of the album held me down and penetrated me repetitively, and you know what? I liked it. Any fan of thrash metal cannot help but to enjoy this album start to finish, there is not a bad song on it.

Let us start with the vocals of the great and late Paul Baloff. From the start, you can tell he isn’t the greatest singer, in fact what he does on this album can barely be called singing at all. When I first listened to the album I thought his voice was terrible and could barely enjoy it. It wasn’t until a few times listening that I realized, who cares if he can sing he’s the most metal guy there is. Paul Baloff isn’t a good singer and anyone who says he is can’t be telling the truth but that doesn’t matter on this album because although his voice isn’t pretty the songs aren’t either and his voice suits them very well.

One downfall to the album is that although the riffs are great there isn’t very many of them. Every song seems to be focused around one or two riffs and doesn’t change much from there. The songs are simple, going through a simple structure and using simple riffs but they are catchy as hell and thrash like no other. The songs on Bonded by Blood can be arranged into three categories, the great, the good, and the average. No song is bad but a couple are pretty average compared to the others.

The songs No Love and Metal Command are pretty average songs. They are the weakest on the album. The riffing on No love isn’t nearly as good as the rest of the album. The song does not stay in your head as much as the other songs on the album. No Love starts with a acoustic guitar intro which is nice but doesn’t fit in with the rest of the song. It sounds like it should be a separate track but inside got mixed into this song as an intro that does not fit in. Metal Command is equally average as No Love. There isn’t much of a riff on this song that isn’t generic. The solo section and the riff after the solo sound very nice but the rest of the song isn’t anything special. That being said it isn’t a bad song at all but if you’re going to listen to this album it isn’t a necessary part of the experience.

The majority of the album can be put classified as good songs, not great but still very good. Songs like Piranha, Exodus, And Then There Were None, and Strike Of The Beast are good songs, but not quite the best on the album. These four songs have some great riffage and some great vocals done by Paul Baloff, not to mention the fantastic drumming of Tom Hunting. The biggest problem these songs have is they get repetitive towards the end. They are focused around two or three good riffs that sound good for a while but eventually after a whole song of switching between them, they can get old. The songs thrash as hard as anything and most people won’t even realize that they been listening to two riffs for an entire song but it is happening whether you realize it or not.

The remaining songs Bonded by Blood, A Lesson In Violence, and Deliver us to Evil are great. They have nearly no flaws. Just like the previous songs the riff count in them is low but you can barely tell because you’re too busy head banging to listen to the songs hard enough to realize. Out of these three songs Deliver us to Evil stands out for it slower tempo. It is the only song on the album that is mid paced and that makes it unique from the rest of the album. Bonded by Blood and A Lesson In Violence are more of the albums style, two extremely good thrash metal songs that start fast and never slow down. Great solos and riffs make them stand above the rest of the songs on the album.

Other than great songs, this album also has almost perfect production. For a debut of a thrash metal band at this time it has a very clean recording quality. The guitars never sound muddy, the drums are clear and coherent, and the vocals aren’t drowned out and they don’t over power everything else. Sometimes the production can take away the power of the songs but not on this album all the punch and crunch the songs were intended to have is still there. You can’t ask for much more from a bands first release.

This could be the perfect thrash metal album if it weren’t for the repetitive riffing. You can tell Exodus had fun making it and that they didn’t care what anyone thought of it as long as it was metal. They sacrificed nothing from their sound to make this album and it is exactly how they meant it to be. Other than a few repetitive songs the album is nearly perfect from start to finish.