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Welcome to riffing 101!!! - 92%

ThePiercedSpirit, April 1st, 2003

This is the last full length studio album that Exodus have released...and really is quite good. My first impression by the opening riff on Thorn in My Side is to scream "Thrash!!!"..and for the most part...that is the proper way to go...but the album is a bit on the hard rock side...let me try and explain. In a way...the style of Thrash greatly reminds me of Overkills style of Thrash...a product that isn't too intense (but nonetheless substantially intense)..but is full of power and pure energy...you know...Thrash that rocks. But in another way...this album reminds of bands like Skid Row...no...not the rocker ballads...pop in "Slave to the Grind" and you will understand what kind of rocking metal style I mean. Anyways, this album is just a rocking Thrash album...not insanely intense and in your face like their early stuff...but full of power nonetheless.

The album starts out with killer riffs like I said...and continues to pound out some pretty awesome riffs throughout the album. The guitar tone is a bit questionable though...at times it seems fitting...but for the most part is a quite a bit bass heavy and can get a little bit iritating at certain points (EDIT - The tone isn't really bad at all once you listen to a few songs...it really works for the album and its heavy riffing that comes into full effect around track number 5 or 6 and hits a peak at "Architect of Pain"). The vocals can also get a little bit iritating as Souza has a tendency to be a little bit weak and unpowerful at times...though he does quite well of this album. Good soloing and pretty decent lyric writing...creative melodies also...so for the weaknesses of this album..they are made up for well.

The best songs on the album are probably Thorn in My Side, Fuel for the Fire, Count Your Blessings...infact I am listeing to CYB right now and this song is absolutely fucking crushing man....I would rank this with some of the best Exodus songs....also add Architect of Pain to that list of great Exodus songs...this song is absolutely awesome...reminds me of Deliver Us to Evil...anyways....most songs on this album are actually pretty damn good...with the exception of the cover of the Rolling Stones - Bitch...which isn't bad..just doesn't really suite my fancy or mesh with the album as well as another song would have...although it does mesh simi-well. As I listen to this album I am really noticing how well it flows from each song to the next. There are a ton of awesome tracks on this cd. At first listen it might be a little tough to stomach though...but even if you compare it to...lets say "Bonded By Blood" I don't think it will take very long for anyone who is into Thrash or Metal in general to appreciate it. This is one of those high end good...but not great Thrash albums that are overlooked...there seems to be an absolute plethora of those.

This album is heavy, musically intelligent, well-produced, and well written. FULL OF FUCKING HEAVY ASS CREATIVE RIFFING!!!! If you are even a remote fan of Exodus you should own this...and if you are a fan of Overkill's work..then you will appreciate this album....since Souza sounds a lot like Blitz..especially on this album...and since the approach they take to this album is very similar to Overkills approach to Metal...comparable to "Horrorscope" in my opinion. A very safe buy for any Metal Head.