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Gone Thrashin' Chapter 2: Pleasures of Mid Pace. - 72%

Empyreal, January 23rd, 2009

Exodus's debut album Bonded By Blood was one Hell of an album, and while I haven't reviewed it yet, you can be assured that in my books, it's pretty much the pinnacle of Metal's ballsy, poser-slaughtering, leather-and-spikes aesthetic, leaving no survivors in its blazing trail of unbridled fury across the listener's poor, delicate ears. With such a rip-roaring Metal classic of a debut, what was the band to do to follow it up? Well, it turns out that their game plan get slower, chunkier, and slightly less coherent. Hooray?

So here we have a more "progressive" Exodus, if that's the right word to use, because I cannot think of any other. This seems to be the logical path for most bands after creating a great album, to branch out and do something "different," so as to not be thriving in their own shadows, and sometimes it works, but most of the time it just provides the public with weaker albums like this one. Pleasures of the Flesh actually gets off to a really, really good start, with "Deranged," being just as good as any of the better stuff on the debut. New vocalist Steve 'Zetro' Souza doesn't sound quite as animalistic as Baloff, possessing more of a traditional Thrash yammer, and he sounds pretty good here, if not a bit unfocused, but we all know the riffs are what we stay for on an Exodus album, and boy do they ever deliver on this song. They just chug and snarl and gallop away, and by the end of this song, I am a happy man.

However, you just knew there was going to be a "however." The next song is called "Til Death Do Us Part," and the first thing that strikes you is, what happened to my fast, gut-ripping Exodus attack? Now, I haven't listened to any Exodus albums in full after this one, this normal for them? It isn't a bad song, with some nice riffs, but it lacks the linear, aggressive feel that the debut material had. An alright experiment, but where is my fast Exodus? Well, the next two songs are better, with some heavier, chunkier riffs, but it's with "Faster Than You'll Ever Live to Be" that the band kick it up a notch, with riffs that actually seem to be going for your throat again, and man, that title is bad-ass. The title track is weird and experimental, starting out with some tribal sounds and a bird cawing, and then kicking into a ripping, melodic Thrash attack that I quite like, probably the second best song on here.

However, then we kick into "30 Seconds," which is stupid and useless, and serves no point at all other than to annoy the listener with this meandering little melody that stops after forty-two seconds. I'm sorry, what? I mean, I at least expect musicians to be able to count. Yergh...oh, fuck it, moving on. "Seeds of Hate," featuring the most annoying hook on the album, is okay, but fairly unmemorable, oddly enough. "Chemi-Kill" totally sucks, alternating the Thrash riffs with annoying melodies that just don't seem to work with the song at all, and after that, the last song is okay, but I just cannot get into it after that. Ehh...

So we have a bit of a mixed bag, with some good songs, but a lot of experimental and less good stuff that I just can't get into. About half of this is fun, headbangable Thrash attacks, and even the rest of the stuff isn't totally unlistenable, so I guess I can't say this was a wasted effort. Certainly no masterpiece, but it's alright.

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