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Stuck in between two classics, though still good. - 85%

IWP, May 6th, 2008

After the amazing and lethal Bonded By Blood, Exodus eventually had to make a follow up to their classic thrashter-piece. Thye worked on a demo which had the pissed off Paul Baloff on vocals, so it looked as though they wer going to come out with a Bonded By Blood part II. However, something went wrong. Paul left the band for whatever reason so they had to find a new singer. Thus, they had found one in former Testament (then known as Legacy) singer, Steve Setro. While he does not have the attitude and balls of Baloff, Setro is overall a better singer than him. He has more vocal range and control than Baloff. However, with Setro on vocals, we all knew that this album was not going to be a Bonded By Blood part II, and it isn't.

It has production that is almost similar to Bonded, but the sound is different, and that doesn't sound too good. The riffs aren't as good, and the drumming isn't as lethal either. However, it does have one thing over BBB, and that things cathciness. This album is generally catchier than BBB, though not quite as catchy and fun as the mighty Fabulous Diasaster that would come two years later. So this album is kind of stuck in between the two albums, and sounds a little like both albums, though lacks the abilty that both albums have.

Fear not though, this album is still pretty damn good, and it kicks ass at times as well. The best songs on here surprisingly have to be Chemi-Kill and the ultra-catchy Brain Dead. The latter track has a nice fun riff that carries the song through, and almost sounds like a proto-type Toxic Waltz. This song could've been a hit, especially for 1987 when thrash was just starting to get mainstream attention. It's fun, it's catchy, and the riffs and solo kick ass. Seeds of Hate is also pretty fucking aweosme as well, tohugh probably would've sounded better with Baloff on vocals. It wouldn't have sounded too out of place on Bonded By Blood as it's fast with good ass riffs.

About the only problem I have with this album is that some of the songs do end up sounding a little alike. We get one good riff here, change it around a little and throw it in a different song, rinse, wash, repeat. For example, Deranged, Parasite, Faster Than You'll Ever Live To Be, and Choose Your Weapon all are good fast songs with good riffs, but they kinda get repetative which causes the listener to get bored after a while. This is also why this album is not worthy of a 90, or even an 88%. If it weren't for the absolute highlight, Brain Dead, it would've gtten a much lower rating.

This is actually the worst out of Exodus's first five albums. Hell, I even liked Force of Habit better than this. Knowing that though, it's still pretty damn good. It's just stuck in between two classic albums in the form of Bonded By Blood and Fabulous Disasater. It's good though. All five albums are worth owning, and this album is actually better than the majority of Testament's material, and that's saying something. Get this if you happen to find it in your local music store.