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It's no BbB, but it's still pretty good - 72%

ThrashingMad, November 3rd, 2007

So this was the second full length offering from Exodus, and it's pretty different from Bonded by Blood. This was due to a couple of things. One was that their former vocalist Paul Baloff was replaced with Steve "Zetro" Souza, and there styles differ a fair amount from each other. Also this album found Exodus in a state of artistic "progression". They were moving away from the completely fucking balls out thrasher that were displayed on the first album, and moving on to the lighter thrash sound that was so fucking popular at the time. So pretty much anyone that worshipped Bonded by Blood (i.e. everyone) should have seen that this album wasn't going to be nearly as good as its predecessor. While I would love to say that these people were proved dead fucking wrong, I can't because this album doesn't even come close to the quality of Bonded by fucking Blood. Now with that said this is not a bad album at all. For what it is, it's actually pretty fucking good. It definitely has its flaws but overall it is a quality release and a good listen.

So I'll start off with the bad stuff. The biggest problem with this album is that it feels incomplete at times. Like they crank out a few really good riffs, they write a great chorus, but the verses fall flat. Of course there are different variations of this. The song "Till Death Do Us Part" really suffers from this. It has an awesome main riff and a good chorus riff, but the verses just sound tired and boring. It sounds as if halfway through the song Exodus just got tired and went to bed. The thing is I can't really call the song bad simply because of the kick ass riffs. The one at 2:51 is particularly good. "Brain Dead" is another sort of incomplete song. Again it's got some good riffs and the verses are decent, but the chorus is bad, and I mean really bad. It consists of Zetro whispering, yes whispering, braaaain dead a few times. Whispering should never be used in metal and much less in a fucking Exodus song. Come on guys, what are you thinking? The other problem with this album is that there seems to be a lot of random, stupid shit thrown in for no reason. The title track is a very good song but for some reason it has about a minute of stupid jungle noises at the start. My question is why. Why would this be necessary in a song? It doesn't give the song any sense of atmosphere and it definitely doesn't sound good. Then there is the stupid song "30 seconds" which is basically just someone fucking around with an acoustic guitar. The track is worthless and shouldn't be on the album.

While this album does have a number of flaws, the majority of it is good. All of the songs, besides the ones mentioned above, are pretty good at the worst. Most of the good songs are at about the same level, but there are a few all out highlights on here. "Deranged" is a fucking face-melter of a song. The intro riff is excellent, so is the verse riff. It has a really good chorus and a long but well done solo. The song really wouldn't sound at all out of place on BbB. "Seeds of Hate" is the best song on the album. The riffs are really good through the whole song. The verses are good and the chorus is pretty damn catchy. However, the part that really makes this song a classic is the insane middle section, with an amazing riff at 2:20.

As I said before the difference in the vocal styles of Baloff and Zetro is a quite drastic one. While Zetro's vocals are good, they don't pack the same punch as Baloff's did. Baloff's vocal possessed this feeling of blind rage that really cannot be replicated. Zetro's vocals are pretty good. They are high-pitched and have this sort of snotty, for lack of a better term, feel to them. They’re kind of tongue in cheek in a way. Think about this, if Baloff's vocals are yelled with aggression, then Zetro's vocals are said with a smirk. If Baloff is Henry Rollins, then Zetro is Keith Morris. Analogies aside, Zetro is a good vocalist in his own right, but he is nothing compared to the thrash metal beast that is Paul Baloff.

In the end this album is a good one. It has some flaws but all in all they're pretty easy to ignore. The majority of the songs are good and some of them are fucking great. This album was a little disappointing because it came out after Bonded by Blood, but on it's own it is definitely a good listen.