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Give it a Shot, I Almost Didn't... - 75%

InfinityX, April 19th, 2010

Well I've read a lot of bad press for this album and I just don't understand why. Now I'm got going to trash people who don't like what I like, that’s just not how I roll as a Burzum fan I read a lot of bad press for music I like, anyway I have to make sure both sides of the story are being heard.

So, here I go. Exodus is a band that has been plagued by lineup changes and I nearly skipped them for it. I listened to BbB and I loved it, since I knew Baloff (R.I.P.) was only on that album, I figured if I listened to later albums, I would go Paul was better so I'm not going to listen to this, as I'm sure many of you have done if not with Exodus then others. Long story short I eventually got used to all of the Exodus vocalists, and they each have there own strengths.

As for Rob Dukes I was taken aback by his style, but now I love his voice. He may be even better than Baloff, at least in some ways. It sounds like a little metalcore (bleh) mixed with a later Chuck Schuldiner (YAY!) which gives him a nice mix of clarity and harshness. If you feel like Rob Dukes is the doom of Exodus hang in there, it takes some getting used to but it is worth it when you get used to it.

Now, the album as a whole is way different than past Exodus albums, chiefly because the lyrics aren't as joking and the atmosphere is a lot darker. That doesn't mean that Holt and the gang aren't bringing the scathing political lyrics with the lines about violence. It's in there:

Bedlam 1-2-3:
"On my command
everybody run amuck
slam into everyone
never to stop to give a fuck"

Riot Act:
"Smash everything,
wreck it all with pride
The Power of our revolution
won't ever be denied."

I could go on. The lyrics still have that Exodus 'I don't give a shit' flavor, but are overall more intelligently written, in part to Rob Dukes, ever-bringing in some new things to the band, including that badass beard.

You may be thinking 'Rob Dukes? Exodus is about Gary Holt!' Well fret not, Gary Holt is still the man and brings the true thrash to this brilliant album. The riffs are generally fairly simple and are generally slower than past Exodus albums, but they have that great mix of thrashing brutality and groove that we come to expect. And if you are a fiend for speed, the solos are still face-melters, and some songs are still break-neck paced like my personal favorite, Children of a Worthless God. The song is just flawless, the sweet riffs with the double bass intro, the anti-religious fanaticism lyrics by Rob Dukes, the dueling solos by Holt and Lee. It is an amazing song.

The bass isn't as audible as I'd like it, but it is better than most albums. As a bass player I get angry when I can't hear any bass, but it is more present on this album than most Exodus albums even. And the drums are awesome, and so unique for a thrash album. A fine mixture of speed and technicality, not just your essential put-put-tuh-put-put-tuh. Really most of the material is not very typical for a thrash album, but that is probably why I love it so much.

Part of the reason I understand why many people don't like this album is because it is a hard album to dig into because it is very different, like Prometheus by Emperor. But you can't just give these albums a casual listen you have to dig into it. Put on the damn headphones and listen to it! Trust me that if you give it a shot, and then another shot, and perhaps another after that, you will like this album. To ease yourself into it perhaps you could start with just Children... that song just clicks. Give it a shot, I almost didn't.

For being different in a genre of conformity, Exodus's The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A gets a 75, or a 3 out of five