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E-X-O-D-U-S; the new way to spell atrocious - 10%

zeingard, October 25th, 2007

Armed with the razor sharp wit of Oscar Wilde, I can't help but say; this album is an apt exhibition of how atrocious metal can be. I can sympathise with these 80's thrash bands, to them groove metal is just as alluring as the forbidden fruit was to the mythical cocktease Eve, and rightly so I suppose. Groove metal requires no talent and your average metalhead thinks it's good because it's so heavy and brutal. Unfortunately Exodus do not get the benefit of the doubt, with 'Tempo of the Damned' they managed to prove it was possible to make a mostly decent thrash/groove album in the vein of Pantera's 'Cowboys from Hell', of course they cocked that up right away when they release 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine' and they've continued on the downward spiral to mediocrity with this next installment which apparently has a guaranteed follow-up album. How grim, if by extrapolation the next album follows the trend of suckitude then I shan't sleep for a good week thanks to caffeine laced paranoia at the thought of trudging through an album similar to or even worse than this one.

The alarm bells ring loud and clear as soon as you look over the track list; the songs are really fucking long, now let it be known that I'm no adverse to long song but when all you can write is a couple of shitty groove riffs to stretch over 5 - 10 minutes you're starting to test my patience and cause me to question my thoughts on just how masochistic I really am. Take the title track "The Atrocity Exhibition", barely 1/3rd of the way through the song and we've only heard two different riffs; two plodding and utterly lamentable groove riffs for about 3 and half minutes. The following solo is also lacking in the balls department but that's to be expected I suppose, if you're too lazy to even write a few thrash riffs then why bother with writing blazingly awesome solos right? Admittedly the second solo in the song is a lot better but it's questionable as to whether it's worth slogging through 7 minutes of poorly written groove metal to hear one good solo when I could go put 'Rust in Peace' or 'Painkiller' on instead. Not even the shortest (disregarding the introduction track) song on this album "Riot Act" is decent. Usually you get at least one thrash song out of these dried-up husks of former glory but it appears they can't even recall how to thrash the fuck out. It has some speed at least and the solos are okay at best but otherwise it's just a shorter and somewhat faster version of the other songs on the album, its entire existence seems to be based around being released as single for this album.

I think the biggest offender in this album is the general lack of originality, take for instance the trade-off solo section in the middle of "Bedlam 123"; your first impression is outright fucking joy because they're finally doing something worthwhile but once you get your shit sorted you realise the solos themselves are fairly lackluster and fail to be individualistic or inventive in any sense of the word. Also Rob Dukes counting down "1 2 3" in the choruses of this song is grating and rather, dare I use the term, mallcore-ish. I don't dislike him as a vocalist, he seems to mesh well with the shitty groove riffs and it makes the lyrics unintelligible which is probably in their best interests since they sound like they came from the desk of an introverted and fanatically atheist 15 year old know-it-all with nothing better to do than wank furiously over La Blue Girl episodes and post on shitty internet forums with a fervor only matched by devianTART fandom 'artists'.

That's the entirety of this album; shitty groove riff after shitty groove riff, uninspiring solo or two, really long fucking songs, decent drumming, mediocre if not outright irritating vocals and the occasional appearance from the once believed to be complete mythical creature known in our human tongue as a 'bassist'. Thought 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine' was good? Think Lamb of God are like the best new metal band ever and are totally brutal? Suffer from symptoms akin to severe brain damage and pop Ritalin like they were skittles? Then this album is right up your alley, not unlike how a part of myself is right up your mother's alley. Frequently.