Exodus are one of the best Thrash Metal bands from the Bay Area but they never were quite as commercially successful as Slayer, Anthrax or even Metallica, despite the fact that Metallica`s Kirk Hammet was a founding member.
Ten years ago, the band made a strong comeback (after a hiatus) and delivered one great album of another - also in 2014. But this time, there were two exciters. Exciter no 1 is the change of vocalists, from Rob Dukes to early-and-then-former-then again-and-former-again-and-now-again vocalist Steven “Zetro” Souza. The second exciter is an old-school solo performed by the above-mentioned Kirk Hammet on “Salt the Wound”. Apart from these two exciters, “Blood in, Blood out” is simply a highspeed train ride, filled with razor-sharp, bone-shattering Thrash Metal riffs out of this world. Awesome! Song by song!
But still, this is “only” a good album and not a great one. There are three reasons for it. One: Missing dynamics - No loud and quiet moments and, even worse, no fast and slow moments. Instead, the entire record is loud and fast, making it really one-sided. Two: Missing facets - It seems as if Gary Holt forgot about lead guitars when he wrote the songs. Instead, there is one riff after another but never only a tiny piece of melody. Three: Missing catchiness – Abandoning lead guitars somehow entails abandoning catchy vocals, too (despite some gang shouts in the title track and in “Body Harvest”)
Bottom line: Listening to “Blood in Blood out” makes you feel like you´ve been knocked over by a highspeed train but, when it´s over, you won´t remember a thing. And in this case, this is not good! In the past years, Kreator and Machine Head have demonstrated how to play Thrash Metal with aggression, dynamics and catchiness. Maybe Exodus should check them out and take notes…