The almighty thrash metal powerhouse Exodus is back in in 2014 with their latest effort, “Blood In, Blood Out,” and marking the return of Steve “Zetro” Souza for his third stint with the band. After their latest breakup, it seemed hard to fathom that the tandem would ever reunite. Harsh words were spoken. Exodus moved on with Rob Dukes and were still releasing great music. Souza resurfaces with Hatriot and was playing with his sons. He was content.
I recently spoke to Souza and I thought that something may have been coming. He was much more open about saying never say never when asked about a possible reunion, and while he treasured playing with his sons, you just knew that the opportunity was still out there.
Souza’s last run with the band was 10 years ago with the “Tempo of the Damned” album. “Blood In, Blood Out” is exactly what you would expect from the band given how “Tempo of the Damned” came out for the band. Their latest tenth studio album is absolutely crushing and reminds us just how good these thrash metal veterans were and still are. Gary Holt, who is also a working member of Slayer is still putting Exodus at the forefront of his mind and that dedication shows with each track on the album.
Exodus has always been about the riff and “Blood In, Blood Out” is no different. The album is a feast of thrash riffs that seemingly never end. The guitar solos are not interruptions in each track, but rather an added bonus to the songs by actually offering something. Souza is still an amazing frontman with his raspy vocals and with his witty lyrical content.
I would start rattling out the highlights of the album, but most of the tracks are really good. I would sit here re-writing the tracklisting to say that they were mostly all standouts. The album is an opus best consumed as an entire entity from front to back without interruption.
Some of the better moments of the album are the guest appearances featuring one-time Exodus member and current Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett rifling off a nice solo for Salt the Wound. BTK features the vocals of Souza’s Dublin Death Patrol co-vocalist and Testament leader Chuck Billy, albeit in a very small role. The album also features appearances by Dan the Automator and Anthony “Rat” Martin on the Japanese bonus disc.
I wish that things turned out better for Dukes and I wish him all the best. After 9 nine of great service to the band, perhaps he deserved better, but it is further truth that the music industry is a business and money talks. Exodus is far better off financially with the return of Souza, and whatever happened behind the scenes with Dukes and the band is better left inside of their camp. The light at the end of this tunnel is that Exodus is still releasing some of the best thrash metal songs out there.
Exodus: Blood In, Blood Out Rating(8 / 10)
Blood In, Blood Out Tracklisting
01. Black 13 [feat. Dan the Automator]
02. Blood In, Blood out
03. Collateral Damage
04. Salt The Wound [feat. Kirk Hammett]
05. Body Harvest
06. BTK [feat. Chuck Billy]
07. Wrapped In The Arms Of Rage
08. My Last Nerve
10. Honor Killings
11. Food For The Worms
12. Angel Of Death [Angel Witch cover] [Limited Edition bonus]
13. Protect Not Dissect [feat. Anthony “Rat” Martin] [Japanese bonus]