Blood In, Blood Out by Exodus (Nuclear Blast Records)
The tenth studio album by Exodus grabs you by the throat and throws you into the mosh pit from the opening minutes of their new album Blood In, Blood Out. Guitarist and leader Gary Holt has paired down the Exodus sound and this is their best album in years, if not their whole career. While Exodus hasn’t enjoyed the success of some of their peers they have sold over five million records in their 34 year career and they continue to create compelling and complex metal that is both visceral and violent and a whole lot of head-banging fun. Original singer Steve “Zetro” Souza also returns to the fold bringing even more energy to the songs that Holt had written. Souza’s vocals are a thrill to hear, as he wails, growls, chants and raps his way through the songs. Sparks fly off the guitars of Holt and Lee Arbus, solos attack you like the chest-bursting Alien, Jack Gibson’s bass sounds like he’s using bridge support wires and Tom Hunting excels at both a fast punk beat and the slower tempos, a powerhouse of a drummer. Kirk Hammett offers a guitar solo for the anthemic Salt The Wound, Testament’s Chuck Billy roars over the end of BTK.
On Black 13, the title track, Salt the Wound, Body Harvest and the rest of the album the band play like men half their age, seemingly revitalized and ready to prove to themselves, if not the rest of the world they’ve still got what it takes to blow minds and speakers. This is driving music, metal to kick-start your heart, audio defribullators to remind you you’re alive.
Exodus get more complex in their arrangements for the second half of the album, slowing down only a little, crafting a convoluted yet powerful middle section for Wrapped in the Arms of Rage, with also features many awesome guitar leads. Food For The Worms is how you’ll feel after being battered and bruised by the last song on Blood In, Blood Out, a go-for-broke song that alternates between stupid fast beats and heaviosity that still remains accessible.
Blood In, Blood Out is a career high for Exodus, joining fellow thrashers Testament and Anthrax who have both recently released their best albums to date.
(Review by Bret Miller)