Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. Lurking in the bay area underground for a few years before releasing their debut album, Exodus had some really good fortune kicking things off in that they had Kirk Hammett among their ranks in their earliest formation back in Hammett would soon move on to Metallica, with the rest of Exodus later being able to have bragging rights to have once had one of metal's most well known guitar players in their band; and not only that, but the band was originally formed by Kirk Hammett himself with demos released to prove the claim.
Furthermore, before the release of Bonded by Blood Exodus had the privilege of being recorded live and put on a compilation VHS with none other than Slayer and Venom, I can't think of any bands that had such a fortunate upbringing before releasing a single studio album! So when they finally did release an album, they were pressured early on to either drop one of the greatest in the genre, or be subjected to be shunned forever as lucky posers. Thankfully, the former turned out to be the case, but I'm hesitant to say that Exodus have ever managed to follow it up with anything that came remotely close to being this good.
Usually it takes a few releases for a band to get into a groove Exodus - Exodus - Bonded By Blood delivering their magnum opus, Exodus came out swinging right from the beginning and seemed to struggle to come up with anything that could rival this.
Initially I thought perhaps Kirk Hammett wrote much of the album which would at least provide a theory as to why it comes across so differently than everything else, negative. I don't believe Hammett had a hand in writing any of these songs. The few songs Kirk made before making his exit were never actually used on any Exodus albums, though a riff from "Die by his Hand" was later used on "Creeping Death" from Metallica's Ride the Lightning album. By the time Exodus had recordings of some of the songs that would make it onto here, Hammett had already been replaced by Rick Hunolt.
The band underwent a little bit of a metamorphosis as well upon Hammett's exit. Bonded by Blood represents the bay area thrash sound better than their earlier demos, coming across as a much more iconic listen to be tied to the genre. There are elements of Metallica, Anthrax, and crossover thrash heard here that falls in line with what everyone else was doing while still having its own personality and charm. Paul Baloff's vocals are especially impressive and powerful, sounding like a much more demonic James Hetfield from his earliest days during when he would scream his lungs out, and do so with power and force.
Paul Baloff is one of the best thrash vocalists I've ever heard, unfortunately this would be the only album he would ever provide vocals for, with plans to return for Tempo of the Damned going awry as he met his untimely fate. Easily my favorite Exodus vocalist, he makes the album that much better. A bad vocalist is not necessarily a bad thing, but a good one can really add a lot to the final product!
The story of Bonded by Blood is just as disgusting as the horrid album art itself, the band bonded over drinks one night, cutting their hands with razor blades and mixing their blood with one another.
Who knows, maybe the blood transfusion is why they were so in sync with one another, combining their blood with one another, they temporarily united as one I really just hope no one had hepatitis.
The music itself can be just as gory, especially in terms of lyrical content, but ultimately it's a very finely pieced together recording Lame - Incredible Hog - Incredible Hog really good production.
Being spoiled by albums like this can make it harder to enjoy some of the more raw stuff out there, but all in all, this is a really competent recording. The guitars are filled with crunch, the bass fills the low end, the drums are nice and meaty, and Baloff's voice is constantly on a vicious killing spree. The guitar solos especially sound Exodus - Exodus - Bonded By Blood majestic over it all, especially when paired up together.
Bonded by Blood features some of the most melodic soloing ever committed to an Exodus album with "No Love" and "A Lesson in Violence" being prime examples. There's still plenty of the frilly Kirk Hammett style guitar solos as well, albeit without the use of a wah pedal. These moments are some of the only compromises Exodus make apart from the neoclassical guitar intro to "No Love", essentially taking that old trope of smashing through a gentle melody with heavy metal as done by Mercyful Fate on "Into the Coven" from back in the day.
It's a bit of a cliche, but the brief neoclassical guitar on the album is surprising if it's coming from any of the musicians on here, I personally am skeptical and believe it was probably sampled.
There's nary a single Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head - Elvis Costello - This Is Tomorrow Exodus - Exodus - Bonded By Blood on the album, everything is pretty infectious, the soloing on "Deliver Us to Evil" really combines the Slayer and Metallica styles of soloing, essentially giving one the impression that Exodus really could do anything they wanted to do.
My favorite riff from the album comes from "Strike of the Beast", I love how much thought was put into some of these riffs, but this one has such a precise punctuation to it as if it were a groove metal riff while retaining that thrash metal velocity. It's a bay area thrash album and it sounds like one. For the most part everything is pretty simple, song structures still derive from the American philosophy of creating tangible thrash metal that is Exodus - Exodus - Bonded By Blood accessible than what was going Exodus - Exodus - Bonded By Blood overseas Exodus - Exodus - Bonded By Blood Germany Comes Love - Billie Holiday - Jazz-History Vol.
11 the time. It was one of my first thrash metal albums, and I think it's a good album for newcomers to the genre after they are formally inducted by perhaps something a bit less brutal such as Executioner's Song or Kill 'em All. I personally had no problems with this being one of my first thrash albums, but not everyone has a tolerance for the levels of brutality and violence contained on Bonded by Blood.
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