Published Oct 10, 2014Thrash has something of a campy appeal, catering to humanity's more primal side but tempered with healthy doses of dark humour. This was something Exodus lost when long-time vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza left after 2004's Tempo of the Damned and was replaced by Rob Dukes, a good vocalist in his own right, but lacking the sneer Zetro was always wearing when singing.
Now, a decade later, the band's second vocalist (RIP Paul Baloff) has returned for Blood In, Blood Out. Evidently the band re-bonded with Zetro quickly, as the chemistry exhibited on the album results in something far from being Atrocity Exhibition's "C" piece. After a slightly out of place industrial intro, which actually finds its footing as the guitar takes hold, the thrashing begins. The opening first five tracks, especially "Black 13" and "Blood In, Blood Out," slice and dice in quick succession. Followup "BTK" slips slightly, with its dip in tempo not being wholly conducive to the thrash mantra, but it's redeemed slightly by guest vocals by Testament's Chuck Billy and an even slower ending that effectively utilizes the lack of speed in a breakdown complete with growls.
Although "My Last Nerve" also falls victim to mid-tempo meandering, the remainder of the album serves as some of the best thrash from thrash's best band, who sound like they play their music with a shit-eating grin and a machete hidden behind their backs. (Nuclear Blast)