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Exodus

Once the kings of the Bay Area metal scene -- one of the birthplaces of thrash -- Exodus were unceremoniously demoted from their postwiththearrival of Los Angeles' Metallica in 1982. And while they proceeded to eek out a hit-and-miss career of their own over thenext few decades,allthe while influencing at least two separate generations of younger thrash bands, Exodus were ultimatelyfated to be the ultimate also-rans of thegenre they helped spawn. Formed in 1981 by singer Paul Baloff, guitarists Gary Holt andKirk Hammett, bassist Geoff Andrews,and drummer TomHunting, Exodus were heavily inf ...read more

Once the kings of the Bay Area metal scene -- one of the birthplaces of thrash -- Exodus were unceremoniously demoted from their postwiththearrival of Los Angeles' Metallica in 1982. And while they proceeded to eek out a hit-and-miss career of their own over thenext few decades,allthe while influencing at least two separate generations of younger thrash bands, Exodus were ultimatelyfated to be the ultimate also-rans of thegenre they helped spawn. Formed in 1981 by singer Paul Baloff, guitarists Gary Holt andKirk Hammett, bassist Geoff Andrews,and drummer TomHunting, Exodus were heavily influenced by Motörhead and New Waveof British Heavy Metal bands like Iron Maiden andRaven, whose lessonsthey combined with the raw, D.I.Y. aesthetic of theprolific Bay Area punk scene to create thrash metal. Their handfulof demos recorded between1982-1984 became wildly popularon the all-important underground tape-trading circuit of the time, andsolidified the band's standing as the BayArea's first thrashchampions. But they would soon lose their numero uno standing as well as theirguitarist Hammett to theaforementionedMetallica, who then raced ahead of all competitors in their mission to bring thrash to the world.Wounded but undaunted,Exodusdrafted guitarist Rick Hunolt and replaced bassist Andrews with Rob McKillop before signing with TorridRecords, for whom theyrecordedtheir Bonded by Blood debut in 1984. But the album languished unreleased for over a year due to businessproblems,and by the time it was finallyunveiled by Combat Records in 1985, the would-be genre benchmark already sounded dated anditsimpact was severely dulled by the quickevolution of their peers.

These hardships also led to the ousting of vocalist Baloff, whose carefree, larger-than-life attitude (and often drunken behavior)made him aneasyscapegoat for his more driven bandmates. His replacement was ex-Testament singer Steve "Zetro" Souza,who arrived in time for1987'sdisappointing Pleasures of the Flesh -- an inconsistent album which did nothing to advance Exodus'cause. Incessant touringserved to strengthenthe band's new lineup, though, and 1989's meticulously conceived FabulousDisaster was a critical triumph, bringingthe group to their commercialpeak. The successful world tour which followed broughtanother dramatic setback, however, when drummerHunting was diagnosed with anirregular heartbeat which first sidelined, thenforced him to quit the band at tour's end. Still, Exodus was on aroll, and their momentum led to anew contract with CapitolRecords, which immediately rushed them back into the studio with formerAnthrax drum tech John Tempesta manningthe skins,to lay down tracks for 1990's Impact Is Imminent. But the absence of a competentproducer and a carelessly assembledcollection ofsongs resulted in a dull, forgettable album that was doomed to commercial failure fromday one, squandering thegroup's recent accomplishmentsand pretty much closing their window to success. Longtime bassist McKillop leftsoon after(replaced by Mike Butler) and despite the renewedquality of 1992's Force of Habit (certainly their most diverse album ever),themembers of Exodus decided to go their separate ways when thegrunge revolution sidelined heavy metal bands of most anystripe.

But then, ten years after his departure from the band, Paul Baloff rejoined most of the classic Bonded by Blood lineup for a seriesof gigs in1997.A live album entitled Another Lesson in Violence was issued by Century Media to memorialize their homecomingshow in SanFrancisco, and theband continued to perform sporadically over the next few years until tragedy struck: Baloffsuddenly passed away onFebruary 2, 2002 aftersuffering a massive stroke and slipping into a comma three days earlier.Guitarist Gary Holt -- long Exodus' de factoleader -- still wanted to carryon, however, so after reuniting most of the band's"semi-classic" Fabulous Disaster formation, also featuringHunolt, Hunting and Souza, plusbassist Jack Gibson, work began onthe band's sixth studio album, 2004's Nuclear Blast released thrash-fest, Tempo of the Damned. The recorddidn't bring Exodusfame and fortune, of course, but it did meet with widespread critical acclaimedand firmly reestablished the band's career withthehelp of their still peerlessly energetic live performances, now being witnessed worldwideby thousands of impressionable fans, tooyoung tohave seen the original legends of thrash -- Exodus, Metallica, Slayer, etc. -- during theirglory years.

In fact, not even a final falling out with Souza and Hunolt could derail the Exodus juggernaut now, as they moshed back into thestudio torecord2005's Shovel Headed Kill Machine with vocalist Rob Dukes, guitarist Lee Altus (once of competing Bay Areathrashers Heathen),and drummerPaul Bostaph (ex-Forbidden, Slayer, Testament, etc.). Two years later, they were back at itagain, with a returning TomHunting behind the drumkit for another new studio album named The Atrocity Exhibition...Exhibit A,as well as 2008's Let There Be Blood (awell. meaning but utterlyunnecessary re-recording of 1985's seminal Bonded by Blooddebut), as well as 2010's Exhibit B: The HumanCondition. Be that as it may, Exoduscontinue in their quest to instruct newmillennium audiences with their one-of-a-kind "lesson inviolence"; simultaneously reaping the undyingrespect (if not monetaryreward) from the hundreds of purist young thrash bands, created intheir image, that sprung up worldwide towards theend of the'00s. « hide

Similar Bands: Testament, Hatriot, Slayer, Death Angel, Metallica

LPs
Blood In, Blood Out
2014

3.6
162 Votes
Exhibit B: The Human Condition
2010

3.7
364 Votes
The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A
2007

3.5
393 Votes
Shovel Headed Kill Machine
2005

3.7
438 Votes
Tempo of the Damned
2004

4
491 Votes
Force of Habit
1992

2.9
226 Votes
Impact Is Imminent
1990

3.2
276 Votes
Fabulous Disaster
1989

4.2
557 Votes
Pleasures of the Flesh
1987

3.7
354 Votes
Bonded by Blood
1985

4.2
967 Votes
EPs
War Is My Shepherd
2003

3.6
7 Votes
Objection Overruled
1990

2.1
4 Votes
Die by His Hand
1983

3.6
6 Votes
1982 Demo
1982

3.3
12 Votes
Live Albums
Shovel Headed Tour Machine
2010

3.9
7 Votes
Live at the DNA 2004
2005

2.7
3 Votes
Another Lesson in Violence
1997

4.2
86 Votes
Good Friendly Violent Fun
1991

2.9
21 Votes
Compilations
Let There Be Blood
2008

3.4
147 Votes
Lessons in Violence
1992

3.9
8 Votes

Contributors: Oswaldo88, Voivod, forkliftjones, rockandmetaljunkie, kereealazer, Wish, SylentEcho, FR33L0RD, PureRockFury, Apocalyptic Raids, Mikesn, manuscriptreplica, rockandmetaljunkie, Voivod, Nagrarok, feargm, Lebren, KILL, AleksiS, kereealazer, LepreCon, dante1991, Skyler,

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