Exodus
The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A


4.0
excellent

Review

by Grant Hunter USER (76 Reviews)
October 18th, 2007 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While it may not redefine the genre, Exodus produces yet another hard-hitting release that is more than worth the time it takes to sink in.

All throughout their career, Exodus have been given the short-end of the stick. After pioneering the Bay Area thrash sound, co-founder Kirk Hammet left to join Metallica, which later greatly eclipsed Exodus. It came almost like a slap to the face when the phrase “The Big Four” began to be thrown around, and Exodus wasn’t included (they were actually placed in “The Little Four”, which was made up of Overkill, Dark Angel, Testament, and Exodus). Most of their work has been regarded by critics as a good time, if not slightly 2nd-rate material. However, with “The Atrocity Exhibition…Exhibit A”, Exodus might show a different sound formula, but they’re still pumping out quality albums, which is more than Metllica or Anthrax can say.

“Tempo of the Damned” was the band’s reunion album, which featured Exodus roaring onto the modern-thrash scene with pure aggression, and was later mirrored by “Shovel Headed Kill Machine.” Returning this time around is drummer/co-founder Tom Hunting, who was absent on “Shovel Headed Kill Machine”, and is joined with guitarist Lee Altus from Heathen. Combined with Gary Holt (guitar), Jack Gibson (bass), and Rob Dukes (vocals), Exodus promised an album that would redefine the genre of thrash and be a landmark in the metal community.

First off, this is not going to redefine the genre in any way. Nothing here is going to cause some kind of revolution, or provoke a new way of writing thrash, nor is this going to be hailed a classic for the ages. However, “The Atrocity Exhibition…Exhibit A” features some of the best material Exodus has put out in awhile, due to its high-level of intensity and mature tones. Following along with the popular trend of a moody, instrumental intro, “A Call to Arms” comes in softly with a military-style drum roll and soothing guitar. It soon quickly shatters as the distortion is kicked on, and very quickly “Riot Act” blasts through the speakers, unleashing 2-years worth of pent-up frustration at failed governments, religion, and society in general. Rob Dukes immediately makes his presence known as he calls forth for listeners to “Rise up and revolt, Overthrow the government! Level all the temples, Destroy the monuments!” Lee and Gary blaze forth on guitar, putting forth pulverizing, jack-hammer riffs and scorching solos, all the while being backed up by Hunting’s frantic double bass.

While most of the tracks don’t feature “Riot Act’s” blistering speed, they make up for it in their raw power. Tracks like “Funeral Hymn” and especially “Iconoclasm” feature lock-heavy riffs that buzz like chainsaws, all the while being met by Rob Dukes’ frantic screams. Many might found Dukes annoying, since has more of a “hardcore” sound due to his past punk bands that he performed in, but he varies his voice constantly. On the highlight track, “Children of a Worthless God”, Dukes even engages in clean singing during the chorus. He’s no Bruce Dickinson, but it’s a nice change-up of the snarls and screams that he is usually emitting (at top-quality, mind you). Gary and Lee show off just how strong they perform together with face-grinding riffs, mainly on the anthem-thrasher “Bedlam 123”, which is bound to send crowds into a mosh frenzy. Also, the addition to Lee to the line-up was a great choice, since Gary and Lee constantly team-up to deliver melting solo after solo. Tom Hunting is also a huge benefit to this album, especially on the crushing “Iconoclasm”, where Tom blasts open the song with a mini-solo before beating the song into submission with his kit.

Most of the tracks on “TAE…EA” reach over 6-minutes in length, so this takes some getting used to. The title track at first listen may seem like one of the most repetitive thrash songs ever written, but given time to sink in, it turns out to be a complete winner, as it’s pinched-riffs help Rob to deliver venom-filled lines of “You speak to the sky, and no one answers back!” The length also seems to speak volumes about the maturity in the lyrical content on this album, since it all deals with religion, war, and government. Gone are the murder themed, almost light hearted one-liners present on “Tempo of the Damned” and “Shovel Headed Kill Machine”. This exhibit deals strictly with the plagues of society, and Exodus aim to show the world just how pissed off they are. Probably the best example would be anti-Islamic track “Children of a Worthless God”, which accuses Islamic extremists of “praising the death of the free” and wishing to see a “United States of Islam”. That’s not to say that Christianity doesn’t get its fair share of bashing, since the title track openly mocks those who follow God. Nothing in the modern world is safe from Rob Dukes’ wrath on “TAE…EA”, and the fact that the lyrics don’t have him dealing out constant swear words to get his point across is a huge plus.

What holds “TAE…EA” back is that Exodus over-hyped this album too much. Calling it an album to redefine the genre was a huge boast, and they didn’t accomplish it. The tracks are very long for a thrash album, and take many repeated listens to get into. With the title track being over 10-minutes long, many might just hit the skip button. Over time, however, the album will sink in, but it’s still disappointing to see it take so many listens just to get used to, then even more to actually enjoy the album thoroughly. That, and the track “Garden of Bleeding”, which comes off as a filler due to its placement between two great tracks (“Iconoclasm” and “Bedlam 123”) and it’s dry riffs, are what really will frustrate a lot of old-time fans, as well as newcomers.

Exodus might not have created a metal masterpiece, but they’ve created something that screams to be acknowledged and not taken lightly. “The Atrocity Exhibition…Exhibit A” is a huge success for the band, and shows off a new level of maturity that wasn’t seen by them yet. Tracks such as “Children of a Worthless God” and “Bedlam 123” are going to become staples at Exodus shows, and fans will eat them up when played live. So until Exodus hits society with “Exhibit B”, this exhibit should produce frequent visits from those who can accept the long song lengths.

Overall – 4/5

Recommended Tracks
A Call to Arms/Riot Act
Children of a Worthless God
The Atrocity Exhibition
Bedlam 123



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user ratings (344)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Only rates well known thrash (3.5)
...And Justice For All, Exodus style....

Kalle J. (2)
Take all your preconceived notions about thrash metal and hit yourself over the head with them....


Comments:Add a Comment 
south_of_heaven 11
October 18th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Love this album.

BallsToTheWall
October 18th 2007


44805 Comments


Great review. Been meaning to get into some thrash. Guess I should start with older Testament and Exodus.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

south_of_heaven 11
October 18th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sodom's "M-16" is genius. Get that.

gasmaskman
October 18th 2007


1006 Comments


Exodus definitely don't get enough praise. They played before The Black Dahlia Murder on their tour w/ Hatebreed.

Pretty good review, definitely gonna pick this up.

Willie
Moderator
October 18th 2007


16144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Great review... I could never get into Exodus due to their vocalist... as for Lee Altus, I haven't ever heard him in either thrash band, just in the industrial band Die Krupps where his riffs were decent.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

south_of_heaven 11
October 20th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Listened to this 3 times on the way home...fucking killer.

jrowa001
October 20th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review. ill rate this when i get a hard copy of it, but from their stream on myspace i want to give it a 3.5. Bedlam 123 is one of their best songs ever imo

south_of_heaven 11
October 20th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, it's like I've been saying...the quality from myspace sucks. With actual production, this sounds so much more powerful.

And yes, Bedlam 123 is sick :thumb:This Message Edited On 10.20.07

Wizard
October 20th 2007


19640 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Excellent review. This album is starting to bore me a bit!

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

WARPATH_88
October 20th 2007


514 Comments


Verrrryyy Good review. I listened to this on their myspace and i was really impressed.

south_of_heaven 11
October 23rd 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This album is seriously fucking good. I don't really view "Garden of Bleeding" as a horrible track anymore, it's got a demented twist to it now that I listen to more...still the weakest track on here though.

bren732
October 29th 2007


76 Comments


Awesome review man. Another great review from sputnik music's biggest slayer fan!

jrowa001
October 29th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

now that i got this on album, it is so much better than the myspace stream. it fun to listen to with the windows down while driving

Zoo
October 29th 2007


3759 Comments


It still ceases to amaze me that Anthrax is in "The Big Four" and Testament isn't. What a load of bullshit.

south_of_heaven 11
October 30th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'd put Exodus or Overkill in over Testament, but yeah, Anthrax sucks balls.

Dethtrasher
October 30th 2007


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Among The Living is still a memorable classic album imo. But everything after SoE is horrible.

Altmer
October 30th 2007


5652 Comments


I've never got into this band. Good review but I don't think Exodus are all that great, really.

Then again thrash is such an overrated genre.

Dethtrasher
October 30th 2007


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Then again thrash is such an overrated genre

And black metal isn't? People praise black metal more than thrash metal on this site.

south_of_heaven 11
October 30th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No it's not stfu Altmer :mad:

Dethtrasher
October 30th 2007


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thrash is the f**king corner stone of metal, while Black Sabbath is the godfathers of all rock music.

Just expressing my opinion.This Message Edited On 10.30.07



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