Review Summary: Fabulous Disaster is an overlooked masterpiece that every thrasher will love.
As much as I like serious thrash like Metallica, Slayer, and Testament, I always have time for the more fun and light-hearted thrash groups like Municipal Waste, D.R.I., and my favorite, Exodus. The band is most famous for it's association with Metallica, but there is much more to Exodus than their connection with the former thrash titans.
As I said earlier, Exodus are one of the not-so-serious thrash bands. They don't sing about bad preachers, Satan, or the greenhouse effect. They sing about moshing, killing, and disaster. An evidence of their not-so-poetic lyrics can be found in one of the band's more popular songs, The Toxic Waltz, which is a song about moshing and brutally beating your dance partner. This song features the best aspects of Exodus. The lyrics are hilarious, the guitars are fast, thrashy, and brutal, and Steve's vocals are screechy and evil-sounding. Another one of the more ridiculous tracks is the cover of War's Low Rider, which is a vast improvement over the original. Gary Holt's amazing guitar playing and Steve's nails-on-a-chalkboard vocals make this song incredibly fun to listen to. Verbal Razors is definitely the fastest and thrashiest song on the album, featuring pounding drums, chugga-chugga guitars, and some more brilliant lyrics.
Exodus isn't all about stupidity though. The opening track, The Last Act of Defiance, is a lot more serious than many of the other songs. It's about the injustice of the prison system. Cajun Hell is about, well, a cajun hell. It's about a bunch of evil rednecks. Sounds stupid, but it's pretty cool.
The best things about this album are the guitars and the vocals. Gary Holt is an amazing guitarist, and he's one of the most underrated metal axemen of all-time. His solos are stunning, and his and Rick Hunolt's riffs have a crunchy sound, similar to AC/DC or Pantera but a hell of a lot thrashier. Steve Souza's vocals take time to grow on you, but once they do, you begin to realise how good he is. His voice is sort of like a thrashified version of Bon Scott, except Steve sounds far more wicked. The rhythm section is where Exodus fails. While the pounding drums are perfect for a thrash metal band, the bass is nearly inaudible. I wouldn't say that the band was suffering from ...And Justice For All syndrome, but Rob needed to step it up. This is forgivable however, because Exodus is a thrash metal band, and they aren't known for their amazing bass-playing abilities. Everything else is absolutely stellar.
Overall, Fabulous Disaster is an overlooked masterpiece that every thrasher will simply adore. While most people will tell you that Bonded By Blood is the band's finest outing, I respectfully disagree. Fabulous Disaster is the band's best album. It's got a perfect balance of serious thrash and downright stupid. Also, it features two superb covers, both of which are as good as the original, if not better. Fabulous Disaster is an album that is unsurpassed by many thrash metal groups, as well as the band themselves. If you want fifty minutes of fun, kick-ass thrash metal, then Fabulous Disaster is for you.
The Best of the Best:
The Toxic Waltz
The Last Act of Defiance