Review Summary: Being Exodus's sophomore effort, they show a more technical side on this album. A step up from Bonded by Blood music-wise.
Pleasures of the Flesh is probably one of Exodus's most underrated, underappreciated albums. This may be due to the rarity of the album itself (I found it used in a music store for about 5 bucks), but I think it's also because Exodus never play anything from this album live anymore. Originally, Paul Baloff was supposed to do the vocal duties on this album, but was replaced by Steve Souza of Legacy (Testament) shortly before they recorded it.
Steve Souza: Vocals
Gary Holt: Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Rick Hunolt: Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Rob Mckillop: Bass Guitar
Tom Hunting: Drums
Unlike most old school thrash metal fans, I think that this album is a step up from Bonded by Blood musically and lyrically. First off, Steve Souza's Bon Scott-like vocals seem to fit Exodus better. He is more of natural singer then Paul in my opinion (he has more of a range and control of his voice). He is more fierce in his vocal delivery, especially in their 3 albums before the experimental Force of Habit album. Steve is also very good at screeches, which is what Paul Baloff was known for. For some people though, the screams and screeches may be annoying. Overall, Steve does a great job taking on the vocals of Exodus on this album. VOCALS: 4/5
Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt are probably the best thrash guitar duo to come out of the Bay Area scene. Their riffs, solos, and even their guitar tone has improved a ton since Bonded by Blood. In songs like Pleasures of the Flesh and Deranged they show this; great guitar harmonies and solos. In Bonded by Blood, the riffs were a little elementary and the structure was very simple. The solos are a lot more complex and enjoyable to listen to in this album. I've always loved the solo tradeoffs between Rick and Gary, and this is the first Exodus album to feature that famous thrash metal element. I think the guitarists show the most improvement and give the best performance on this album. GUITARS: 5/5
The bass is actually audible on this album, which is rare for an eighties Exodus album. Rob Mckillop does a pretty good job holding everything together, even though he isn't very complex and mainly follows the guitars. He does show his talent in songs like Chemi-Kill and Choose Your Weapon, in the fact that he can keep up with Tom Hunting and the guitarists and add some cool but short bass fills at the same time. It's a shame that you can barely hear him in the other albums that he played on. It wasn't till Exodus got Jack Gibson that they started to turn up the bass on the albums. BASS: 4/5
And last but not least, Tom Hunting's job. He probably showed the best improvement, after Gary and Rick. Tom seemed like he got a bit more technical and solid on this album. One thing that bothered me about Bonded by Blood is that you could barely even hear the bass drum. On Pleasures of the Flesh, he shows that he can double bass and do double time no problem. He also adds a lot more fills and speed to his playing on this album. Not his best performance, but certainly a step up from Bonded by Blood. DRUMS: 4/5
Overall, I think this album is very underrated and that if you like Fabulous Disaster, you will like this album. Some may think that Paul was the voice of Exodus, but Steve Souza does an amazing job replacing him. No, it's not a timeless album like Bonded by Blood, but a very good listen if you want to pop in some old school thrash.
Riffs and Solos
Hunting shows a more technical side then he did on the album prior
Some of Steve's screams may get annoying to some people
Even though it's a great album, it's not very catchy