Exodus - Another Lesson In Violence (Century Media Records, 1997)
Exodus were one of the earliest and most legendary Thrash bands to arise out of the Bay-Area scene in San Fransisco.
The line-up on this album is:
Paul Baloff: Vocals
Gary Holt: Guitar
Rick Hunolt: Guitar
Jack Gibson: Bass
Tom Hunting: Percussion
This album, Exodus' second live album (the first being 1991's [i]Good Friendly Violent Fun) is my favourite Exodus album. This album was the product of Exodus' reunion in 1997 with 4/5ths of the line-up from their highly acclaimed debut, Bonded By Blood
. The only member missing is original bassist Rob McKillop, who was replaced by current bassist Jack Gibson.
This album was recorded in at the Trocadero, in Exodus' home town San Francisco. It was the first show of their American reunion tour, and has a fantastic sound. The sound (handled by ex-Sabbat guitarist and renowned producer Andy Sneap) is very, very heavy, and all the instruments can be heard clearly. That is one of the finest qualities of this album. With other live albums (especially more modern ones) I repeatedly find that the album sounds like it has been tampered with too much in the studio, and consequently lose that live feeling. Megadeth's Rude Awakening
is a perfect example.
The setlist for this album is near perfect, with it consisting of the entire Bonded By Blood
album (minus Metal Command), along with three tracks from Pleasures Of The Flesh
and one of Exodus' demo-era tracks, Impaler.
The highlight songs here for me are:
Bonded By Blood
: with its fantastic main riff and classic chorus it really comes off well live.
Brain Dead, Pleasures Of The Flesh and Seeds Of Hate
: The versions of these songs are the definitive versions of these classic Exodus tracks. The reason I group them together is because the album that these songs are from (Pleasures Of The Flesh
) had awfully thin production, which really affected my enjoyment of them on the album. The heavy production here really gives these three songs a new life.
The band's playing here is absolutely flawless, which is impressive, since they apparently rehearsed only twice for the show, and the band were still addicted to speed at this point in time. The guitar work here is fantastic, with the H-Team delivering their solos note-for-note, and the riffage is heavy as fu
ck, as one should expect from Exodus. Jack Gibson's bass playing sticks faithfully to how Rob McKillop played these songs, which is following the guitars pretty much all the time. He does have a nice smooth bass tone though, which is particularly noticeable on Brain Dead and Pleasures Of The Flesh. Tom Hunting's drumming is also top-notch, and his drums sound absolutely insane. The kick drums sound thick and full, but still come through very clear, as does the snare.
Paul Baloff's performance is great, his vocals are spot on and his comments in-between the songs are hilarious. Things such as "I'd like the thank Gary, Tom, Jack and Rick for letting me be so heavy" and "This one's older than sh
it and heavier than time; this one's called Impaler!" It sounds cheesy in words, but is great on the album, and really makes you feel as if you were there. There is also a guest performance from Robb Flynn on A Lesson In Violence, which I guess is cool if you're a Machine Head fan. You can't actually hear another guitar in the mix, so for the rest of us it doesn't matter. I didn't actually know until I read about it.
The only complaint I can think of is that Metal Command was absent and the setlist doesn't cover any of Exodus' material after 1986, but I'm really nitpicking here, since I feel that Metal Command would not have worked quite as well with the comparatively modern-sound of this album compared to Bonded By Blood
and Paul Baloff didn’t do vocals any Exodus material after [b]Bonded By Blood[b]. They do perform three songs off Pleasures Of The Flesh, but Baloff wrote the lyrics for these tracks, and you can hear him singing them on the demo Exodus did in 1986.
And there we have it folks, what I consider the best live metal album ever and my first Sputnik review.:) I highly recommend this to anyone remotely interested in Thrash Metal, and this was actually a completely blind purchase for me. I had only heard one Exodus track, and I had heard good things about this album. Now I love it to death.