EXODUS — Bonded by Blood

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EXODUS - Bonded by Blood cover
3.94 | 45 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1985

Filed under Thrash Metal
By EXODUS

Tracklist

1. Bonded by Blood (3:46)
2. Exodus (4:08)
3. And Then There Were None (4:43)
4. A Lesson in Violence (3:52)
5. Metal Command (4:16)
6. Piranha (3:48)
7. No Love (5:11)
8. Deliver Us to Evil (7:10)
9. Strike of the Beast (4:00)
10. And Then There Were None (live)* (4:51)
11. A Lesson in Violence (live)* (3:26)

Total Time: 49:18

Line-up/Musicians

- Paul Baloff / vocals
- Gary Holt / guitars
- Rick Hunolt / guitars
- Rob McKillop / bass
- Tom Hunting / drums

About this release

Reissued in 1989 and 1999; both reissues include two bonus live tracks (marked by * in the playlist)

Thanks to Time Signature for the updates

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EXODUS BONDED BY BLOOD reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
EXODUS had finished their debut album BONDED BY BLOOD already in 1984 but because of record company lamenesses it didn't get released until the following year. It also was originally to be titled “A Lesson In Violence” (which would later be used for the 1997 live album) but that was scrapped because they couldn't find suitable art ideas for the album cover and instead settled on renaming it with a depiction of a set of Siamese twins with one being more akin to Rosemary's baby. I suppose this symbolizes the duality of human nature and that in each and every one of us exists the potential for either of these twins to take control. Kirk Hammett had jumped ship and moved on to more promising pastures in Metallica and was replaced by Gary Holt. BONDED BY BLOOD was also re-recorded later with a different lineup as “Let There Be Blood” in 2008. Only Gary Holt and Tom Hunting would appear on both versions.

The music on this debut album is actually quite good. Thrash was young at this point but EXODUS had a very good take on staking out their own sound. It is clear they were inspired by Judas Priest and Iron Maiden with their galloping riffs and dual lead guitar assaults but they keep a tight and bouncy rhythm persisting mostly due to the drumming techniques of Tom Hunting. The thing that cracks me up about this album is the vocals of Paul Baloff who would take a hiatus after this album. Although he mostly sounds good as a thrash vocalist, he has a strange way of wailing from low to high. I can't help think of him as an angry clown because his voice reminds me of Darph Bobo, the supreme leader of the Dark Clown Empire from the Canadian animated series “Tripping The Rift.” This contradiction of humorous presentation with the bleak and violent lyrics always leaves me amused on this one. Although this album is considered hugely influential I'm not as impressed by it as the other thrash acts emerging at the same time. It is no doubt a good album though that has plenty of great quality diverse elements but I agree with those who find this a tad overrated.
AtomicCrimsonRush
I walked into a metal store in 1985 and this guy saw me wearing the Slayer denim jacket and spiked arm band and he yelled at me, "have you heard this one, its the ultimate!" I said who is it. Exodus? What is this? I told the salesman to chuck it on and it absolutely drove nails into my skull. That day I bought some Venom, Slayer, Nasty Savage, Onslaught and Metallica, but nothing compared to this killer album. It is a thrash classic.

"Bonded by Blood" Has wall to wall killer riffs and mind melting lead guitar breaks but above all is the screaming powerhouse of Paul Baloff. A man who died in his 40s, and a hellion at parties, he was unbeatable as the frontman to this hardcore thrash act. I was heavily into the speed metal scene in the mid 80s and this band was as good as it gets.

Highlights include 'And Then There Were None'. 'A Lesson in Violence', 'Piranha'. but the one I played continuously is 'No Love'. this track had an awesome lethal riff and very dangerous lyrics.

This is one hell of an album and is one of the most influential thrash album of all time.
Kingcrimsonprog
Bonded by Blood has always been hailed as a landmark in the history of Thrash Metal, and Exodus, although enjoying a renewed popularity today have always been a seriously underrated and unlucky band.

The album has an interesting story behind it; with delays, mistrust, shooting spitballs made out of the record contract and involvement with Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, but you can find this out for yourself in the liner notes.

To be honest, although Bonded By Blood is a good album, the reality of the music contained on the disc is slightly different to the reputation the album enjoys as a result of its historical value. There are some flaws, lack of variety, cheesy lyrics and artwork and bad production being chief among them, although these flaws apply pretty much to every early Thrash Metal album they can be felt more keenly when listening to Bonded By Blood.

When you get past the flaws, there is some fantastic material to enjoy, including many of the songs that have made it into up the band’s live show for their entire career such as ‘Piranha,’ and ‘A Lesson In Violence.’

Hands down, the best song on the album has to be the opener, the title track ‘Bonded By Blood.’ This song, as with all songs on this album, is a punchy up tempo number with numerous guitar solos and a slew of distorted power chords. The chorus is one of the most memorable in the entire genre.

The album is noteworthy as contains some of the Band’s only material with original singer, the late Paul Baloff. One of the albums greatest flaws has always been its production and this remaster goes a long way towards fixing it, the album will always have a blocky tom sound, as well as muddy bass guitars.

While it cannot live up to the hype, Bonded by Blood is certainly worth your attention for its impressive level of musicianship and collection of classic songs.
Time Signature
A lesson in thrashing...

Genre: thrash metal

This is old school. No I mean really old school. It's the real deal. Real original American Bay Area thrash metal. There is sonic aggression, auditive anger, and musical violence on this album, engendered by the thrashing guitar riffs, the fast drumming and Paul Baloff's maniacal yelling and screaming.

The songs on this album are up- and mid-tempo thrash metal tracks with chucking headbangning-inspiring riffs. And, there are some really cool breakdowns and tempo changes as well, which was quite typical of the type of metal that Exodus pioneered - and this was way before metalcore!

This album is legendary, but it does have its downsides, I think. Firstly, Paul Baloff's vocal get annoying after a couple of tracks. I know he was a legendary figure in the thrash metal universe, but he was not a great vocalist. Secondly, the production suffers the typical flaw of heavy metal releases of the 80s: everything is drowned in reverb - especially the vocals.

Other than that, this is a good thrash metal album, and an important one which belongs in any thrash metal collection.
Stephen
Putting an image of a siamese twins reflecting an angelic and devilish side on the cover album is definitely a genius idea and Exodus is no doubt a genius pioneer of the Bay Area thrash metal movement and "Bonded By Blood" is the reason why. Cited as one of the influential album, this debut is a groundbreaking effort which the dual Holt/Hunolt trade-off solos became their key strength which later inspired many newer thrash bands. The musical path on this album is aggressive and raw, pretty similar to Metallica and Slayer's early effort and the late Paul Baloff's vocal is sounded hateful and raging, standing comfortably on the terrorizing riffs and blustering drums.

The title track, "Exodus", and "A Lesson In Violence" are the examples of their brutal side while songs like "And Then There Were None", "Piranha", or "No Love" showed a softer side, slower tempo, but still throttled with lethal riffs and dynamic tempo arrangement. The balance between the ultraspeed and midtempo is an admirable attempt that smoothly avoided the album from sounding monotonous, but I found another weakness on their songwriting, particularly on those aggressive tracks, which is too similar with one another making me hard to distinguish them. Another thing is the huge echo effect on the Baloff's vocal is sometimes just too hard to handle. My fave tracks here are "And Then There Were None", "Piranha", "Metal Command" and the longest track of the album, "Deliver Us To Evil", featuring the stunning and greatest Holt/Hunolt duel here.

"Bonded By Blood" is a path opener for Exodus and with a lot of formation shuffling, the band is still going strong as ever, and later on, they re-recorded this whole album and released it as "Let There Be Blood" in 2008 with their modern line-up. Though I don't think it's a necessary attempt, hardcore fans might found it's interesting, but if you're new to the band or confused on which album to pick, I recommend to get this original version.

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