EXODUS — Tempo of the Damned

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EXODUS - Tempo of the Damned cover
4.02 | 24 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2004

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Scar Spangled Banner (6:41)
2. War Is My Shepherd (4:27)
3. Blacklist (6:16)
4. Shroud of Urine (4:51)
5. Forward March (7:38)
6. Culling the Herd (6:07)
7. Sealed With a Fist (3:35)
8. Throwing Down (5:01)
9. Impaler (5:24)
10. Tempo of the Damned (4:20)
11. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (3:48)

Total Time: 58:14

Bonus disc: Live at the DNA 2004: Tempo of the Dead Release Party
1. Intro / Scar Spangled Banner (7:25)
2. Blacklist (5:57)
3. Shroud of Urine (4:36)
4. Forward March (7:17)
5. Culling the Herd (5:58)
6. Sealed With a Fist (3:41)
7. Throwing Down (4:59)
8. War Is My Sheperd (4:49)
9. Tempo of the Damned (4:25)

Total Time: 49:12


- Steve Souza / Vocals
- Gary Holt / Guitar
- Rick Hunolt / Guitar
- Jack Gibson / Bass
- Tom Hunting / Drums

About this release

Full-length, Nuclear Blast, February 2nd, 2004

Cover artwork by Jowita Kaminska.

Contains a video for "War is My Shepherd"

Also released as a digipak version including a cover of AC/DC´s "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (3:49) as a bonus track.

Japanese digipak version contains demo versions of the songs "Tempo of the Damned" and "Shroud of Urine".

Re-issued as deluxe edition double-CD by Nuclear Blast in 2005 incl. the extra track "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (AC/DC cover) and with an enhanced bonus disc ("Live at the DNA 2004" from the "Tempo of the Damned" release party), also including the two video clips "War is My Shepherd" & "Throwing Down"

Thanks to UMUR, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Vim Fuego
Bands reforming years after a split, riding short-lived waves of nostalgia are sad. Generally, it's all for the money. An old singer or guitar player gets wheeled out on stage, surrounded by faceless session musicians to fill in for band members too arthritic or comatose to perform. Tired, bloated old hacks go through the motions of a greatest hits package with none of the enthusiasm of their youth, counting the minutes until they can jam more cocaine up their noses. Deep Purple, the Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath...

Can we add Exodus to this list?

No fucking way. This is Exodus. This is the band whose debut "Bonded By Blood" blitzed the debut of every other Bay Area thrash band, bar none. From the first few notes of "Scar Spangled Banner", it's only a matter of seconds before the memory of the relatively poor "Force Of Habit" is completely banished. This is the band which recorded "A Lesson In Violence". This is the band famous for "The Toxic Waltz". This IS Exodus.

The famous dual guitar attack of Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt is as potent as it ever was, thundering through riff after riff. The pair show great restraint during the numerous solos. The over-the-top Kerry King histrionics of their early career are long gone, in favour of a more classic metal style. Check the Maiden-esque twin lead on "Shroud Of Urine", and the impressive interplay on "Culling The Herd".

The riffs on "Impaler" might sound a little familiar. Apparently, they were written by Kirk Hammett in 1982 (and he gets a writing credit for the song), and first appeared in a slightly altered form on Metallica's "Ride The Lightning". The late Paul Baloff penned the lyrics, in his own distinctive ultraviolent style.

Steve Souza's voice seems to have picked up a rougher edge in the 12 years since "Force Of Habit", but at the same time has widened his vocal register. A criticism levelled at 1990s "Impact Is Imminent" was Souza's voice was too monotonous. The 2004 version still has the same vehement bark he always possessed, but a deeper Chuck Billy style growl and a Chuck Schuldiner screech also appear.

Exodus' political sensibilities have always been sharper than most thrash bands, and the behaviour of the world's only remaining superpower provides lyrical ammo aplenty. "Scar Spangled Banner" and "War Is My Shepherd" vent at the warmongering and right wing gun culture which seems prevalent in the United States.

No single track stands head and shoulders above the others, but neither are there any duds. This is Exodus' most consistent album since their debut. There really isn't anything stunningly new on show, but the adage if it's not broken, don't fix it applies. Exodus is a band with nothing left to prove.
After a huge absence from the music business, a failed reunion and the death of original singer Paul Baloff, Exodus returned with all guns blazing and ready to recapture lost ground. When I heard about this album, I never believed that it would or indeed could be a pure and true classic thrash album but, as weird as it sounded at the time before the current Thrash revival truly gained a grip, it actually was. Tempo Of The Damned was bay area thrash through and through.

This album is utterly fantastic, and sounds almost as if it was written and recorded right after ‘Fabulous Disaster,’ but with all the benefits of modern recording technology. Ignoring the trends, Exodus soldier on like its 1989 and unleash some of the best riffs and catchy thrash tunes ever, something of an anomaly (if not miracle) at the time of its release. Songs like the incredible ‘Shroud of Urine,’the semi-epic ‘Culling the Herd,’ and the now classic ‘Blacklist,’ are 100% Exodus, with riffs and grooves as great as anything from their 80′s albums.

There is one modern sounding song on the album, the very catchy ‘War is My Shepard,’ but it is such a fantastic song it is bound to convert even the most nitpicking Thrash purist. The song, along with ‘Impaler,’ serves almost as a warm up to the style the band would develop on their incredible Dukes/Atlus albums.

Yes, the cover artwork is stupid but so was Exodus cover. Some people criticize the production but again, all their 80′s albums had production flaws and this just helps to justify my claims that Tempo Of The Damned is utter classic Exodus. To an Exodus fan, Tempo’ is a perfect way to bridge the new era with the old, the farewell performance of Zetro is a career highlight and this is also the final album which can use the term ‘the H-team,’ for the guitarists who similarly down awesome performances.

The album is a worthy addition to your collection for curiosity and historical significance alone, but it really gets by on its own merits too, this is just a great album and I can’t recommend it enough.

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