EXODUS — Bonded by Blood (review)

EXODUS — Bonded by Blood album cover Album · 1985 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
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.
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