EXODUS — Fabulous Disaster

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EXODUS - Fabulous Disaster cover
4.33 | 54 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1988

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. The Last Act of Defiance (4:44)
2. Fabulous Disaster (4:54)
3. The Toxic Waltz (4:52)
4. Low Rider (War cover) (2:47)
5. Cajun Hell (6:05)
6. Like Father, Like Son (8:10)
7. Corruption (5:46)
8. Verbal Razors (4:06)
9. Open Season (3:54)
10. Overdose (AC/DC cover) (5:30)

Total Time: 50:54


- Steve "Zetro" Souza / Vocals
- Gary Holt / Guitars, Backing Vocals
- Rick Hunolt / Guitars, Backing Vocals
- Rob McKillop / Bass, Backing Vocals
- Tom Hunting / Drums

Additional musicians:
- Brian Mantilla / additional percussion (4)
- Dov Christopher / intro voice (1), Harmonica (5)

About this release

Combat Records, November 30th, 1988

CD bonus track:
10. Overdose (AC/DC cover) (05:29)

UK label Music for Nations (MFN 90) released the album in 1988, but in the USA, it was released in January 1989 by Combat/Relativity Records.

Marc Senasac: Producer, Recordng, Mixing
Gary Holt: Producer, Mixing
Rick Hunolt: Producer, Mixing
David Plank: Recording
Chad Munsey: Mixing (assistant)
Gene Ambo: Photography
David Bett: Art direction
Patricia Lie: Design
Bernie Grundman: Mastering

Recorded at Alpha & Omega Recording, S.F., CA.
Mixed at Different Fur Studios, S.F., CA.
Mastered L.A., CA.

Reissued by Century Media in 1999.
Reissued in 2008 by Century Media as a "limited silver edition" remastered in
slipcase. Bonustracks:
11. Fabulous Disaster (live)
12. Toxic Waltz (live)
13. Cajun Hell (live)
14. Corruption (live)

Thanks to Time Signature, UMUR, Vim Fuego, Unitron for the updates


More places to buy metal & EXODUS music

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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Vim Fuego
Forget Testament, Exodus were next in line behind the Big Four as far as quality, originality and good old fashioned head-banging, fist pumping, slam dancing thrash metal went. ‘Fabulous Disaster’ hit the shelves just as the first premature obituaries to thrash were being written. It helped prop up a sagging scene, for a short time anyway.

While many Exodus fans rave about the band’s incendiary debut 'Bonded by Blood' as being their finest hour, 'Fabulous Disaster' is far from the product of a spent force. Many wrote the band off after the patchy ‘Pleasures of the Flesh’, and it took a lot of resolve to blast back to the top of the thrash pile. By the time ‘Fabulous Disaster’ was recorded, Exodus had perfected their own distinctive sound. Rivalling Hanneman and King, Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt were the near-perfect thrash guitar duo. Their guitar tone here borders on death metal at times, using dual rhythm and dual leads to amazing effect. At times, it is so heavy as to be percussive. Check the title track, ‘The Toxic Waltz’ and the cover of AC/DC's ‘Overdose’ for evidence.

That's not to say all the band could do was heavy. Far from it. There is a cover of War’s ‘Low Rider’, the cow bells sounding a little out of place, but far superior to the mangling Korn gave the song. ‘Cajun Hell’ is a real surprise. It starts with a zydeco flavoured introduction, and mixes a little Southern boogie with crushing metal, in a style Down would be proud of. However, swamp rock isn't what you listen to Exodus for primarily. No, heads down, heavy duty thrash is the main reason for listening to Exodus. It is here by the truckload. Basically, any track here will have you banging your head and shouting along with Steve Souza. You get hardcore style massed backing vocals, lyrics ranging from political satire (‘Corruption’) to social comment (‘Open Season’), to silly metal fun (‘The Toxic Waltz’).

‘The Toxic Waltz’ was the best ode to fans of the era, back in the days when a mosh pit was a swirling maelstrom of bodies colliding chaotically in a ballet of controlled aggression. (OK, so "ballet" may not be the most appropriate word, but it beats the "Simon says jump up and down on the spot" deal which passes for moshing now.) If you can imagine the pit, it is the perfect visual representation of Exodus' music. ‘The Last Act of Defiance’ and ‘Like Father, Like Son’ are both incredibly dark, violent songs, one about a prison riot, the other about child abuse. Imagining the carnage described on the first track and Souza screaming "Please Daddy, no more!" on the second can chill to the bone. Powerful.

No other album sounds quite like ‘Fabulous Disaster’, except Exodus’ next album ‘Impact Is Imminent’, basically a ‘Fabulous Disaster #2’. For sheer bowel churning weight, ‘Fabulous Disaster’ was the heaviest thing to ever come out of the Bay Area in the 1980s.
Exodus' Fabulous Disaster is a real grower. At first, the band's sound here seems to bear a strong resemblance to Anthrax over any of the other Big Four thrash bands - in particular when it comes to the backing vocals - but whilst Exodus share a similarly boisterous and irreverent attitude, there's little features here and there which suggest that their lyrical concerns are substantially more serious than Anthrax's Stephen King and Judge Dredd-inspired material from this time period - plus the keen guitar duo of Holt and Hunolt churn out some deceptively intricate riffs here. On the whole, it's a great album which shows that if they could have just kept this quality up and had a bit of luck Exodus could have been contenders for a spot on the Big Four.
Bonded By Blood, Exodus’s debut album holds a special place in thrash metal history and courts intrigue with its back story. It has also gained a new level of appreciation after the unfortunate passing of the late Paul Baloff. Pleasures of the Flesh; their second has always been cruelly overlooked and underrated.

This album was the first Exodus album to both stand tall on purely musical merit and gain the respect and love of the fans.

With the brutal Pantera-esque opener ‘The Last Act of Defiance,’ the speedy ‘Verbal Razors,’ and the dumb but brilliant single ‘The Toxic Waltz,’ its not difficult to see why.

Vocalist Steve ‘Zetro,’ Souza, with his AC/DC style of vocals and enthusiasm, shines on this record, adding a real depth and punch to the overall sound (and its punchy as hell already.)

The riffs on this album are intensely catchy and memorable, switching between the band’s trademarked buzzing take on the bay area crunch and a new groove metal style several times in every song.

This kind of diversity helps Exodus music stay fresh and as with all their albums, this has its own unique style and character which separates it from not only their contempories but also their own back catalogue.

Their sophomore album may have introduced a level of diversity and maturity missing from their debut; but Fabulous Disaster goes above and beyond the call of duty.

The band are on top form, the musicianship is astounding, the energy level is high and the band sound truly vital. The guitar work on this album is just jaw dropping, with ‘The H-Team,’ displaying dizzying virtuosity in songs such as the semi-epic ‘Like Father Like Sun,’ and arguably the best song the band ever has written; the titular ‘Fabulous Disaster.’ This album is a battery of brilliant song after brilliant song, with no weak tracks, no overlong bores and a refreshingly modern guitar sound.

This is up there with Master of Puppets, Forbidden Evil and The Legacy as the pinnacle of Bay Area Thrash. Highly Recommended to each and every fan of Thrash or Metal in general.
Time Signature
Guitar razors...

Genre: thrash metal

Apart from the introduction to the first track, and thus the whose album, which is, mildly speaking, just silly, "Fabulous Disaster" is one of the bast classic thrash metal albums.

"Fabulous Disaster" is teeming with energetic and fast thrash metal riffs (a lot of which involve slightly discordant and tension-creating chords), which most of us wish we had written ourselves, and the production is quite good. The guitars have a compact and almost razor-sharp dirty distorted sound, while the drums have a very dry and also compact sound, which means that they sound really precise on this album (especially compared to "Pleaseures of the Flesh" where the drum sound is catastrophically badly produced). I also really like Zetro's vocal work on this album - he sounds like Bon Scott on steroids.

Another thing that I really appreciate about this album is the intentional silliness and humor, reflected in the inclusion of "Low Rider" - a cover version of a well known funk song - and tracks like the classic "Toxic Waltz", "Cajun Hell" and "Open Season".

This is a thrash metal classic, and a lesson in good friendly violent guitar riffage, which belongs in any thrash metal collection.

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