Released: 2003, Nuclear Blast Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
I fuckin´ LOVE Thrash!! I mean the kind of Thrash when it makes you constantly bang your fingertips against a table or some other hard surface near by you while at the same time unconsciously make this headbang move with your big´n´ugly head. I bet you surely know of what I´m talking about here, don’t you?
This happened to me just recently when I got a promo copy for the latest album of these highly admirable and appreciated Bay Area Thrash veterans, Exodus, in my hands. TEMPO OF THE DAMNED, Exodus´s absolutely fantastic comeback album, having Steve “Zetro” Souza back in the ranks again as the band´s shouter, has a tempo that makes you want to bleed, sweat, spit, piss, shit and vomit (uh... or whatever really!) metal after you have finished your private lesson with these monstrously heavy, testosterone-filled, blood-stopping and damn addictive songs on Exodus´ best album to date since the band´s both BONDED BY BLOOD and PLEASURES OF THE FLESH albums. Wow, it´s been 15 and 17 years ago when those landmark Thrash Metal albums came out?! Time really flies...
However, to make it clear right from the start for the Exodus –fans, TEMPO OF THE DAMNMED is neither any calculated continuation to BONDED BY BLOOD nor PLEASURES OF THE FLESH albums, so if you are hoping to get one of those landmark Exodus albums from them in a form of TEMPO OF THE DAMNED, just go bury those kind of hopes right there. BUT instead of that get ready to face the band´s finest album for many years as with this new album Exodus has seriously proved to return back to the Thrash –form, actually better than none of us could have possibly hoped in our secrets dreams in the first place. Here´s what the glorious Exodus –camp has on offer on TEMPO OF THE DAMNED: Totally hammering, relentlessly moshing songs that shamelessly nail you to the wall, spiced with some really nasty, brutal and ´in-yer-fuckin´-face´ -riffs into the well-known recipe created by a dynamic duo Holt/Hunolt, offering you a true thrashing ´war dance´ from the 1st tune “Scar Spangled Banner” all the way to the closing track of the album, “Tempo of the Damned”. The whole band would have seemed to rise from the dead again just to give us a lesson what they can do best: Thrash!!! And there´s just no question about that the Exodus -team can still fuckin´ thrash the similar way like they used to do back in those ´good & old days´ when everyone seemed to walk around wearing on proudly hard-earned Exodus, Forbidden, Death Angel, Heathen, etc. teeshirts and looking for acceptance amongst fellow speed merchants and thrash bangers. It´s certain now that these 5 fine gentlemen in the Exodus –camp can proudly wear on their Exodus –shirts anytime or anywhere – it doesn´t matter, knowing that they can still offer something important and valuable musically for what they can be remembered for many years to come and what some other bands can only dream of.
TEMPO OF THE DAMNED is a fuckin´ fine retro trip back to the true essence of what Thrash Metal should be all about. First and foremost, it´s about unpretendedly heavy brutal and menacingly thundering riffs, damn catchy rhythm – and tempo changes, memorable choruses and it´s also about vicious and pissed-off vocals that not that many guys can spit out in Thrash Metal these days. Mr. Souza sounds convincing enough to sound like a really pissed-off man on this brilliant comeback album of the Exodus -troops and that´s of course just one of those positive things that can be said about TEMPO OF THE DAMNED. Such songs as all-out thrashing and ear-mangling “Scar Spangled Banner”, “War Is My Sheppard” and the old Exodus demo song classic “Impaler”, album´s dead-heavy rollers as f.ex. “Blacklist” and “Shroud of Urine”, all speak for great volumes about these fellows´ burning ambition and devotion to conquer the most gigantic Thrash –throne back for these mighty Bay Area Thrash veterans Exodus again and I honestly see that happening for them unless a couple of other almost recently happened Thrash –comebacks won´t prove it otherwise later this year?
Having Andy Sneap at the production helm on TEMPO OF THE DAMNED, you shouldn´t expect no less than a crystal-clear, sharp and heavy sound. Andy has done a really splendid and respectable job once again and his production skills definitely give an extra kick for the songs on the album.
Monday, 2nd of February 2004 will mean an extra, but worth money investment for everyone of us self-respected metal maniacs. That´s the 2-year anniversary of Paul Baloff´s death and also the very day when TEMPO OF THE DAMNED should officially hit all music stores around the world. Now go and write that important date down in your calendars, dear folks. It´s about the time to Thrash a little bit more seriously again... in a vicious tempo of the damned.