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Exhibit B: The Human Condition
Released: 2010, Nuclear Blast
Whether you've been at the front of the parade demanding their immediate (and long-overdue) reinstatement into thrash's upper echelons or have remained largely ambivalent to their presence, there's no denying the resurgence that Exodus have been enjoying in metal's collective consciousness over the past few years. Precipitated in part by an influx of hungry young upstarts (Bonded By Blood, Warbringer et al) who make no bones of their admiration for the Exodus discography, the introduction of Rob Dukes on 2005's SHOVEL HEADED KILL MACHINE has also resulted in a run of consistently solid efforts that even included successfully rehashing a classic record - no mean feat considering just how easily that sort of exercise could go tits up.
It's no surprise then to find EXHIBIT B operating with a level of knowing expectation, the band themselves clearly aware of this record's potential to, at the very least, grant them a moral victory over the naysayers who never cared to equate them to the Slayers and Metallicas of this world when it truly mattered. They're plenty pissed off too and although not nearly as politically charged as its predecessor, Gary Holt and his partners in crime lash out at a myriad social ills with a confident collection of tunes that owe as much to their old school sensibilities as it does to modern aesthetics. "The Ballad of Leonard & Charles" starts us off, its acoustic intro recalling - at least in spirit - the epic ambition of Machine Head's THE BLACKENING. Once it comes off the blocks properly, it's evident that Exodus have favored creativity over the acerbic; songs are typically longer than anything they've delivered to date, with a far greater emphasis on inventive riffing. “Nanking” meanwhile represents what could justly be deemed the band’s “Seasons In The Abyss” – a dark, menacing number that also happens to boast some of the finest shredding they’ve ever put their name to.
It should by rights be a fan's wet dream and indeed it's not unlikely that you'll see this disc crowing atop several year-best lists. Personally I could do without the insipid melodies that ring a bum note on "Downfall", but then I’m probably just being pedantic.
1. "The Ballad Of Leonard And Charles"
2. "Beyond The Pale"
3. "Hammer And Life"
4. "Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)"
6. "March Of The Sycophants"
8. "Burn, Hollywood, Burn"
10. "The Sun Is My Destroyer"
11. "A Perpetual State Of Indifference"
12. "Good Riddance"
• Rob Dukes - Vocals
• Gary Holt - Guitars
• Lee Altus - Guitars
• Jack Gibson - Bass
• Tom Hunting - Drums
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