Released: 2013, Nuclear Blast Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Exodus frontman Rob Dukes gets a chance to spread his wings a bit with Generation Kill, a band that jockeys back and forth between riffy, Exodus-style thrash and mid-tempo traditional hard rock/metal.
It's essentially a 50-50 split here on the band's second album. And the stuff that sounds like Exodus, often really sounds like Exodus. The surging opening track “Born To Serve” and the epic, more complex “Prophets of War” are a one-two that would have fit very easily on any of Exodus' recent works, recalling tracks like “Raze” and “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles” that Dukes had a hand in writing. Ditto “Friendly Fire” with its riotous, gang sung “Fuck War!” chorus.
I guess you can take the singer out of Exodus, but you can't take the Exodus out of the singer. And even though Generation Kill worked with a different producer, in this case Zeuss, the sonics and tones are nearly identical to Exodus – especially in the guitaring, both the riffs and leads. A little different spin on the sound would have gone a long way in making the thrashier tracks not ring so familiar.
That's not really much of a problem with the rest of the album, which features far more dramatic stylistic left turns and leaves one wondering why the band didn't just do the whole album like that and craft something truly distinctive. The occasionally ponderous and far more deliberate bluesy hard rocker “Death Comes Calling” has an almost Alice In Chains-like feel to it, boasting a bit of keyboard in the background and letting Dukes sing instead of shout. “Carny Love” has an appropriately circus-like bent, and crude though somewhat whimsical lyrics that are in stark contrast to Exodus' snub-nosed seriousness.
“Vegas,” true to its title, paints a portrait of the dark underbelly of Sin City and again gives things a more traditional hard rock spin. The nearly eight-minute “There Is No Hope” is about four minutes too long, dragged down by a dreary, Spartan midsection, but the laid back harmonized solos near the end are a nice touch.
If Generation Kill would have tried more of that sort of thing, instead of falling back on their thrash metal comfort zone, We're All Gonna Die could have at least scored some points for its daring. Even when the band stumble as they tread on less familiar ground at least they're taking some chances, but they take too few here.