Blood In Blood Out… The title could refer to the changing of the guard in the Exodus vocalist department – Paul Dukes has been dismissed, replaced by Steve Sousa, who Dukes had replaced himself. Such is the ruthless world of metal, characterised by such games of musical chairs.
But at least in the case of Exodus the chairs are musical; indeed Blood In Blood Out is one of the best albums Exodus have ever recorded. The band’s playing is absolutely top-notch and their song-writing is superb.
Another thing that gives this album an extra edge is its superb production, and also its mix from Andy Sneap. Compare it with the disaster that is Metallica’s Death Magnetic, and you really hear how it should be done.
Souza’s voice is perfect for Exodus – he’s the Bon Scott of thrash. Lyrically, Exodus display a rare courage for a metal band and take no prisoners. Former Exodus member Kirk Hammett guests on the album. Hopefully he will absorb some of the talent surrounding him by osmosis and transmit it to his day-job!
Even the cover artwork is superb. On the strength of this album, when Gary Holt eventually gets to write songs with Slayer (now their label-mates!), they should produce a world beating album.
In the meantime, Exodus have produced the thrash album of the year, hands down!
(Nuclear Blast Records)