Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Exodus : "Persona Non Grata"

 In highschool I played the hell out of the first three Exodus album, after that I really only return to those. The first track suggests they are trying to keep up with the jones in terms of heaviness. Granted Gary Holt was playing with Slayer for some time, so I am sure that influenced this writing.  Thanks to Steve's voice you can hear that this is in fact Exodus and not any of a thousand bands doing this sort of thing these days. The second song has a more familiar thrashing groove. This is however more fully realized on " Slipping Into Madness" that finds the vocals falling into more hooky places and is a song that holds up better against their more classic work.

"Elitist" might not meet the bar raised by the previous song, but the powerful chug of "Prescribing Horror", does. It is the first song that really grabbed my attention when I just let this album play earlier perhaps because it is darker. It does show how they band can be effective at blending modern metal with what they do and be true to themselves/. "the Beatings Will Continue" is very much in the vein of their "Fabulous Disaster " days. Considering that is the album that made them a household name of sorts, I am sure that is the bar they have chased since the 90s. "the Years of Death and Dying" proves they do not however have to rely on that chase as they can still crank out mean mosh inducing riffs. 

As with any band speed metal or not when they lean too hard on blistering speed the riffs get lost as they blast past you an "Click Bait" is an example of this. Lyrically this is a more political album but given the history of thrash it tends to be given the hard-core influence it came from. "Lunatic Liar Lord" falls along a more color by numbers metal formula but done pretty perfectly. The guitar work on this album is top notch. "Fires of Division" pours on the speed as needed but is dynamic enough when it is time to chug for the song to breathe. The last song "Antiseed" does it's job and is a pretty straight forward thrasher like what you might expect for them, though it relies more on speed than the hooky mosh inducing riffs they crank at the top of their game. It does improve on the chorus. I think a 9 is fair for this album as it is better than what younger bands following in their combat boots are doing , but not quite on the level of their classic work, thought close enough.

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