Exodus – Pleasures of The Flesh

After the 1985 release of their debut “Bonded by Blood” Exodus was finally getting their due. They were gaining recognition as one of the fastest, angriest Bay Area bands of the 1980s. TO top that off, they were given the opening slot on the successful Combat Tour in 1985 which featured Slayer as a support act and Venom as the headliners. A video documenting this tour was filmed at a sold out Studio 54 in NYC ( former home to that annoying trend called disco) but was unfortunately never released due to record company issues. Look hard enough through the dvd trading world and you’ll find said video. ( I almost forgot, Gary Holt has said that they may release the band’s entire 8 song set on video as a tribute to deceased singer Paul Baloff. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if that happens.)

Anyway, when it was time to release a follow up record to Bonded By Blood, Paul Baloff was kicked out of the band. Enter vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza who quit his band “The Legacy” ( later to become Testament ) to get the gig in Exodus. His vocals are a marked improvement from Baloff’s, and it helps add a slightly more menacing tone to the songs on this album. The original cover art was never used, and instead of a cannibal themed drawing the cover featured the band sitting at a bar. Yeah that makes a lot of sense. Anyway, the guitar tone and overall production are also an improvement, and leaves a nice edgy feel to the album. Call me old school, but I love the raw production job on this album. There is a 3 song demo tape of Paul singing “Seeds of Hate” , “Brain Dead” and the title track floating around on the internet for all those hardcore Baloff fans. This record may not be as good as its classic predecessor, but it still holds its own amongst the rest of Exodus’ catalog.

Now to the music. Songs like “Choose Your Weapon” and “Deranged” just rip your face off, while tunes like “’Till Death Do Us Part” and “Brain Dead” feature snake like riffs which just make you want to play air guitar. Another highlight is “Chemi-kill”. This song is nicely structured and some pretty cool dynamics. But what the hell is up with “30 seconds??” Take it easy Gary, you’re not Eddie Van Halen, this is a thrash record and you don’t need any bullshit acoustic guitar ditties placed right in the middle to kill the momentum. All in all this is a pretty damn good thrash record for the period when the genre was really enjoying its golden years. With two solid records under their belt by 1987, Exodus had established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the metal world. Now the only question left was whether they could make that oh so coveted breakout record that Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Metallica had already crafted for themselves. Surely enough, this question would be answered 2 years later with “Fabulous Disaster”.

Rating – 7/10

Review by Bluto

1. Deranged
2. Till Death Do Us Part
3. Parasite
4. Brain Dead
5. Faster Than you’ll Ever Live
6. Pleasure of The Flesh
7. 30 Seconds
8. Seeds OF Hate
9. Chemi-Kill
10. Chose Your Weapon

Original  Cover

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~ by Justin on April 30, 2008.

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