EXODUS – Tempo Of The Damned

EXODUS - Tempo Of The Damned


Nuclear Blast
Release date: February 2, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

I have a confession to make. I had too many of Exodus’ Thrash Metal Bay Area colleagues, like Testament and Metallica, spinning in the eighties, to even bother to check this band out. I realise now, I was stupid. Damn stupid, and I have work to do. At least given the fact that (some) their old stuff was as groovy and addicting as the new. I am sure I caught a glimpse of Exodus played on Mick Wall’s Monsters Of Rock back in the day (‘allo rockers!), but when Geoff Tate used to be my favorite singer, it didn’t do much for me. That doesn’t explain why I always adored Chuck Billy though, but hey – music is personal…

As I understand, Exodus, or better; its members, were always their own worst enemies. They had their chances when Thrash Metal peaked, being signed by Capitol, but (mis)use of Mother Nature and God knows what else, made the band a well kept secret to the masses. Now the band is back, and in that back is Nuclear Blast, ready to give them the push they so rightly deserve.

Tempo Of The Damned is by far the best Thrash Metal album I have heard since Testament rerecorded their early stuff, where Exodus singer Steve Souza also handed in his voice on a few tracks. (After all, he was their singer before Billy joined). Tempo Of The Damned sounds impressive, with a crunchy guitar sound, an Overkill-ish bass guitar, blasting explosive drums and a perfectly suited ripping vocal. The production is sharp, crystal clear, heavy and in your face, yet up to date and no trip down the road of old school-ism. Then again, what else do you expect from Andy Sneap by now…

Even more impressive, and most importantly, the songs are deadly killers almost all the way through the disc. I leave that “almost” in there because a few songs a little over halfway into this Thrash Metal goodie are a wee bit too anonymous – which is why I hold back one point – but stepping back and looking at it, it could very well be the fact that the other songs are so deadly, crushing and to the bone impressive. Honorable mentions go to the critical “Scar Spangled Banner”, “War Is My Sheppard”, “Blacklist”, those are the three first songs, the first two being pure thrash metal with walls of guitars. “Blacklist” is a mid-tempo groovy bastard that has Overkill meets Sepultura written all over it, and could be my favorite track. “Shroud Of Urine” is angry Steve Souza mixed with lots of guitars, also slightly midtempo, but bone crushing. And there are others worth talking about, too, but I leave that up to you.

Bottom line, you are reading about the best thrash metal has to offer these days. If you have the slightest feel for groovy critical thrash metal with attitude in delivery as well as lyrics, this will please you to the slaughterhouse and back. If you have no clue, all I can do is to highly recommend this piece of thrash metal art, and if you always liked Exodus, you’re on a trip already. This is the album Overkill can make, but fails to do. This is the album Metallica wish they were able to make, instead they have to experiment with shitty sounds to be different and hide the fact that they can not write good songs when being sober. This is indeed the album Jerk Hamster wish he could play on today (and he used to be in this band…). From doing drugs to delivering drugs – that pretty much sums this record up. I can not even say “stay clean” here, because this music is like drugs, and whatever you choose to drug yourself is damn personal too…


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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