On October 14, Exodus released their 10th studio album Blood In, Blood Out via Nuclear Blast Records. A new Exodus record is always a highly anticipated event and is even more so this time around as vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza has made a sudden and triumphant return to the band. It was announced earlier this year that Zetro would replace Rob Dukes who fronted Exodus for 9 years producing three crushing albums and elevating the band back to the top of the thrash metal world.
Blood In, Blood Out is a classic Exodus album from start to finish in every aspect and will surely put long-time Exodus fans in head bang heaven. Although Zetro’s voice is not quite as brutal as Dukes was, this album is as fast and aggressive as anything the band has recorded to date. With monster riffs and blistering solos this album stands above anything previously recorded with Souza on vocals.
The album starts off with “Black 13”, a six minute plus, fast paced song that initiates the shredding that never lets up. The second you hear Souza’s first verse you know this album is gonna be killer and that there is definitely a chemistry that exists between himself and the band. Next the title track “Blood In, Blood Out” charges into classic gang vocals for the chorus as this fast paced thrasher serves up more sizzling solos and the song almost reminds you of the Souza classic “Toxic Waltz” from way back in 1989. The momentum never lets up as “Collateral Damage” again incorporates the gang vocals along with fast paced galloping drums from Tom Hunting.
Now three songs into Blood In, Blood Out there is no doubt Souza’s return to the band has yielded some of the finest Exodus music to date. “Salt the Wound” takes the album to the next level as Kirk Hammett from Metallica trades some blazing solos with Gary Holt resulting in the standout track so far. “Body Harvest” is another six minute plus thrash attack again incorporating slower gang vocals with thick riffage from the duo of Lee Altus and Gary Holt, each demonstrating their finger magic on the solos.
The almost seven minute “Btk” is another mid-tempo galloping masterpiece that has Chuck Billy from Testament adding thunderous backing vocals on the chorus. “Wrapped in the Arms of Rage” has some beautiful harmonies that complement the Exodus crunch throughout the song making it another standout track. Of the last four tracks “Numb” stands out as another instant classic with its fast paced charge, fueled with some copious Jack Gibson bass lines and a pissed of Souza shrieking “But this world has rendered me So fucking numb”.
The album closes the same way it starts off, a brutal shredding thrasher “Food for the Worms” which showcases everything this album is into one song. A bonus track “Angel of Death” has Exodus playing tribute to Angel Witch that has Angel Witch vocalist Kevin Heybourne delivering guest vocals on this mid-tempo classic.
Third times definitely a charm for Souza and Exodus as Blood In, Blood Out picks up where 2004’s Tempo of the Damned left off combining the remarkable instrumental attack of Gary Holt, Lee Altus, Jack Gibson and Tom Hunting with the classic Exodus vocal delivery of Steve “Zetro” Sousa. Blood In, Blood Out is an instant thrash classic as Exodus has fully flexed its metal muscle exceeding all expectations and keeping old-school thrash metal brutal in 2014. Blood In, Blood Out is without a doubt a worthy contender for metal album of the year.
Steve “Zetro” Souza | Vocals
Gary Holt | Guitar
Lee Altus | Guitar
Jack Gibson | Bass
Tom Hunting | Drums
Black 13 6:21
Blood in Blood Out 3:42
Collateral Damage 5:27
Salt the Wound (feat. Kirk Hammett) 4:24
Body Harvest 6:28
Btk (feat. Chuck Billy) 6:56
Wrapped in the Arms of Rage 4:30
My Last Nerve 6:10
Honor Killings 5:42
Food for the Worms 6:23
Angel of Death (Bonus Track)