The original architects of the thrash metal scene, EXODUS has battled every kind of adversity over the past 30 years and used it all as fuel to stoke their ever-raging fire. Short-lived trends, line-up shifts, label conflicts, even the death of founding vocalist Paul Baloff couldn’t stop the beast. And through it all, guitarist and songwriter Gary Holt has persevered with misanthropic indignation, rolling with the punches, reassembling the broken pieces and working with the eccentric personalities surrounding him to create some of the most trenchant, fast-paced, and unrelenting music that influenced everyone from Pantera to Lamb of God and continues to crush skulls at a time decades after most ‘80s thrash bands have retired.

With Blood In Blood Out, EXODUS’ tenth full-length studio album of new material, Holt, Hunting, Gibson, Altus, and Souza prove they still has the fortitude, chops, and talent to deliver top-notch, ballad-free tunes that stand out without straying from their band’s core aesthetic. The title of the album encapsulates Holt’s approach to EXODUS: “When I was working on the record, I was sitting around watching TV series like ‘Gangland’ and all these locked-up prison reality shows,” he says. “And I thought, ‘Yeah, that’s like EXODUS.’ It’s a brotherhood. You bleed to get in, you bleed to get out. I’ve been doing this kind of music since I was a teenager and I’ll be doing it ‘til I can’t physically do it anymore.”

Holt has lost none of the rage and hunger he had in his teens and he’s long since mastered his craft. The eleven pulse-pounding tunes on Blood in Blood Out are among EXODUS’ best, signaling a rebirth as much as an evolution. Although Holt has spent the last few years playing second guitar for Slayer on tour, he has never forgotten where he came from and his priority and dedication to EXODUS. The evidence is written all over the album, which is rife with speed, fury and memorable riffs.

The title track storms out of the gate with chunky, rapid-fire guitars, hammering beats, and gang vocals on the chorus, not to mention the signature vocals of longtime EXODUS singer Steve “Zetro” Souza, who recently returned the band. “Salt the Wound” is slightly slower but equally fierce, with a contagious refrain that’s sure to be a future crowd shout-along as powerful as the one in the band’s classic “Bonded By Blood.” “Food For the Worms” is a six-plus-minute gem with a martial intro that segues into a speedy thrash section perfect for street brawls and headbanging alike. The rest of the song features slower mosh-worthy parts, immaculately crafted rhythmic changes, and searing guitar harmonies.

After the complex thematic series The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A (2007) and Exhibit B: The Human Condition (2010) - which featured epic songs and riffs that morphed like cyborgs from the film Terminator Salvation - Blood in Blood Out is as easy to grasp as a machete with finger notches in the handle. “It was always my grand vision to do a two-part Rush/King Crimson epic of thrash metal, and we did it,” Holt proudly exclaims. “I kind of got that out of my system, so this time I wanted everything to sound more natural, shorter, and to the point. Get in and get out. So this one is a little more to the roots. Maybe some of that old Bonded By Blood influence came out and it’s heavy as fuck, but that’s the way we like it.”

Adding significantly to the tone and attitude of the album is Souza, who sang with EXODUS from 1986 to 1992, and again between 2002 and 2004. Souza replaced Rob Dukes, who left after nine years with the band. “It was the hardest thing this band has ever had to do in our lives,” Holt says. “It sucked to have to do it, but we were no longer on the same page on a lot of things. It needed to be done for the band to continue.”

Instead of working with unknown entities, EXODUS decided to ask Souza - who had already performed with the band on five albums - to come in and try out. EXODUS sent Souza two tracks: “Black 13” and “BTK,” both of which featured Holt’s guide vocals. “I got a call from management and they said, ‘Hey, the guys want you to sing a couple songs,’ says Souza. “They didn’t really get into why. I thought maybe they wanted me to guest on the album or do a tour. I came in and sang the songs and about three days later I got a call from management again saying, ‘The guys really like what you did on the songs and they’re considering bringing you back in the band again.’ I was like, ‘Wow, cool!’ I had a talk with each band member and we discussed a lot of things that happened in the past. But I’ve always felt like we’re a family. And families fight. The last time I was in the band, I wasn’t 100 percent. This time I was out for blood again.”

“What Zetro sang on those songs was killer,” Holt says. “It sounded like classic EXODUS. He did it with almost no preparation time. He had the lyrics in hand for two hours and the track in hand for about eight. And the next day he came in and sang it like he’d been singing it his whole life. So we felt really confident and we were psyched to have him back in the band.”

With Souza back behind the microphone, the only obstacle was time. Holt was traveling back and forth between Europe playing festival shows with Slayer (he’ll double-shift on the upcoming Slayer/EXODUS tour) and then coming back to the States to help finish the EXODUS album. Souza had just two weeks in the studio to record all of his vocals.

“I started in the studio with ‘BTK’ and ‘Black 13’ because I had sung those already. Then I went into the studio at about 11 a.m. and picked two songs. I took them home and studied them and then went in the next day and recorded them. Then I’d send them to Gary to get his comments. If he wanted anything changed it was usually minor. Then I’d pick two more songs and do the same thing again.”

Souza isn’t the only performer on Blood In Blood Out who had been out of the band for more than a decade. Original band guitarist Kirk Hammett (yes, of Metallica!) dropped by the studio to contribute a solo to “Salt the Wound.”

“Considering the amount of times I’ve played with Kirk over the past few years with the Slayer Big 4 shows, we’ve been in regular communication,” Holt says. “It was actually the first time he got to play on an official EXODUS release. He did the early demo, and then joined Metallica and didn’t do anything with us after that. So he was totally gung-ho about it. He came down and ripped out a bunch of takes and we picked the best one and then had a barbecue and drank beer.”

Another special guest on Blood In Blood Out is electronic music producer Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Mike Patton, Deltron 3030), who crafted an industrial soundbed for the intro to the album opener, “Black 13.” The piece starts with a syncopated computerized beat, sirens and a repetitive metal riff before building through a marching drumbeat and wobbly synth sounds. When the electronics drop out and the charging meth-head riff and beat kick in, they sound heavier than a slab of granite. “My former manager manages Dan the Automator now,” Holt says, explaining the connection between the disparate artists. “We ran into each other a couple times. I knew what I wanted to hear and I knew he could do it, and could do it that day. So we sent him a file with the drums and guitars we already had there and just told him to go crazy with it.”

While much of Blood In Blood Out is filled with aggressive songs, hatred and violence, there were a few more specific subjects Holt wanted to address. “‘Numb’ was inspired by the non-stop televised barrage of death and destruction that’s on a 24-hour feed,” Holt says. “In the end, you’re numb to it and barely shocked by anything anymore, which is really sad.”

Even more political, “Collateral Damage” addresses the monolithic power of big business and how a few top executives have gained control over most of the wealth of America. “It has gotten to the points where we’re just peons in a government machine,” Holt says. “We’re just society. We have no say. We’re just there to be swept aside. But at least we can make a lot of noise about it.”

With the return of Souza, a renewed focus on writing tight, infectious songs and a commitment to remaining insanely heavy EXODUS are primed to help make the thrash nation as strong as it was in the mid-‘80s. Whether charging like an endorphin-fueled army or chugging at half-speed (a technique EXODUS perfected 20 years before the birth of the metalcore “breakdown”), Blood In Blood Out is a showcase of steely determination, unparalleled skill, and unrefined rage.

“Back in the early days, I was like: ‘Stand in the way and you’ll get steamrolled over by EXODUS!’” Souza says. “It’s that way again. Don’t stand in the way of this. You will get run over! I guarantee it.”


This is the "Official" Facebook Of Obituary.
Upon switching their name from Xecutioner to Obituary, the career of one of the most successful and influential Death Metal bands began. Hailing from Florida and featuring John Tardy (vocals), brother Donald Tardy (drums), Trevor Peres (guitar), Allen West (guitar), and Daniel Tucker (bass), the band signed to Roadracer Records, a now defunct division of Roadrunner, for the recording of their debut album—the immense and immeasurably heavy “Slowly We Rot” (1989). The album was engineered by the legendary Scott Burns at Morrisound Studio, which would come to be the most sought after facility for production of albums during 1990’s rise of the Death Metal genre. Unlike much death metal preceding it, the album had a sludgy feel and integrated devastatingly slow passages along with obliterating overtures that reached far beyond any point of mayhem that metal had yet to reach; the result was a carnal pleasure for doom, death and thrash fans alike coupling the adrenaline of a speedball with the slow, degrading measures of a sewer at dusk. Like them or not, Obituary was unlike anything anyone had heard before.

“Slowly We Rot” was chaotic, bass heavy mix of manic guitar solos and crashing drums, but it was undeniably characterized by vocalist John Tardy’s disarmingly horrific, gargling style, that created guttural chasms of dread which though often strived for, to date have been paralleled by none. The ability to augment tempo so drastically became the band’s trademark along with Tardy’s unique vocal style, which distinguished them clearly from the rest of the emerging Florida Death Metal bands; nowhere is this more apparent than on the prophetic title track of their debut. The fact that Obituary refrained from printing lyric sheets with their albums led people to believe that they didn't actually write any lyrics. Some may question the verbosity or absence of documented lyrics, however, any true fan has each grunt, growl and howling grimace committed to memory like an utterance from God in painstaking form—what does not exist can not be remembered, and an Obituary show is testimony to the re-creation of what your ears couldn't believe in the first place. Once again bringing augmentation to irony, Live and Dead worked quite well for the quintet, dividing your conscience yet leaving much to the imagination; not since birth have your senses been so graphically assaulted yet pleased at the same time. While such differing sensations once seemed incongruous, Obituary have proven the ability to merge unlikely dichotomies, from their slow-as-hell-yet-fast-as-fuck style to the non-evil, homegrown approach to what would largely become the satanized, bastardized, make-up wearing movement known as Death Metal.

The maturation of the musicians into songwriters taking more visionary and complex forms would soon be heard world wide as Obituary took metal by storm in 1990. Despite their youth upon release of their sophomore offering, “Cause of Death” embodied the confident swagger of the most fearsome pack-leading hound. From the insidious growls of John’s vocals to the barrage of Donald Tardy’s thunderously-metered explosions of double bass, “Cause of Death” was the intention and method as promised by the early threat of “Slowly We Rot”; for Obituary, Death was just the beginning. Accordingly, the title track alone (“Cause of Death”) would be heard, regurgitated, manipulated, complimented and collapsed—but never duplicated—on third and forth generation death metal albums for years to come. Lovecraftian imagery and aural morbidity aside, even a deaf man found fear when confronted by the formidable visage of guitarist Peres; entering Frank Watkins, the hulking henchman of a bassist from South Florida, finally provided long-needed and powerful rhythm stability to the line up. However, the grinding of the axes would not be complete until the return of Xecutioner veteran Allen West, who, along with Peres and Tardy, crafted the foundation for most of Obituary’s most primordial and historic moments. Attack now whole, Obituary had given birth—sight, sound and feel—to a true horror greater than metal had ever known.

The paradox herein lies that Obituary was anything but a summation to and end, but more an exploratory journey into the infinite dehumanization of all that is known, as confronted brazenly by their best selling release yet, “The End Complete” and later followed by the cynical and dark expedition of “World Demise”. Reunited with songwriter West, the band was conjoined like quintuplets sharing life and a name. Though finality was possibly inferred by these titles, Obituary was anything but finished. Ironically, the images conjured by songs such as “Don’t Care”, “Platonic Disease” and “World Demise” seemingly foretold of the millennium as can now be seen daily, displayed plainly across the screens of CNN and reality TV programs world wide; not bad for a bunch of rednecks from Florida with Budweiser dreams and bongwater nightmares.

2004 brings reason for Obituary fans to rejoice, the sunken eyes and heaving cries have all but abated. Obituary has only aspired to live up to the standard they have set for themselves, one that numerous bands have strived to duplicate, but never attained, falling short both creatively and in lack of the unique talent that each member contributes to the near indescribable Obituary sound. Like a forgotten corpse in the basement, Obituary are back to haunt, taunt and fully pollute your senses. Fermenting like waste in the hot Florida sun, Obituary return from hiatus with the voracity of a starven wretch. The forfeiture of time brings blessings of brutality, and assurance that the Dead shall indeed rise again. Such aural abrasion can only be heard on an Obituary album or the live circumcision of a thirty-year-old man, the choice is yours...

Power Trip slay us with the first new single “Firing Squad” from their anxiously awaited sophomore release Nightmare Logic, which finally sees light February 24 on Southern Lord. “Firing Squad” debuted via NPR who’ve described it as possessing “a certain monolithic quality Lemmy would admire: a massive rawness and a sludgy, heavy hopelessness that thrashes with punk immediacy and metal intricacy…it’s a track preparing for war.”
Power Trip are a real band - like no other. Their raw energy, musical proficiency, perfect song structure, rich tones, fierce riffs, persecution and collective attitude has seeded them as one of the most prolific underground staples in the U.S. metal, punk and hardcore scenes.
Power Trip have relentlessly toured the world for years now with the likes of Anthrax, Lamb Of God, Cro-Mags, Negative Approach, Turnstile, Backtrack, Eyehategod, Bane, Off! and having performed with literally countless others, in addition to pummeling audiences at major festivals all over the US, EU and beyond.



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