Exodus, "Tempo of the Damned"
Good grief! Few bands can pull off comebacks, and even fewer can come back with a classic. Old school thrash was what got me into metal in the first place but I had never gotten around to hear much Exodus except a couple of old tunes. And then this ugly bastard child of malicious riffs comes into my mailbox!
Really, how predictable is 80's thrash? A little too predictable after all these years. But if you do it well then it hardly matters. Exodus do exactly that by taking their lifetime of riffs and polishing them into gems. Almost all tracks here have a part that'll just get that neck loosened up. Unlike modern thrash the songs here can be real long. But even 8 mins of a thrash tune is not boring since its all so damn enjoyable.
The songs lie somewhere between everything good about 80's thrash and the best moments of Overkill. In fact a lot of the songs remind me of Overkill songs like Bold Face Pagan Stomp or Let Me Shut that For You. The similarity is not just in the style but also lyrically where the topics range into rather amusing black humor about the army to wife beatings (where the wife gets revenge Clint Eastwood style).
Not too many ways I can describe thrash, you just gotta hear it to believe it. The vocals can be rather annoying like the way Bobby Blitz's vocals used to be in Overkill but with music this good it just adds to the flavor. In fact I'd probably have hated this album if the riffs didn't show up like they did and if it wasn't so damn funny. The nasal vocals might take a while to grow, but if you know and hate what I am talking bout then avoid this album (which would be a pretty bad decision my friend).
Tempo of the Damned is good old throwback to a time where the metal was simple but raging and humorous. It is a damn fine addition to the collection maybe right beside an old Anthrax or Flotsam and Jetsam album. Tempo of the Damned is a lesson in thrash that every metal band out there should learn from.
Scar Spangled Banner