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Exodus - Shovel Headed Kill Machine

2005 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by skeksis on 2005-11-17

Ok, let me state this disclaimer before I get stoned by the masses and commit and act of blasphemy. I never cared for Exodus, even back in the day. I don't know if it was the vocals or the riffs (god, those vocals were awful even back than), or the Annihilator like production they used, but I could never get into this band. I was saddened to see Paul Ballof (RIP) pass like many others, but when it was announced they were reforming and releasing new material, well, I could have cared less to be honest. But upon hearing who the new additions to the band were, namely Lee Altus (Heathen) and Paul Bostaph (ex-Slayer, Testament, Forbidden), well, damn, how could someone not get excited?! I mean, that's metal royalty there! But than came the record, and oh, what a stinker it is. If you like the previous records than you'll get all tingly listening to this. Me, well, I want a refund. First off, 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine'? What 10 year old thought of that? How about 'Stinky pooh-pooh face cooties'? Yeah, yeah, I know its referring to a friend's pit bull (the ugliest dog around) but it's still a stupid title. The music is typical Exodus. Meaning stiff, dull, one dimensional and boring. Seriously, nothings changed no progress, no movement forward. But than again, that's exactly what their fans want though. Paul Bostaph does a commendable job given the material, but seriously, it could have easily been Tom Hunting behind the kit. New vocalist Rob Dukes does a competent Ballof/Souza, stays in the same vein albeit at a slightly lower register. The leads shred at least, with Altus and Holt trading off like a veteran bay area band should. But I still hate this thing, it's boring beyond boring. And I still hate that Annihilator production they insist on using making the guitars sound less heavy than it should. Yes, I respect Exodus and rightfully place in the metal pantheon, but unless you're a die hard, mid 30's thrash fan from the good 'ol days, I cannot recommend this to anyone.