|Exodus - 'Exhibit B : The Human Condition' (Nuclear Blast)|
|Written by Darrel Sutton|
|Thursday, 03 June 2010 05:00|
When I got hold of this album a couple of weeks ago my initial reaction was that Exodus had ticked the boxes and produced a pretty good, if unspectacular record that wouldn't disappoint existing fans but wasn't doing anything other than what was expected of them. How shallow of me!!
Having revisited this album many times now, I get that warm feeling inside that certain bands give you by proving to you why they achieve legendary status and, let's be fair, Exodus are fucking legends. Having delivered some seriously shit-hot stuff for the best part of 30 years they appear to have reached the peak of their powers, certainly since their resurgent rebirth with their 'Tempo Of The Damned' back in 2004.
Taking the blueprint of their last two albums, 'Exhibit B....' is an object lesson in modern day metal and thrash. Gary Holt and Lee Altus produce another hour or so of peerless riffing and soloing; such is the consistent quality you wonder how the fuck they just continue to churn them out. But as with all Exodus songs, they are so much more than just riffs and solos, they are metal masterpieces, taking on a longer form, as they did on 'Exhibit A'.
The real skill they seem to have with these longer songs though is that they seem to fly by. 'Nanking' for instance is a 7-minuter that's over before you know it, having pulled you from pillar to post, lulled you with slower sections, pummelled you for a bit, flayed you with some great soloing and riffed your face off. 'Beyond The Pale' is much the same, bringing to mind a modern 'Fabulous Disaster'. At this point a special mention should be made of Rob Dukes, who having filled the pretty sizeable shoes of Baloff and Souza, has made the Exodus vocalist slot very much his own. His growth both in performance and presence has been quite something and watching him live is positively dangerous (check out their Shovel Headed Tour Machine DVD, it fucking smokes!). They also happen to have the most underrated rhythm section on earth in Tom Hunting and Jack Gibson, who once again are nothing short of awesome.
This album really is Exodus and thrash at its best. Trends may come and trends can fuck off as far as I'm concerned, so long as there are bands like Exodus producing albums like this I'll be back every time.