Exodus (American band)

Last updated

Exodus 2016231161029 2016-08-18 Summer Breeze - Sven - 1D X II - 0567 - AK8I5470 mod.jpg
Exodus performing at the Summer Breeze Open Air festival in 2016
Background information
Origin Richmond, California, U.S.
Genres Thrash metal
Years active
  • 1979–1994
  • 1997–1998
  • 2001–present
Associated acts
Website www.exodusattack.com
Members Gary Holt
Jack Gibson
Lee Altus
Tom Hunting
Steve "Zetro" Souza
Past members List of Exodus members

Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1979 in Richmond, California. [1] They have gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the deaths of two former band members. Their current lineup consists of guitarists Gary Holt and Lee Altus, bassist Jack Gibson, drummer Tom Hunting, and lead vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza. Hunting is one of the original members, and departed from Exodus twice, in 1989 and 2004, but rejoined in 2007. Holt joined the band about two years after its formation, and is the only member of Exodus to appear on all their releases.

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead guitar work. The lyrical subject matter often deals with criticisms of The Establishment, and at times shares a disdain for Christian dogma resembling that of their black metal counterparts. The language is typically quite direct and denunciatory, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.

Richmond, California City in California, United States

Richmond is a city in western Contra Costa County, California, United States. The city was incorporated on August 7, 1905. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, Richmond borders the cities of San Pablo, Albany, El Cerrito and Pinole in addition to the unincorporated communities of North Richmond, Hasford Heights, Kensington, El Sobrante, Bayview-Montalvin Manor, Tara Hills, and East Richmond Heights, and for a short distance San Francisco on Red Rock Island in the San Francisco Bay. Richmond is one of two cities, the other being San Rafael, California, that sits on the shores of San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay simultaneously.

Gary Holt (musician) American guitarist

Gary Wayne Holt is an American guitarist from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a guitarist, the bandleader, and the main songwriter for the American thrash metal band Exodus and is also a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer, in which he took over duties for original guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died in 2013.


Since its formation, Exodus has released ten studio albums, two live albums, one compilation album, and a re-recording of their first album. Along with Metallica (whose longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett was an original member of Exodus), Possessed, Testament, Death Angel, Vio-Lence, Forbidden, Lȧȧz Rockit and Sadus, they are often credited as pioneers of the Bay Area thrash metal scene, [2] [3] and have sold over five million albums worldwide. [4] Exodus had particular success in the mid-to-late 1980s with their first three studio albums: Bonded by Blood (1985), Pleasures of the Flesh (1987) and Fabulous Disaster (1989). The critical praise given to Fabulous Disaster garnered attention from major labels, including Capitol Records, with whom Exodus signed in 1989. The band released two more studio albums ( Impact Is Imminent in 1990 and Force of Habit in 1992) before disbanding in 1994. After temporarily reuniting in 1997–1998, Exodus reformed once again in 2001, and since then, they have released five more studio albums, the most recent being Blood In, Blood Out (2014). The band is currently writing a follow-up album, tentatively due for release in late 2019 or early 2020. [5]

<i>Let There Be Blood</i> 2008 studio album of re-recorded songs by Exodus

Let There Be Blood is a studio album with re-recorded songs of Exodus's 1985 Bonded by Blood, featuring their lineup at the time. The only band members who play on both Bonded by Blood and Let There Be Blood are guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Tom Hunting. The track "Hell's Breath" originally appears on the "1983 Rehearsal" with Kirk Hammett and never was recorded officially.

<i>Bonded by Blood</i> 1985 studio album by Exodus

Bonded by Blood is the debut studio album by the Bay Area thrash metal band Exodus. Although the album was completed in the summer of 1984, it was not released until 1985 due to issues with Exodus and their record label. It is considered one of the most influential thrash metal albums of all time. It is also the only full-length studio album of Exodus to feature Paul Baloff on vocals, though he was also on their 1982 Demo. Baloff was back in Exodus for five years, and appeared on their 1997 live album Another Lesson in Violence.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.


Formation and early years (1979–1983)

Guitarist Gary Holt has been a member of Exodus since 1981, and is the only member to have performed on all of the band's albums. Gary Holt Slayer Kiev 03.JPG
Guitarist Gary Holt has been a member of Exodus since 1981, and is the only member to have performed on all of the band's albums.

The initial lineup of Exodus was formed in the late 1970s by guitarists Kirk Hammett and Tim Agnello, drummer/vocalist Tom Hunting, and vocalist Keith Stewart, while they attended high school together. The band added bass guitarist Carlton Melson in 1980, and the quintet began making a name for themselves playing backyard parties and various school functions. They played mostly cover songs in the vein of 1970s hard rock and New wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) acts but also developed some of their own original songs. Stewart soon left the band and Hunting became the band's sole vocalist for some time. Carlton Melson was replaced in 1981 by bass guitarist Geoff Andrews. [6] Tim Agnello would also leave the group, moving to New York City and staying involved in the music industry as a guitar player, manager, and writer. [7] This left Exodus to perform as a power trio until a replacement was found in Hammett's friend and Exodus roadie Gary Holt. [8]

Kirk Hammett American musician

Kirk Lee Hammett is an American musician who has been lead guitarist and a contributing songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus. In 2003, Hammett was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. In 2009, Hammett was ranked number 15 in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.

Tom Hunting American musician

Thomas "Tom" Hunting is an American drummer, famous for his work with the band Exodus. He played on their first three albums, Bonded by Blood, Pleasures of the Flesh, and Fabulous Disaster. Hunting later left the band due to illness in 1989 and was replaced by John Tempesta.

The new wave of British heavy metal was a nationwide musical movement that started in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and achieved international attention by the early 1980s. Journalist Geoff Barton coined the term in a May 1979 issue of the British music newspaper Sounds to describe the emergence of new heavy metal bands in the mid to late 1970s, during the period of punk rock's decline and the dominance of new wave music.

Also in 1981, Hammett met El Cerrito resident Paul Baloff at a North Berkeley house party, a friendship that was started – according to Hammett – by their shared admiration for punk rock and 1970s heavy metal music. Baloff became the band's lead vocalist and the quintet recorded a 3-track demo tape in 1982 consisting of the songs "Whipping Queen", "Death and Domination" and "Warlord", a release which would be Hammett's only recording with Exodus. The band's music began to incorporate elements of hardcore punk into their NWOBHM roots, and Exodus were considered the pioneers of the Bay Area thrash metal scene. In November 1982, Exodus opened a show at San Francisco's Old Waldorf venue for Metallica, [9] a then-relatively unknown (and unsigned) band from Los Angeles. As the band began playing more shows in Bay Area clubs, they gained a large, fervent fan base known for their violent concert behavior.

Paul Baloff American musician

Paul Baloff was an American singer, most notable for his time in thrash metal band Exodus.

Hardcore punk Subgenre of punk rock

Hardcore punk is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock. Its roots can be traced to earlier punk scenes in San Francisco and Southern California which arose as a reaction against the still predominant hippie cultural climate of the time. It was also inspired by New York punk rock and early proto-punk. New York punk had a harder-edged sound than its San Francisco counterpart, featuring anti-art expressions of masculine anger, energy, and subversive humor. Hardcore punk generally disavows commercialism, the established music industry and "anything similar to the characteristics of mainstream rock" and often addresses social and political topics with "confrontational, politically-charged lyrics."

Bay Area thrash metal, or "Bay Area thrash", referred to a steady following of heavy metal bands in the 1980s who formed and gained international status in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Along with South Florida, the scene was widely regarded as a starting point of American thrash metal and death metal.

In early 1983, Hammett left Exodus to join Metallica on the recommendation of manager / producer Mark Whitaker, leaving Gary Holt to effectively take creative control of the band. Hammett was replaced short term by Mike Maung, followed by Evan McCaskey, before the band finally found a permanent replacement in guitarist Rick Hunolt. Geoff Andrews also left to start an early incarnation of pioneering death metal band Possessed, and was replaced by bass guitarist Rob McKillop.

Mark Whitaker is a San Francisco Bay Area-based music producer who was the manager of Exodus and sound engineer of Metallica in the 1980s. Whitaker acted as a producer on Exodus’ debut album Bonded by Blood (1985) and partly on their second effort Pleasures of the Flesh (1987). He managed former Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammett to Metallica in 1983. Whitaker was one of the key persons in the emerging Bay Area thrash metal scene in the 1980s.

Evan McCaskey was an American guitarist who played for the bands Exodus and Blind Illusion.

Rick Hunolt American musician

Richard Edward "Rick" Hunolt is an American heavy metal guitarist.

In the spring of 1984, Exodus entered Turk Street Studios with producer Doug Piercy to record demos of songs that would later appear on their debut album. The band was signed to New York-based Torrid Records and Exodus prepared to enter Prairie Sun Recording Studios that summer.

Doug Piercy is an American heavy metal guitarist. He played in the San Francisco heavy metal band Anvil Chorus in the early 80's. Playing in Control briefly, he eventually moved on to his best known project, Heathen in 1985. Piercy was shared lead and rhythm duties with Lee Altus in Heathen from 1985 to 1992, playing on both of their LP's Breaking the Silence and Victims of Deception. He left the band in 1991 after Roadrunner dropped Heathen prior to the Sepultura/European tour.

Prairie Sun Recording Studios

Prairie Sun Recording Studios is an audio recording studio located in Cotati, California. It began operations in 1978 with engineer and studio owner, Mark "Mooka" Rennick & co-owner, Clifton Buck-Kauffman. It is a complex based on a 10-acre former chicken farm with three recording studios, a guest lounge, office building, and guest house facility. The studio is a turnkey destination with facilities for tracking, mixing, and mastering.

Bonded By Blood and rise in popularity (1984–1991)

Vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza, who replaced Paul Baloff, was a member of Exodus from 1986 to their first breakup in 1994, and again from 2002 to 2004. He rejoined the band once again in 2014. Exodus Rockharz 2018 30.jpg
Vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza, who replaced Paul Baloff, was a member of Exodus from 1986 to their first breakup in 1994, and again from 2002 to 2004. He rejoined the band once again in 2014.

The band recorded their first album, Bonded by Blood , in the summer of 1984 with the band's manager Mark Whitaker producing. 1984 concert photos from Exodus shows at Aquatic Park's Eastern Front Metal Festival (with Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies) and Ruthie's Inn (with Megadeth and Slayer) were included on the album sleeve inserts. Originally titled A Lesson in Violence, the album was not released until April 1985 amidst creative and business setbacks. Whilst Bonded By Blood is considered a highly influential thrash metal album today, critics have regarded the delay in its release as having hindered the impact the album could have had. As Allmusic reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia would later write in his review for the album: "Had it been released immediately after it was recorded in 1984, Exodus' Bonded by Blood might be regarded today alongside Metallica's Kill 'Em All as one of the landmark albums responsible for launching the thrash metal wave." [10] Exodus promoted the album by going on tour with Venom and Slayer. Four songs from their performance of April 5, 1985 at Studio 54 in New York City were filmed and released on home video as Combat Tour Live: The Ultimate Revenge. The band subsequently toured or played selected shows with bands like Exciter, Megadeth, Anthrax, King Diamond, Possessed, D.R.I., Nuclear Assault and Hirax.

Shortly after touring for Bonded by Blood was complete, Paul Baloff was fired from the band allegedly due to his behavior related to alcohol and substance abuse, and was replaced by Steve "Zetro" Souza, who had previously been the lead vocalist for Legacy, an early incarnation of fellow Bay Area thrashers Testament. Baloff went on to form the band Piranha in 1987.

Exodus' line-up remained stable for the recording of their next two albums, and the underground success attained with Bonded by Blood would lead to the group's signing to Sony/Combat Records, who released the band's second effort Pleasures of the Flesh in 1987. The album was engineered by then-unknown Sylvia Massy, who would go on to produce two releases by progressive rock band Tool. In support of Pleasures of the Flesh, Exodus toured with the likes of Anthrax, Celtic Frost, M.O.D., Lȧȧz Rockit and Testament.

Fabulous Disaster , the group's third full-length album, was released in 1989. A music video for the song "The Toxic Waltz" would receive consistent rotation on MTV's Headbangers Ball . [11] While promoting Fabulous Disaster, Exodus embarked on the Headbangers Ball tour with Anthrax and Helloween, which brought the band to a wider audience.

After the success of Fabulous Disaster, Exodus signed to Capitol Records in 1989, who released the band's fourth album Impact is Imminent the following year. Prior to recording the album, Tom Hunting left the band for personal reasons; he was replaced by John Tempesta on drums. In 1991, the band released their first live album, Good Friendly Violent Fun , which was recorded during their 1989 tour.

Force of Habit, hiatus, and temporary reunion (1991–2000)

Jack Gibson joined Exodus in 1997 as bass guitarist and has been with the group ever since. Exodus Rockharz 2018 33.jpg
Jack Gibson joined Exodus in 1997 as bass guitarist and has been with the group ever since.

After the release of Good Friendly Violent Fun, the band toured sporadically for a year. Bass guitarist McKillop was replaced by Michael Butler before the group recorded and released their next studio album titled Force of Habit in 1992. This album was something of a departure from the band's signature sound, containing several slower, "heavier" songs with less emphasis on the thrash aspect of their older material. The 11-minute song "Architect of Pain" is a good example of the change of direction, having a much slower, grinding feel than the usual high tempo thrash they had become known for. After touring for Force of Habit was completed, behind-the-scenes issues as well as a changing musical environment prompted the band to split up.

Holt and Hunting formed the groove / thrash metal outfit Wardance in the mid 90's playing several shows around the Bay Area and recording a 4 song demo, but the group never gained momentum and eventually disbanded.

Holt and Hunting reunited with Paul Baloff and Rick Hunolt for a short Exodus tour in 1997. The lineup was completed with Wardance bassist Jack Gibson. They released a live album titled Another Lesson in Violence recorded at the Trocadero Transfer in front of a home town audience. However, the group disbanded again the following year, in part due to a falling out with record label Century Media over the way promotion for the live album was handled, and over an aborted attempt at a live concert video which was filmed but never released due to a financial dispute.

Second reformation, death of Paul Baloff and Tempo of the Damned (2001–2004)

In 2001, Exodus reformed once again with the 1997 lineup, initially to play the Chuck Billy benefit Thrash of the Titans concert. There was talk of recording a new studio album and the band continued to play shows in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.

However, on February 2, 2002, Paul Baloff died after suffering a stroke. Former vocalist Steve Souza was brought back into the band to finish the rest of their concert commitments. Although it appeared to outsiders that with Baloff's death Exodus would cease to exist, guitarist Gary Holt was determined to release a new studio album. The result was 2004's Tempo of the Damned released on Nuclear Blast Records. An oddity of the recording sessions was that one track, "Crime of the Century", was dropped under mysterious circumstances. The song chronicled Exodus's time under Century Media (of which Nuclear Blast is a subsidiary). Although it was publicly denied, rumors swirled that Century Media forced the song off the record. "Crime of the Century" was replaced with "Impaler", a song which was written when Kirk Hammett was still in the band, and was previously featured on the Another Lesson in Violence live record.

Feud with Steve Souza, new members and Shovel Headed Kill Machine (2004–2006)

Vocalist Rob Dukes was one of three new members to join Exodus in 2005. He was part of the band until 2014. Rob Dukes, Exodus 5.jpg
Vocalist Rob Dukes was one of three new members to join Exodus in 2005. He was part of the band until 2014.

Steve Souza once again left the band due to business and personal differences in 2004. [12] This led to a feud between himself and Gary Holt, who subsequently issued a statement in which he was heavily critical of Souza, claiming he had suddenly left the band while on tour only a day before they were due to leave for a show in Mexico City. [13] Exhumed frontman Matt Harvey filled in for the Mexico City date [14] and Steev Esquivel (ex-Defiance and Skinlab) played on the fall South American dates. [15] The band eventually found a permanent replacement in Rob Dukes.

In 2005, Rick Hunolt left the band to focus on his family. [16] He was replaced by Heathen guitarist Lee Altus. Tom Hunting also took leave of the band following a re-occurrence of the nervous problems that led to his temporary departure in 1989. Hunting was replaced with Paul Bostaph who had previously played with Slayer and Testament. The revamped line up released the album Shovel Headed Kill Machine in 2005. The tour for the album led to extensive travel of the US, Europe, and Japan, as well as their first-ever visit to Australia.

Reunion with Tom Hunting and the Exhibit albums (2007–2013)

Tom Hunting returned to the band in March 2007 in time to record and release their 8th studio album The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A . They performed at the Wacken Open Air Festival in the summer of 2008. In April 2009, Exodus embarked on a co-headlining North American tour with Kreator and also featuring Belphegor, Warbringer, and Epicurean. Exodus then went on tour supporting Arch Enemy along with Arsis and Mutiny Within.

Exodus provided the voices of the customers at the Duncan Hills Coffee Shop and five of the sick people in Cartoon Network's Metalocalypse .

Exodus released a re-recording of their 1985 debut album Bonded by Blood entitled Let There Be Blood in 2008. Gary Holt released the following statement about the band's decision to revisit their debut album: "After many years in the planning and discussion stage, we have finally completed the re-recording of 'Bonded By Blood'. We have decided to call it 'Let There Be Blood' and it is our way of paying homage to [late singer] Paul Baloff by showing how relevant these songs we had written together still are. We aren't trying to replace the original; that's impossible anyway. We are just giving these songs the benefit of modern production. It's something we talked about before Paul's death and it's always been important to us to do. We were super excited about entering the studio once again to record these classics, and now it's back to writing the next studio record!"[ citation needed ]

The album Exhibit B: The Human Condition was recorded in northern California with British producer Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Arch Enemy, Kreator) and released on Nuclear Blast Records in May 2010. [17] It was announced in January 2010 that Exodus was to be on Megadeth's Rust in Peace 20th Anniversary tour along with Testament. Exodus was featured on the cover of Decibel magazine's June 2010 issue, with a feature article on them.

Exodus at 2012 Hellfest. This was one of the band's first shows with former guitarist Rick Hunolt (far right) in seven years. W00148 HellFest2012 Exodus.JPG
Exodus at 2012 Hellfest. This was one of the band's first shows with former guitarist Rick Hunolt (far right) in seven years.
Guitarist Lee Altus at Rockharz Open Air 2018 Exodus Rockharz 2018 12.jpg
Guitarist Lee Altus at Rockharz Open Air 2018
Drummer Tom Hunting at Rockharz Open Air 2018 Exodus Rockharz 2018 26.jpg
Drummer Tom Hunting at Rockharz Open Air 2018

Exodus co-headlined with Kreator, Suicidal Angels and Death Angel on the Thrashfest tour in late 2010 and were one of the headlining bands at Wacken Open Air 2011.

Exodus toured with Rob Zombie and Slayer in 2011 on their Hell on Earth tour as the opening act. Gary Holt filled in for Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman during the tour after Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis caused by a spider bite. [18] Holt filled in for Hanneman again on Slayer's next tour in the summer of 2012. When Exodus also toured in the summer of 2012, guitarist Rick Hunolt (who left Exodus in 2005) filled in for Holt. Cannibal Corpse guitarist Pat O'Brien also filled in for Holt during this time. [19]

On February 4, 2012 a Paul Baloff Memorial Reunion Concert was held at the Oakland Metro Opera House. Former and current Exodus members in attendance included Kirk Hammett, Rick Hunolt, Gary Holt, Geoff Andrews, Lee Altus, Rob Dukes, Tom Hunting and Jack Gibson. It was the first time they had all played together since 1983. The band was confirmed for the Graspop Festival [20] and for the Hellfest in June 2012. By the summer of 2012, Exodus had begun writing new material for their tenth studio album. [21] [22] [23] On March 27, it was announced that the band entered the studio and were well into recording drum tracks, and the album was expected for a fall 2014 release.

Reunion with Steve Souza, Blood In, Blood Out and upcoming eleventh studio album (2014–present)

On June 8, 2014, Exodus announced that vocalist Rob Dukes had left the band, [24] and was replaced by Steve "Zetro" Souza, making this the second time he had rejoined the band. [24] Souza recorded vocals on the new album; the band's first to feature him since 2004's Tempo of the Damned . [25] [26] On June 26, 2014, Exodus announced on their official website that the album would be called Blood In, Blood Out , [27] and it was released on October 14. [28] Blood In, Blood Out received positive reviews from music critics upon its release, and peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard 200, making it the band's highest chart position so far. [29] Heathen Guitarist Kragen Lum was brought in to replace Gary Holt for several live dates while Holt performed and recorded with Slayer. [30]

Exodus performed at the Australian Soundwave Festival 2015, which was held across two weekends. [31] In April and May 2015, Exodus (along with Shattered Sun) supported Testament on their Dark Roots of Thrash II tour. [32] Exodus then toured around Europe in June, including two nights at the Underworld in London.

In June 2016, Steve Souza said that the band's next studio album could be released in late 2017. [33] [34] In a May 2017 interview with Metal Wani, however, Souza stated that Exodus would enter the studio around October or November to begin recording the album for a March 2018 release. [35] Drummer Tom Hunting added, "We're just structuring songs right now. I think we've probably got five or six maybe, and the makings for the rest of 'em — bits and pieces here and there." [36] Souza explained that the material does not sound like a continuation of Blood In, Blood Out but rather "a lot of records put together, I think.", later describing it as "heavy as shit, though — really fucking heavy." [37] In an August interview, Souza stated that Exodus had been writing their new album, but added, "We obviously have to pay attention to Slayer's schedule, because our main guy plays in Slayer, so we have to pay attention to that. But I think they're coming to a bit of an end [of their touring cycle] where he's gonna have some time." He also said the band was "looking, probably, November, December, January — something like that — to get into the studio." [38] In September, Hunting told Metal Wani that the album could include another collaboration with Kirk Hammett and a possible guest appearance by former guitarist Rick Hunolt; [39] Hunolt, Bostaph and Dukes joined the band on stage for a one-off reunion show in August. [40] On September 29, 2017, Exodus were confirmed to appear at next year's Rockharz Open Air in Germany as one of the early bands noted for the main stage. [41]

In a January 2018 interview with Jimmy Kay of Canada's The Metal Voice, Holt confirmed that the band was still writing songs for the next studio album. He explained, "I'm taking my time. I'm super proud of it. It's heavy, of course. It's crushing. It's brutal. But it's something else — it's something altogether different." [42] When speaking to Metal Insider in February 2018, Souza said that fans would have to wait until at least the end of 2019 for a new studio album, mainly due to Holt's involvement in Slayer's farewell tour, "...we're not going to be able to record until that is finished. I'm speculating it's gonna take a year and a half or two years to do the one final thing, but I believe it's finished." [43] During a press conference at that summer's Hellfest, Souza stated that the new album will "probably" be released in late 2019 or early 2020, and added, "I'll promise you this — I've heard songs, 'cause [Gary has] been writing, and the new Exodus is gonna be very violent and very heavy." [5]

In July 2018, Exodus announced that they would headline the 2018 installment of the MTV Headbangers Ball European Tour, along with Death Angel, Suicidal Angels and Sodom from late November to mid-December. [44]

In March 2019, it was reported that Exodus will join Slayer on the final date of the latter's farewell tour at The L.A. Forum on New Year's Eve, along with Anthrax, Testament, Sacred Reich and Iron Reagan. [45]

Musical style, legacy and influences

Exodus has been credited as one of the pioneers of the thrash metal genre, which achieved mainstream popularity in the 1980s and early 1990s, [46] [47] [48] [49] and is often credited as the first Bay Area thrash metal band to exist, [49] predating Metallica, who were originally from Los Angeles.

Exodus' main influences include AC/DC, Angel Witch, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Diamond Head, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Mercyful Fate, Motörhead, Nazareth, Ted Nugent, Rainbow, Sweet Savage, Thin Lizzy, Tygers of Pan Tang, UFO, Van Halen and Venom. [50] [51]

Loudwire.com placed Exodus at number five on its list of the 10 Best Thrash Bands of All Time, calling them "The original kings of the Bay Area thrash scene", and saying that "While their uncompromising sound and uneven output in the coming decades kept world domination and platinum success ever at bay, you'd be hard passed to finger any other band, short of Slayer, perhaps, that's flown the thrash flag as proudly and unwaveringly as Exodus." [52]

It has been debated whether or not Exodus belongs in the "Big Five" of thrash metal with Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, due to their involvement with the early 1980s thrash metal scene. VH1 stated, "Much is made of Thrash's Big Four: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. True devotees know, however, that Big Five is the actual proper figure and that Exodus is the band that completes the quintet." [53] Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian also stated that, "People talk about the 'Big Four' all the time, but back then it was really the 'Big Five' because Exodus were just as important and just as influential as everybody else." Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine said in a 1990 interview that the "Big Four" were Exodus, Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth, adding that "Exodus are a much better band – I really like Exodus. Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt are really great guitar players. I like Scott Ian, but anyone else in that band kind of bores me. Having a disco thing is not what I think having a metal band is all about, and that guy had the audacity to say that he and I should together! I felt like saying what are you planning to do? Open a disco fashion shop?" [54] Along with Ian and Mustaine, [55] [56] Holt has agreed that Exodus should be included in the "Big Five" of thrash metal because they "were there at the start of thrash metal with Metallica in the real early '80s. Same thing with Megadeth because Mustaine was a part of Metallica's birth and he also created Megadeth." [57] Frontman Steve "Zetro" Souza has stated that the fact that Exodus was not included in the "Big Four" does not bother him, "I've heard that term many times and it doesn't really matter to me. It's not the truth. There's them, and Overkill, Testament and Exodus. You could also talk about Kreator, Sodom and Destruction, if you want to get down to it. It doesn't bother me — I'm content where I'm at." [58]

Band members

Current members


Related Research Articles

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and vocalist and bassist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.

Steve Souza American singer

Steve "Zetro" Souza is an American vocalist, best known for his work with the thrash metal band Exodus from 1986 to 1994, and again from 2002 to 2004. He rejoined Exodus for a third time in 2014. Souza is one of two singers, along with Chuck Billy, for the band Dublin Death Patrol. He also sings for the death/thrash metal band Tenet. Souza recently announced his new thrash metal project, Hatriot. He was also the lead singer for the thrash metal band Legacy.

<i>Tempo of the Damned</i> 2004 studio album by Exodus

Tempo of the Damned is the sixth studio album by American thrash metal band Exodus. Released in February 2, 2004 via Nuclear Blast, Tempo of the Damned was Exodus' first studio release since 1992's Force of Habit. It was the last appearance of longtime vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza until his return for 2014's Blood In, Blood Out as well as the last appearance of founding drummer Tom Hunting until 2007's The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A. The album was also the last studio appearance of guitarist Rick Hunolt.

<i>Fabulous Disaster</i> 1989 studio album by Exodus

Fabulous Disaster is the third studio album by Exodus. It was released on January 30, 1989 on the UK label Music for Nations, while the US version was released on Combat/Relativity Records. In 1999, Century Media remastered and reissued the band's first three albums in Europe only.

<i>Pleasures of the Flesh</i> 1987 studio album by Exodus

Pleasures of the Flesh is the second studio album by the American thrash metal band Exodus. Released in 1987, it is the group's first album to feature Steve Souza on vocals after Paul Baloff was fired from the band. The record was remastered and re-issued by Century Media in 1998 for distribution in Europe only.

<i>Impact Is Imminent</i> 1990 studio album by Exodus

Impact Is Imminent is the fourth studio album by thrash metal band Exodus, released in 1990. Impact Is Imminent was Exodus' first album on Capitol Records as well as their first album to feature John Tempesta on drums, and their last to feature Rob McKillop on bass, though he appeared on their first live album, Good Friendly Violent Fun, which was recorded live in 1989 but not released until 1991. It was re-released in 2008 in a limited edition mini-album packaging to resemble the original vinyl release, including the inner sleeve.

<i>Shovel Headed Kill Machine</i> 2005 studio album by Exodus

Shovel Headed Kill Machine is the seventh studio album by the American thrash metal band Exodus, released on October 4, 2005 through Nuclear Blast. This album comes after a huge change in the band's lineup. Therefore, this is the first album to feature new vocalist Rob Dukes, after the departure of Steve "Zetro" Souza during the band's South American tour in support of the band's previous album Tempo of the Damned. It is also the band's first studio album not to feature Rick Hunolt on guitars, with Lee Altus as his replacement, and the only Exodus album to feature Paul Bostaph on drums after Tom Hunting's second departure as a result of the reoccurrence of the illness that prompted him to depart in 1989. Shovel Headed Kill Machine sold over 3,000 copies in its first week of release in the U.S.

<i>Lessons in Violence</i> 1992 compilation album by Exodus

The Best Of Exodus: Lessons in Violence is a compilation album by thrash metal band Exodus. Even though this compilation album was released after Impact Is Imminent, it contains no tracks from that album as Exodus had switched record labels by that time. The AC/DC cover "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" was recorded live on July 14th, 1989 at the Fillmore in San Francisco, CA. It was recorded during Exodus' "Fabulous Disaster" tour and can be found on their 1991 live album Good Friendly Violent Fun. "And Then There Were None" was recorded live at the Astoria in London, England on March 8th, 1989 during the "Headbanger's Ball Tour".

<i>Another Lesson in Violence</i> 1997 live album by Exodus

Another Lesson in Violence is a live album by the thrash metal band Exodus.

Rob Dukes American heavy metal singer

Robert "Rob" Dukes is an American vocalist, best known as the former vocalist for the American thrash metal band Exodus, and current vocalist for his crossover thrash project Generation Kill

<i>Blood In, Blood Out</i> (Exodus album) 2014 studio album by Exodus

Blood In, Blood Out is the tenth studio album by American thrash metal band Exodus. It was released on October 14, 2014 through Nuclear Blast, and is the band's first album with vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza since 2004's Tempo of the Damned. The album also saw a reunion with original guitarist Kirk Hammett, who plays the guitar solo on "Salt the Wound". Blood In, Blood Out received generally favorable critical reviews, and it entered the Billboard 200 at number 38—the band's highest U.S. chart position to date. Exodus promoted the album with its first concert tour with Souza since he left the band in 2004, due to a feud with guitarist Gary Holt.

"The Toxic Waltz" is a song by the American thrash metal band Exodus, taken from their third studio album Fabulous Disaster. Although the song was never released as a single, it is one of Exodus' most famous songs and has held a regular position on their concert setlist since 1989.

Slayer Farewell Tour

The Final World Tour is the ongoing final concert tour by American thrash metal band Slayer, which started in May 2018 and is expected to wrap up in 2019 or early 2020. The tour, consisting of over 100 shows worldwide, serves as a conclusion of the band's three-decade-long career.


  1. Wall, Mick (May 10, 2011). Enter Night: A Biography of Metallica (page 119). St. Martin's Press. ISBN   0-312-64989-4.
  2. "Exodus To Release 'Blood In, Blood Out' Album In October". gibson.com . June 5, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  3. "Legendary metal band Exodus, formed in Richmond, set to release 10th studio album". richmondstandard.com. September 24, 2014. Archived from the original on October 19, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  4. "Exodus Announces Hometown Gig – The Gauntlet Heavy Metal News". Thegauntlet.com. October 3, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  5. 1 2 "EXODUS's Next Album Will Be 'Very Violent And Very Heavy'". Blabbermouth.net. August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  6. "Carlton Melson interview".
  7. "Tim Agnello interview".
  8. "Exodus / Slayer's Gary Holt – Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?". YouTube. LoudWire. April 8, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  9. ENCYCLOPEDIA METALLICA – Concert Info: San Francisco, Old Waldorf California Nov 29, 1982 Archived June 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  10. Eduardo Rivadavia. "Bonded by Blood – Exodus | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic . Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  11. "The History of American Thrash". Revolver.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  12. "Singer Zetro Souza Quits Exodus (Again)". Blabbermouth.net. September 13, 2004. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  13. "Exodus Guitarist: 'Fat Ass' Zetro Souza Is 'Human Crap'". Blabbermouth.net. September 13, 2004. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  14. "EXHUMED Frontman Says Singing For EXODUS In Mexico Was An 'Honor'". Blabbermouth.
  15. "SKINLAB Singer To Front EXODUS On Rescheduled South American Tour". Blabbermouth.
  16. "Exodus Confirm Guitarist Rick Hunolt's Departure". Blabbermouth.net. August 4, 2005. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  17. "Exodus: New Album Pushed Back To May - Blabbermouth.net". Roadrunnerrecords.com. February 12, 2010. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  18. "Slayer With Exodus Guitarist Gary Holt: First Video Footage From Soundwave Kick Off Show - Blabbermouth.net". Roadrunnerrecords.com. February 26, 2011. Archived from the original on September 9, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  19. "Exodus to Be Joined By Former Guitarist Rick Hunolt on Upcoming Tour Dates". Guitar World. December 3, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  20. "EXODUS – 3-Guitar Attack Planned For Graspop Festival". Bravewords.com. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  21. "Exodus Bassist On Randy Blythe Concert Incident: 'If You Come On Stage, You're Trespassing'". Blabbermouth.net. June 29, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  22. "Exodus Taps Heathen Guitarist Kragen Lum For Select European Shows". Blabbermouth.net. July 31, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  23. "Exodus Frontman Talks Next Album (Video)". Blabbermouth.net. September 21, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  24. 1 2 "Exodus Parts Ways With Singer Rob Dukes, Welcomes Back Steve 'Zetro' Souza". Blabbermouth.net. June 8, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  25. "Steve 'Zetro' Souza To Begin Recording Vocals For New Exodus Album This Week". Blabbermouth.net. June 9, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  26. "Steve 'Zetro' Souza: 'A Lot Went Into My Decision' To Rejoin Exodus". Blabbermouth.net. June 10, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  27. "Exodus Announces Exclusive VIP Packs for Upcoming Slayer Tour w/ Special Guests Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus". Exodusattack.com. June 26, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  28. "Exodus To Release 'Blood In, Blood Out' Album In October". Blabbermouth.net . July 9, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  29. "Exodus' 'Blood In Blood Out' Cracks U.S. Top 40". Blabbermouth.net . October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  30. "EXODUS Fill-In Guitarist KRAGEN LUM: 'They Treat Me Like Family'".
  31. "Steel Panther, Exodus, Falling In Reverse, Etc. Added To 2015 'Soundwave Festival'". December 22, 2014.
  32. "Testament And Exodus To Join Forces For 'Dark Roots Of Thrash II' Tour". Blabbermouth.net . February 17, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  33. "STEVE 'ZETRO' SOUZA Says Next EXODUS Album Could Arrive In Late 2017". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  34. "STEVE 'ZETRO' SOUZA: It's Time For EXODUS To Start Putting Some New Music Together". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  35. "EXODUS To Record Follow-Up To 'Blood In Blood Out' In The Fall". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  36. "EXODUS Has 'Five Or Six' Songs Written For Next Album, Says TOM HUNTING". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  37. "EXODUS's Next Album Will Be 'Heavy As S**t,' Says STEVE 'ZETRO' SOUZA". Blabbermouth.net . Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  38. "EXODUS Singer On Next Album: 'We're Writing Right Now'". Blabbermouth.net . Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  39. "EXODUS's Next Album Might Feature Guest Appearance By Former Guitarist RICK HUNOLT". Blabbermouth.net . Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  40. "EXODUS Rejoined By ROB DUKES, RICK HUNOLT, PAUL BOSTAPH At San Francisco Concert (Video)". July 9, 2017.
  41. "Exodus confirmed for Rockharz Open Air 2018".
  42. "Will There Be A New SLAYER Studio Album? 'I'd Say It's A No,' Says GARY HOLT". Blabbermouth.net . January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  43. El Prezidente. "Interview: Exodus' Steve "Zetro" Souza talks cartoons, Mr. Pickles Thrashtacular tour, Exodus album update". metalinsider.net. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  44. "EXODUS To Headline European 'MTV Headbangers Ball Tour'". Blabbermouth.net . Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  45. "Report: SLAYER's Final L.A. Show To Be Held On New Year's Eve". metaladdicts.com. March 10, 2019. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  46. "Exodus in the Button Factory – Review • Live Review". goldenplec.com. August 15, 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  47. "Interview – Steve "Zetro" Souza of Exodus". crypticrock.com. March 26, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  48. "Exodus singer Steve "Zetro" Souza talks Playstation Theater shows with King Diamond, next album, Disney and more". downtownmagazinenyc.com. November 12, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  49. 1 2 "Exodus – Biography – Bonded by Blood – Gary Holt – Paul Baloff – Kirk Hammett". fullinbloommusic.com. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  50. "Interview with Tom Hunting and Gary Holt of Thrash metal rock band Exodus". Get Ready to ROCK!. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  51. "Steve 'Zetro' Souza: Bands Don't Survive Off Record Sales Anymore". Blabbermouth.net. September 8, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  52. "10 Best Thrash Metal Bands of All Time". Loudwire.com. August 15, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  53. "10 Greatest Thrash Metal Debut Albums Of All Time". VH1.com. June 11, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  54. "The Big Four". megadeth.rockmetal.art.pl. September 1990. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  55. "Anthrax Guitarist Says Expanded 'Big Four' Should Include Exodus". Blabbermouth.net. September 18, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  56. "Dave Mustaine Says Exodus Would Have Been Most Qualified Candidate For Expanded 'Big Four'". Blabbermouth.net. July 6, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  57. "Gary Holt Says 'Big Four' Should be Expanded To Include Exodus: 'We Were There At The Start'". Blabbermouth.net. May 6, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  58. "STEVE 'ZETRO' SOUZA Isn't Bothered By EXODUS Not Being Part Of 'Big Four': 'It Doesn't Really Matter To Me'". Blabbermouth.net. September 5, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017.