7 years wait. That’s what it took to hear that razor blade sharp Exodus tone again, and boy, we’re served with an intro that’s not short of a knife lacerating your ears, in a good way. “Persona Non Grata” took some time to see the light, but the wait was worth it, as the “riffmeister” Gary Holt delivers yet another “thrashterpiece”.
At first, while listening to the three first singles “The Years of Death and Dying”, “Clickbait” and “The beatings will continue (until morale improves)” I was afraid the album would be recycling of older Exodus, and the truth is it applies the same old formula: blazing fast riffs, the “Tom Hunting beat”, barked vocals and that one in a thousand sharp bass and guitar tone, but it never fails to deliver as the Bay Area thrashers always manage to bring creativity into the mix.
The release mixes perfectly between mid-tempo, fast thrash anthems, and 8-minutes long trademark Exodus tunes, but also an acoustic track that gives you a much-needed rest, dividing the album into 2 parts. You can feel that Gary Holt has remains of his Slayer adventure, as “Prescribing Horror” ‘s intro is reminiscent of the “Seasons in the Abyss” era, dark and haunting clean guitars, before melting your face with that tone.
Nothing surprising about Exodus, no risks taken, but always a fine delivery and an album heading straight into the thrash metal hall of fame, along with every other release from the Californian legends. Steve Souza is doing a great job, but you can feel that his “Tempo of the Damned” days are long gone, and some parts are missing Rob Duke’s raging screams. All in all, the album leaves you wanting more as soon as possible.
Release Year: 2021
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Reviewed by Oussama EL OUADIE