The Exodus album Let There Be Blood, (released on October 28, 2008), is a complete cover album of their very own debut release from 1985 – Bonded By Blood. Exodus is from a select group of Thrash Metal Bands, considered by me to be one of the originals who were instrumental in shaping and defining the Thrash Metal genre. I have been listening to Exodus since their debut, this band has had their share of ups and downs, just knowing they are still around making music is a great feeling for me. Let There Be Blood is dedicated to Paul Baloff, the original lead singer for Exodus, who passed away from a stroke in 2002. Gary Holt, the life long guitarist and leader for Exodus, states very clearly in the liner notes of this CD as to why Bonded By Blood was covered in it’s entirety with Let There Be Blood. To paraphrase Gary Holt, he states these songs are his lifetime connection to Paul Baloff. He also states “no way can you replace Bonded By Blood.” As Gary Holt sees it, people can discover the original Exodus lineup from 1985 and their Classic Thrash Metal debut album, by listening to Let There Be Blood.
I never needed to be convinced that covering Bonded By Blood was a great idea by the current Exodus lineup, many bands have recently been doing the same thing lately as well. Foreigner and Journey are perfect examples, both of these Hard Rock titans have issued a full greatest hits CD recently, that spotlights their current lead singer and lineup. Exodus has paid a tribute to not just an album of songs, Bonded By Blood was and still is an important Thrash Metal album, one that represents a time period of the birth and creation of the prolific Thrash Metal genre. Paul Baloff was not the run of the pack Thrash Metal vocalist either, he was unique in keeping his voice from overpowering the song… I have never heard another singer like him since, truly irreplaceable.
Rob Dukes, the vocalist for Exodus on Let There Be Blood also is quoted in the liner notes, “this (Let There Be Blood) was recorded for fun, not to replace the original. The origninal (Bonded By Blood) will always be there and will always stand the test of time.” Plus, Rob Dukes refers to Paul Baloff in the most sincerest and reverent way. True class acts are Gary Holt and Rob Dukes, for the way they expressed themselves through these statements, found in the liner notes of Let There Be Blood. With Tom Hunting on drums, Exodus has two original members playing on Let There Be Blood.
I have read some pretty despicable and mean spirited album reviews over the years… from guess who? Answer: professional overpaid music critics who do not listen to the albums they review! Instead, their idea of “listening” to an album is “sampling” and/or they are jealous they are not famous Rock musicians themselves. Exodus, in my Metal opinion, DID NOT ATTEMPT TO CASH-IN ON THE LEGACY OF BONDED BY BLOOD. The Old School Thrash Metal Bands have their core following, while enlisting younger and new fans along the way. This album was never going to hit #1 on any damned and useless music chart to begin with. Old School Thrash Metal is about pride… something that the lame mainstream Rock music critics no nothing about. Grubby politicians cash-in everyday on tax payers… Exodus is too busy kicking ass with their Thrash Metal legacy and credibility, rather than cashing in on any of their fans.
In my Metal opinion, sure this is a heavier version than the original. Yes, Rob Dukes sings with a much more aggressive and angered tone than the late and legendary Paul Baloff. Rob Dukes is a powerhouse Thrash Metal vocalist – period. He is his own persona, just as Paul Baloff once was. The end result is, for me, a quality driven, Thrash Metal celebration of one of the greatest albums of it’s genre. Gary Holt made a great point in the liner notes, that these same songs are performed live by Exodus to this day. As I see it, this is Exodus, regardless if this is a 2008 version of this band or a listen to the 1985 original Bonded By Blood. I cannot deny or condemn any Thrash Metal Music that Gary Holt and Tom Hunting want to recapture or create with their band. All I can do is be thankful that they are still alive and capable of keeping the Exodus Thrash Metal machine forging ahead. I appreciate my favorite bands and never have or ever will… take them for granted.
Exodus, as they appear on the 2008 album Let There Be Blood:
Gary Holt – guitars
Tom Hunting – drums
Jack Gibson – bass
Rob Dukes – vocals
Lee Altus – guitars
Here is the original cover artwork for the 1985 Bonded By Blood album: