Exodus – “Bonded By Blood” (1985)

Alas, the belated debut from one of the founding fathers of thrash!  Adorned with a ridiculous cover that jut so happens to be one of my favorite album covers of all time, Bonded By Blood belongs in any legitimate metal record collection, if only for the sheer metal-ness of it all.  The tasteless and blasphemous cover art perfectly encapsulates the adolescent, no-holds-barred attitude of these Bay Area legends.  Bonded By Blood is a torrid, bloodthirsty thrash album with a single intent; ANNIHILATION of everyone and everything in its path.  Vocalist Paul Baloff (R.I.P.) made up for a lack of any discernible talent by screaming and yelling his head off; shredding his vocal cords in the name of Satan and in the name of METAL.  One of the most infectious OTT performances in metal history!  You can envision the veins bursting from his neck and his mouth foaming white froth.  Tales of rape, murder, and metal mayhem explode through the speakers with hideous, crude, Satanic ferocity.  The guitar duo of Rick Hunolt and Gary Holt (sporting wispy teenage mustaches) dished out top-notch riffs that may remind the attentive listener of Kill ‘Em All era Metallica.  (Kirk Hammett was once an Exodus member).  With the intense drumming of Tom Hunting backing up the vicious guitar work, Bonded By Blood becomes a lesson in violence you won’t soon forget.  But above all else, Bonded By Blood is catchy!  The first six songs of the album all have memorable yell-along refrains.  When I listen to Bonded By Blood, I usually listen to the first six tracks (Bonded By Blood through to Piranha), and skip the last three songs.  As for tracks seven through nine, these songs are not nearly as catchy, and seem a little less developed than the first six.  Even though there are some great riffs here and there on No Love, Deliver Us To Evil, and Strike Of The Beast, the songs lack structure, and Baloff seems to have contracted full-blown rabies by this point in the album, and his merciless, insane screaming becomes almost too much to take.  My only other complaint about Bonded By Blood is that Baloff’s vocals seem to be drowned in too much reverb.  Other than that, the production is actually pretty good for ’85.  All in all, Bonded By Blood is a must own for any self-respecting metal fan.  Crank it up, and LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR!  My score: A-

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3 thoughts on “Exodus – “Bonded By Blood” (1985)

  1. I never sat down and listened to this album, but I did see them live in 1986 and to paraphrase a line from my book, I couldn’t believe that mortal men could play so fast.

  2. The fourth most important band in MOLTEN METAL….(even If I have a penchant respect for MTV metal and traditional metal)…I am still a major rager at heart.

    Mercyful Fate, Metallica, Slayer, and Exodus.

    I have everworld wide pressing of the title on CD. The current edition from Century Media, has perfect astheitics.

    I listed Mercyful Fate Before Metallica…because hey there is no accounting for taste.

  3. Influences on Exodus were….Jag Panzer, Mercyful Fate, Venom, Saxon, Angel Witch, and Charged GBH.

    There philosophy on record buying as fans was…as long as it is metal and as long as it is HEAVY.

    I have every worldwide pressing of this. And the current Pressing, in the Century Media 99000 series is pretty stellar with asthetics to pretty true to the original and the booklet is top notch.

    I always use current pressings of my favorite top 250 albums of alltime, to re-tire the previous edition….kind of like a mini heavy metal musuem.

    I have my own in case Gary Shafer never ups up his heavy metal musuem…

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