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Exodus

Pioneers of the '80s trash metal music scene (along with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth), Exodus has returned with Tempo of the Damned, the band's first studio album since 1992's Force of Habit. A pure, in-your-face musical assault from start to finish, this latest album was well worth the wait.

After reuniting with original vocalist Paul Baloff, Exodus released a live disc, Another Lesson in Violence, in 1997. Exodus was set to work on Tempo two years ago, but plans for the album were abruptly halted when Baloff suffered a stroke and died in February 2002. Exodus recruited ex-Legacy/Testament vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza, who was Baloff's replacement after he left Exodus in 1987.

The album's opening track, "Scar Spangled Banner," is a metal anthem that should give listeners something to bang their heads to for years to come, with lyrics like "We pledge allegiance to no God, only to the blood." The track "Impaler"--co-written by founding member and current Metallica guitarist, Kirk Hammett--serves as a perfect example of the classic sound that made Exodus legendary.

Guitarists Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt display brutal riffs and bleeding solos, while Tom Hunting proves once again why he is the godfather of trash-metal drummers.

Tempo also displays Souza's best vocal work to date. From barking raw grunts on "War Is My Sheppard" to piercing, sick screams on the album's title track, Souza's voice can inspire nightmares in the weak. This is trash metal at its finest.

More by Jon Hobson

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