Exodus - The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A
Nuclear Blast
Thrash Metal
9 songs (59:41)
Release year: 2007
Exodus, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Dylan
Whatever your opinion is on 21st century Exodus, you have to admit that ever since Tempo Of The Damned, Gary Holt & friends have been able to churn out some solid material in a very short amount of time. Three albums in three years is an impressive feat for any band, mainstream or underground. Whatever you thought of Shovel Headed Kill Machine will play a big role in how you feel about Exhibit A (yep, there is going to be an Exhibit B come 2008). SHKM was good for the most part, but had numerous songs that lasted longer than they should have. Whatever your opinion of that polarizing album is, it appears as if Exodus was so pleased with it, they decided to do it all over again.

Starting off with an instrumental intro track that lasts a little over 90 seconds, it seems as if Exhibit A was going to take a sharp melodic turn from the bands past efforts. Then Riot Act kicks in and you realize that Exodus was just playing with you. It is an effective opener; complete with sharp and quick drumwork by Tom Hunting, to-the-point riffing from Gary Holt and newcomer Lee Atlus, and Dukes’ venomous shouts. The chorus hits like a sledgehammer, and thankfully, they finish the song before it gets boring. That, however is not the case with Funeral Hymn. Aside from a cool breakdown towards the end that will surely have live crowds shouting along, it is simply too long for its own good. The Atrocity Exhibition is a clear example of this. Lasting for over ten minutes, it’s riffs are just too simple to be played for so long. The verse of this song is pretty good, as it keeps the aggression up. The chorus however, is a real energy killer, with a plodding tempo and a riff that just drags along.

For all my complaints of less-than energetic tempos and bland riffing, there are still some tracks worthy fo the Exodus banner to be found here. Iconoclasm has a feel similar to one of the best songs from SHKM, Now Thy Death Day Come. Unexpectedly, the best track here is the last one. Bedlam 1-2-3 begins with a slow riff, tricking you into thinking that yet another crawler has found its way onto the album. And for the first minute and a half that’s what it is. Once the opening riff expires, it’s back to the 80’s for the band. Frantic triplets, speedy beats, and the most energetic chorus on the album cement this song as the best Exhibit A has to offer. Not only that, but there is a hidden track tucked far away in the last seconds of the song that is fantastic. Not to spoil anything, but it’s a very…”modified” version of a classic Exodus tune like you have never heard it played before.

At the risk of sounding like an asswhipe complaining that we didn't get anotherBonded By Blood, let me clear one thing up. I like Exodus a lot. Every band has their own strenghts and weaknesses and I feel that this band's strength resides in compact, thrashing aggression. Track lengths and song structures like the ones found here would be great for a band like Candlemass, but not for these guys. It’s not like this is a particularly bad record, it’s just not a particularly good one either. The band sounds energized and tight, it’s just that they seem to be running out of ideas faster than they can come up with new ones. SHKM kept popping up in my mind more often than not when I was listening to this one, and if you play those records simultaneously, you will find glaring similarities. Since SKHM came first, it has that certain element of freshness that this one is lacking severely. The one thing present on this record that was not found before are Dukes’ clean vocals in Children Of A Worthless God, which are effective and well done. Hopefully they can implement other successful experimentations on the next album. Nothing major, just enough variety to keep my interest the whole way through, instead of waiting for another Bedlam 1-2-3 to roll around.
Killing Songs :
Iconcoclasm and Bedlam 1-2-3.
Dylan quoted 65 / 100
Other albums by Exodus that we have reviewed:
Exodus - Blood In Blood Out reviewed by Thomas and quoted 80 / 100
Exodus - Fabulous Disaster reviewed by Bar and quoted 90 / 100
Exodus - Exhibit B: The Human Condition reviewed by Thomas and quoted 65 / 100
Exodus - Let There Be Blood reviewed by Jeff and quoted 80 / 100
Exodus - Shovel Headed Kill Machine reviewed by Jeff and quoted 60 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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