Exodus - Let There Be Blood
Zaentz Records
Thrash Metal
10 songs (45:37)
Release year: 2008
Exodus, Zaentz Records
Reviewed by Jeff
Major event

How would you feel if Metallica decided to re-record Kill'em All? What would be your reaction be if Slayer was to re-record Show No Mercy or even Reign In Blood? I was asking myself these very same questions when I heard that Exodus was going to re-record their classic and inspirational album, Bonded By Blood.

There are several bands that have re-recorded there original songs over the years. Journey, Anthrax, Saxon, Testament, Venom, Twisted Sister,etc. just to name a few. My first question was why would Exodus want to re-record this monumental achievement?.

Re-recording Bonded By Blood was something that Exodus was talking about before the passing of Paul Baloff. Had he not died, he would have most likely been the one singing on this re-recorded studio version. In fact, Baloff has already re-recorded eight out of nine songs originally found on Bonded By Blood, as well as a few songs from Pleasures of the Flesh and an older classic track called Impaler (recently re-recorded on Tempo of the Damned with Souza on vocals). All of these tracks can be found on the live album entitled Another Lesson In Violence (1997).

Exodus wanted to re-record Bonded By Blood to not only pay homage to Baloff but to also show how relevant these songs still are to this very day. The band felt it was something that was important to do. They did not want people to feel that they were replacing Bonded By Blood by re-recording it so they changed the title of the re-recording to Let There Be Blood. Exodus also wanted to give the songs originally recorded on Bonded By Blood the benefit of modern production. Bonded By Blood was originally released in 1985 and has a very raw production but it still stands the test of time almost twenty three years later. If you take a listen to the band's last two releases, (Shovel Headed Kill Machine and The Atrocity Exhibition), you will get a taste for what you are in for on Let There Be Blood. It was produced by Gary Holt and mixed by Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Testament, Killswitch Engage). If you are familiar with any of the albums Andy Sneap has mixed, you will notice that he has a trademark characteristic of giving these bands a very distinct sound. The guitars are always all balls out in the mix with a thick and compressed, metallic guitar sound. The snare and kick drums are also very dominant in the mix and really provide the foundation for alot of the energy captured in the songs.

The benefit of modern production on Let There Be Blood gives the songs a new life of sorts. The sound is much fuller than the original and has alot more bottom end. Everything is also clearer in the mix. The songs are also tuned flat or played an octave or so lower than the originals, giving them a much darker tone. The tempo of And Then There Were None seems a tad slower than the original version. Exodus also include a song from their past that I have never even heard in its original format entitled Hell's Breath. At first I thought it was a newer track but it's something from their early days. The structure and style of Hell's Breath fits in well with the rest of the songs. It's a pretty up beat thrasher and is the shortest song on the album. As for Rob Dukes, his vocal style does suit these songs quite well. He is quite the screamer. Dukes does not try to re-create the way Baloff originally sang them. Dukes puts his own touch on these re-recordings without taking anything away from the originals. By the way, Gary Holt is the only original member left from the Bonded By Blood sessions to play on Let There Be Blood.

Another improvement with regards to Let There Be Blood is the artwork. The cover concept still stays true to the original (two infants; an evil devil baby and an angel baby bonded together), but with much better artwork. The use of dark colors and shadows really depicts some frightening imagery.

There are going to be alot of die hard Exodus fans that might not want to accept this album for what it's worth. If you are that much of a die hard then you should at least take a listen as you might be somewhat pleasantly surprised. The truth is, Let There Be Blood is never going to be as good as Bonded By Blood because of one simple reason; the magic that Bonded By Blood was able to create back in 1985. Let There Be Blood fails to recapture that magic. That is something that is almost impossible to do, regardless of whether you have the same band members or not. Time and technology make it very difficult to re-create anything original, only the ability to help improve on it. However, Let There Be Blood is by no means a waste of a listen and still deserves to be part of anyone's CD collection. Let There Be Blood is a tribute of sorts to Exodus era Paul Baloff by Exodus. The benefit of modern production gives the songs an edge that the originals do not have. If you were to see Exodus at a club then you are going to hear these songs performed like they were on Let There Be Blood and not on Bonded By Blood. Music evolves over time and a band's ability to roll with the changes without deviating much from the originals shows a progression and maturity of sorts.

Maybe it will depend on one's mood at the time, but even though Bonded By Blood will always be one of my top ten thrash albums of all time, I can still find time to listen to Let There Be Blood and accept it for what it is and meant to be.


Killing Songs :
Take your pick! They are all good!
Jeff quoted 80 / 100
Goat quoted 76 / 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 - The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A reviewed by Dylan and quoted 65 / 100
Exodus - Shovel Headed Kill Machine reviewed by Jeff and quoted 60 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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