Exodus (American band)

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"Exodus (band)" redirects here. For the progressive rock band, see Exodus (Polish band).
Exodus
Exodus1.JPG
Exodus in Germany in 2010. From left to right: Lee Altus, Jack Gibson, Rob Dukes, Gary Holt, Tom Hunting
Background information
Origin Richmond, California, United States
Genres Heavy metal Thrash metal Speed metal
Years active 1980–1993, 1997–1998, 2001–present
Labels Capitol, Century Media, Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Heathen, Generation Kill, Blind Illusion, Sepultura, Metallica, Possessed, Testament, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, White Zombie
Website www.exodusattack.com
Members Tom Hunting
Gary Holt
Steve Souza
Jack Gibson
Lee Altus
Past members Former members

Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1980 in Richmond, California.[1] Spanning a career of 34 years, Exodus has gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the deaths of two former band members. Guitarist Gary Holt joined the band shortly after its formation and has remained the only constant member of Exodus since and appears on all their releases. Drummer Tom Hunting is one of the original members, and departed from the band twice, in 1989 and 2004, but rejoined in 2007.

To date, Exodus has released nine studio albums, two live albums and two compilations. The band had particular success in the mid-to-late 1980s, and their first three albums (Bonded by Blood, Pleasures of the Flesh and Fabulous Disaster) cemented Exodus' reputation as one of the most successful thrash metal bands. The critical praise given to Fabulous Disaster garnered attention from major labels, including Capitol Records, with whom Exodus would eventually sign in 1989. Exodus released two more albums (Impact Is Imminent and Force of Habit) before disbanding in 1993. After a temporary return in 1997-1998, Exodus reformed for a second time in 2001, and since then, they have released four more albums, the most recent being 2010's Exhibit B: The Human Condition. The band will release their tenth studio album, Blood In, Blood Out, in October 2014.[2] Exodus have sold over 5 million albums worldwide as of 2013.[3]

History[edit]

Formation and early years (1980–1983)[edit]

Guitarist Gary Holt has been a member of Exodus since 1980, and is the only member to have performed on all of the band's albums.
The jagged edged "Exodus" logo. This logo has been used on the cover of all of the band's releases, except for Force of Habit (1992).

In 1980, guitarists Kirk Hammett and Tim Agnello, drummer Tom Hunting, and bassist Carlton Melson, formed the initial lineup of Exodus. Hammett had named the band after Leon Uris' 1958 novel of the same title.[1] Bassist Melson would soon be replaced by Geoff Andrews and vocalist Keith Stewart.[4][5] Before long, Agnello would also leave the group (and music) to pursue a life of ministry in Stockton, California and would be replaced by Hammett's guitar technician Gary Holt.

In 1981, Kirk Hammett met El Cerrito resident Paul Baloff at a North Berkeley house party, a friendship that was started - according to aspiring guitarist Hammett - by their shared admiration for punk rock and 1970s heavy metal music. Baloff subsequently took Stewart's place as vocalist and the quintet recorded a demo tape the same year, a release which would be Hammett's only recording with the band. Geoff Andrews would leave immediately after the tape to start an early incarnation of pioneering death metal band, Possessed. In early 1983, Hammett left Exodus to join Metallica and was eventually replaced in the long term by guitarist Rick Hunolt.

Bonded By Blood and rise in popularity (1984–1991)[edit]

The band recorded their first album Bonded by Blood in the summer of 1984. Audio engineering college student Mark Whitaker, who had attended high school with Paul Baloff, oversaw management and record production for the band at the time. 1984 concert photos from Exodus shows at Aquatic Park's Eastern Front Metal Festival (with Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies) and Ruthie's Inn (with Megadeth and Slayer) were included on the album sleeve inserts. Originally titled "A Lesson in Violence", the album was not released until April 1985 amidst creative and business setbacks. Whilst Bonded By Blood is considered a highly influential thrash metal album today, critics have regarded the delay in its release as having jeopradized the impact the album could have had. As Allmusic reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia would later write in his review for the album: "Had it been released immediately after it was recorded in 1984, Exodus' Bonded by Blood might be regarded today alongside Metallica's Kill 'Em All as one of the landmark albums responsible for launching the thrash metal wave".[6]Shortly after touring for Bonded by Blood, Paul Baloff was fired from the band and replaced by Steve "Zetro" Souza, who had previously been the lead vocalist for Legacy, an early incarnation of Testament. Baloff went on to form the band Piranha.

Exodus' line-up remained fairly stable for the recording of their next few albums, and the underground success attained with Bonded by Blood would lead to the group's signing to Sony/Combat Records, who distributed the band's second effort Pleasures of the Flesh in 1987. Fabulous Disaster, the group's third full length album, was released in 1989. A music video for the song "The Toxic Waltz" would receive consistent rotation on MTV's Headbangers Ball in 1989.[7] While promoting Fabulous Disaster, Exodus embarked on the Headbangers Ball tour with Anthrax and Helloween, which brought the band to a new audience.

After the success of Fabulous Disaster, Exodus was signed to Capitol Records in early 1990, who released the band's fourth album Impact is Imminent later that year. Prior to recording the album, Tom Hunting was replaced by John Tempesta on drums. In 1991, the band released their first live album, Good Friendly Violent Fun, which was recorded during their 1989 tour.

Force of Habit, hiatus, and temporary return (1991–2000)[edit]

Jack Gibson joined Exodus in 1997 as bassist and has been with the group ever since.

After the release of Good Friendly Violent Fun, the band toured sporadically for a year. Bassist McKillop was replaced by Michael Butler before the group recorded and released their next studio album titled Force of Habit in 1992. This album was something of a departure from the band's signature sound, containing several slower, "heavier" songs with less emphasis on the speed/thrash aspect of their older material. The 11-minute song "Architect of Pain" is a good example of the change of direction, having a much slower, grindier feel than the usual high tempo thrash they had become known for.

After touring for Force of Habit was completed, behind the scenes issues as well as a changing musical environment prompted the band to split up. However, after only a few years of dormancy, Holt and Hunolt reunited with singer Paul Baloff and drummer Tom Hunting along with new bassist Jack Gibson. They released a live album in 1997 titled Another Lesson in Violence. However, the group disbanded again the following year, in part due to a falling out with record label Century Media over the way promotion for the live album was handled, and over an aborted attempt at a live concert video which was filmed but never released due to a financial dispute.

Second reformation, death of Paul Baloff and Tempo of the Damned (2001–2004)[edit]

In 2001, Exodus reformed once again, initially to play the Chuck Billy benefit Thrash of the Titans concert. There was talk of recording a new studio album and the band continued to play shows in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.

However, in February 2002 Paul Baloff died after suffering a stroke. Former vocalist Steve Souza was brought back into the band to finish the rest of their concert commitments. Although it appeared to outsiders that with Baloff's death Exodus would cease to exist, guitarist Gary Holt was determined to release a new studio album. The result was 2004's Tempo of the Damned released on Nuclear Blast Records. An oddity of the recording sessions was that one track, "Crime of the Century", was dropped under mysterious circumstances. The song chronicled Exodus's time under Century Media (of which Nuclear Blast is a subsidiary). Although it was publicly denied, rumors swirled that Century Media forced the song off the record. "Crime of the Century" was replaced with "Impaler", a song which was written when Kirk Hammett was still in the band, and featured on the Another Lesson in Violence live record.

Lineup change and next three albums (2005–2010)[edit]

Rob Dukes was one of three new members to join Exodus in 2005. He was part of the band until 2014.

Steve Souza left the band due to long-standing business and personal differences in 2004.[8] Gary Holt subsequently issued a statement in which he was heavily critical of Souza, claiming he had suddenly left the band on tour only a day before they were due to leave for a show in Mexico City.[9] He was replaced initially by Steev Esquivel (ex-Defiance and Skinlab). The band eventually found a more permanent replacement in Rob Dukes.

In 2005, Rick Hunolt was fired for having a drug problem. He was replaced by former Heathen guitarist Lee Altus. Tom Hunting also took leave of the band following a re-occurrence of the nervous problems that led to his temporary departure in 1989. Hunting was replaced with Paul Bostaph who had previously played with Slayer and Testament. The revamped lineup released the album Shovel Headed Kill Machine in 2005. The tour for the album led to extensive travel of the US, Europe, and Japan, as well as their first-ever visit to Australia.

Tom Hunting returned to the band in March 2007 in time to record and release their 8th studio album The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A. They performed at the Wacken Open Air Festival in the summer of 2008. In April 2009, Exodus embarked on a co-headlining North American tour with Kreator and also featuring Belphegor, Warbringer, and Epicurean. Exodus then went on tour supporting Arch Enemy along with Arsis and Mutiny Within.

Exodus released a re-recording of their 1985 debut album Bonded by Blood entitled Let There Be Blood. Gary Holt released the following statement about the band's decision to revisit their debut album: "After many years in the planning and discussion stage, we have finally completed the re-recording of 'Bonded By Blood'. We have decided to call it 'Let There Be Blood' and it is our way of paying homage to [late singer] Paul Baloff by showing how relevant these songs we had written together still are. We aren't trying to replace the original; that's impossible anyway. We are just giving these songs the benefit of modern production. It's something we talked about before Paul's death and it's always been important to us to do. We were super excited about entering the studio once again to record these classics, and now it's back to writing the next studio record!"[citation needed]

The album Exhibit B: The Human Condition was recorded in northern California with British producer Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Arch Enemy, Kreator) and released on Nuclear Blast Records in May 2010.[10] It was announced in January 2010 that Exodus was to be on Megadeth's Rust in Peace 20th Anniversary tour along with Testament. Exodus was featured on the cover of Decibel magazine's June 2010 issue, with a feature article on them.

Exodus at 2012 Hellfest. This was one of the band's first shows with former guitarist Rick Hunolt (far right) in seven years.

Exodus co-headlined with Kreator, Suicidal Angels and Death Angel on the Thrashfest 2010 tour in late 2010 and will be one of the headlining bands on the bill for Wacken Open Air 2011 (Announced December 23, 2010).

Reunions with Rick Hunolt and Steve Souza, and Blood In, Blood Out (2011–present)[edit]

Exodus toured with Rob Zombie and Slayer in 2011 on their Hell on Earth tour as the opening act. Gary Holt filled in for Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman during the tour after Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis caused by a spider bite.[11] Holt filled in for Hanneman again on their next tour in the summer of 2012. When Exodus toured in the summer of 2012, guitarist Rick Hunolt (who left in 2005) filled in for Holt.[12]

On February 4, 2012 a Paul Baloff Memorial Reunion Concert was held at the Oakland Metro Opera House. Former and current members included Kirk Hammett, Rick Hunolt, Gary Holt, Geoff Andrews, Lee Altus, Rob Dukes, Tom Hunting and Jack Gibson. It was the first time they had all played together since 1983. The band was confirmed for the Graspop Festival[13] and for the Hellfest in June 2012. By the summer of 2012, Exodus had begun writing new material for their tenth studio album.[14][15][16] On March 27, it was announced that the band entered the studio and were well into recording drum tracks, and the album is expected for a fall 2014 release.

On June 8, 2014, Exodus announced that Rob Dukes had left the band,[17] and was replaced by Steve Souza, making this the second time he had rejoined the band.[18] In addition, Souza recorded his vocals on the new Exodus album, which will be the band's first to feature him since 2004's Tempo of the Damned.[19][20] On June 26, 2014, Exodus announced on their official website that the album is called Blood In, Blood Out,[2] and is due for release in October.[21]

Band members[edit]

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

For all releases, see Exodus discography.

References[edit]

External links[edit]