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l-r Vinnie Labella, Chris Nail, Kyle Thomas, Jay Ceravolo
Background information
Origin New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Years active 1985–1994, 2008–2011, 2017–present
Labels Roadrunner
Associated acts
Website www.exhorder.com
Members Kyle Thomas
Vinnie Labella
Marzi Montazeri
Jason Viebrooks
Sasha Horn
Past members David Main
Andy Villafarra
Chris Nail
Jay Ceravolo
Frankie Sparcello (Deceased)
Seth Davis

Exhorder is an American heavy metal band from New Orleans, Louisiana. They are considered progenitors of the groove-oriented thrash sound later made famous by bands such as Pantera, Lamb of God, White Zombie, and Machine Head. Their debut LP was regarded as a large influence on the NOLA metal scene. Initially active from 1985 to 1994, reformed from 2008 to 2011, they have since reformed in 2017.


Exhorder was formed in 1985 in New Orleans, Louisiana. After releasing several demos in the vein of pure thrash metal, they continued this sound with their debut studio album, Slaughter in the Vatican, released in 1990. They adapted more of a groove metal-oriented sound by their second (and to date last) album, The Law, released in 1992. The band dissolved two years later.

On May 9, 2008, it was announced that the band had reunited and had begun writing new material.[1] As of that day, the band's official Myspace page contains the reunited group's lineup as well as the headline "writing new material for the return of Exhorder".[2] They played their first reunion show on November 14, 2009 at Southport Hall in Jefferson, LA followed by another less than a month later on December 12 at City Club in Houma, Louisiana. A reunion show with Crowbar at the Hangar in New Orleans on February 12, 2010 was their most recent performance to date. The lineup for all of these shows was the same as that of The Law album.

Drummer Seth Davis was on a clinic tour in 2010 when he was approached by the New Orleans metallers. Davis filled in for original drummer Chris Nail, and toured with Exhorder from early 2010 to late 2011, performing classic songs from the band's two albums. On March 22, 2011 bassist Frankie Sparcello died of unknown causes.[3] In the interim and in order to fulfill 3 show dates already booked, the band recruited local bass virtuoso Jorge Caicedo to fill in at the last minute.[4] The band also played Maryland Deathfest on May 28. They had then gone under hiatus.

In November 2017, Exhorder ended their six-year hiatus with a newly formed line-up and had signed a worldwide deal with All Independent Service Alliance. They announced a two-night event in Brooklyn, New York for February 9 and February 10, 2018 by performing the entire Slaughter in the Vatican and The Law albums respectively. They will also perform a homecoming show on February 12 in New Orleans. The band is also planning summer festival appearances,[5] and will consider working on new material if the reunion shows go well.[6]


There has been controversy amongst Pantera's and Exhorder's fans over similarities between both bands' sound,[7][8][9] fueled by the success of Pantera and the obscurity of Exhorder.[7][8]

In disagreement with the opinion that Exhorder is "Pantera minus the good songs," AMG's review of Slaughter in the Vatican expresses that "perhaps a more accurate billing would be to call them Pantera without the major label backing."[7] They also point to the fact that the title of Exhorder's debut, along with the unsubtle album cover, "certainly didn't help [its] cause any."[7]

Exhorder lead vocalist Kyle Thomas has stated that he does not care about any of the criticism and is sick of seeing Exhorder's name tied to Pantera's.[8] He also stated that he and some members of Pantera were friends,[8][9] and that he mourns the loss of Dimebag Darrell.[9] Recently, Thomas suggested that while it is possible Pantera may have been influenced by his band, the members of Pantera "work[ed] a ... lot harder than [they] did."[8][10]

Band members[edit]



Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Live Death (1994, Roadrunner Records)


  • Get Rude (1986, self-released)
  • Slaughter in the Vatican (1988, self-released)


  1. ^ "Reunited EXHORDER Working On New Material". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. 
  2. ^ MySpace.com - Exhorder - Kenner/Metairie/New Orleans, Louisiana - Metal / Death Metal / Thrash - www.myspace.com/exhordernola
  3. ^ Blabbermouth.net. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - EXHORDER Bassist Dies". Blabbermouth.net. Archived from the original on 2011-03-26. 
  4. ^ H, Emily. "Exhorder Hires Talented Bassist Jorge Caicedo". metalunderground.com. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  5. ^ "EXHORDER Is Back! New Lineup, Shows Announced". Blabbermouth.net. November 15, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ "EXHORDER Reformation 'Will Be Amazing,' Says KYLE THOMAS". Blabbermouth.net. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Slaughter in the Vatican review". Allmusic. Retrieved October 21, 2005. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Kyle Thomas Speaks Out on the Pantera/Exhorder 'Feud'". Blistering. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2005. 
  9. ^ a b c "Former EXHORDER Frontman: We 'Lost An Innovator, A Warrior, And A Metal Nicolas Cage'". Blabbermouth.net. 2004-12-12. Retrieved November 5, 2005. 
  10. ^ Dave Larmore. "Interview with Kyle Thomas". Midwest Metal Magazine. 

External links[edit]