The band of this month: Exodus. As said in the Bonded by Blood review; A band formed in 1979 in San Francisco, California, by Tom Hunting and Kirk Hammett.
We all know their studio albums, but most people don’t know about their demo’s, split’s and live albums. I’ll tell you guys more about it!
This week I’ll talk about the early demo’s. I guess most of you already knew that Kirk Hammett was the guitar player of Exodus from 1979 towards 1983. The lineup back then was Tom Hunting, Carlton Melson, Kirk Hammet and Tim Agnello. Before Keith Stewart started to sing (1980) drummer Tom Hunting had been singing in the band. Soon Agnello and Melson left the band to be replaced by Gary Holt (guitars) and Jeff Andrews (bass). Also Stewart left the band. This is the moment where most of the Exodus fans are waiting for: Paul Baloff joined the band! (1981)
After a year they released a demo. This demo has no name and only three songs; Whipping Queen, Death and Domination and Warlords. It was self-released and about 11 minutes long. Early 1983 they (self-)released another demo called Die by His hand. This piece had two songs and this is the last record with Hammett (replaced by Rick Hunolt) and Andrews (replaced by Rob McKillop.) Later that same year the demo version of the songs Bonded by Blood, Death Row, Hell’s Breath and No Love came out.
The next demo (1984) called “Turk Street demo” will get some more attention than the three I discussed before since it contains the songs that brought the band to where they are now. The demo has officially no name. But since it’s produced by Doug Piercy (Heathen) at the “Turk Street Studios” the demo got that name. Some copies have an additional thirty second instrumental. On this demo almost every song that’s on the album Bonded by Blood is there already. Baloff only sang on the first three songs: Bonded by Blood, Exodus & And then there were none.) Because the band ran out of money before they could record all the vocal tracks. About those three songs…These songs haven’t change that much, the lyrics, riffs and everything (except the intro on Bonded by Blood and maybe some vocal parts) are still the same. Baloff’s vocals are duplicated on the most parts which gives a menacing feeling to the song. He sings different than on the album version. But he already had his shouting vocals. In my opinion you can hear his real skills more on this demo than on the later releases. His shouts are much more powerful and much more aggressive. The background vocals are also already there. Although they don’t shout the words “Bonded by Blood” all on the same time, it adds the thrashy feeling. The Exodus. Why this song starts with annoying sounds, burping and other stuff I have no idea. But when the song kicks in it’s time to headbang! Baloff finishes things song with a shout which most black metal bands can learn from! And Then There Were None… There are much more background vocals on this demo than on the later release. In my opinion that’s great but it also makes the song more chaotic. Too bad the first solo isn’t record that well. The other songs have the riffwork and solo’s we all know. Sometimes a guitar player uses his Floyd Rose (vibrato) much more. The guitar parts are sloppy at some parts but the solid bass and drum line makes the songs great headbang pieces. The sound of the solo’s are a bit neglected. The rights guitar solo’s are most of the time too soft while the left guitar is perfect in volume way of speaking. A great demo, if they had more money at that time to record the vocals and paid (literally) attention to the instruments this demo had might be even better than the Bonded By Blood album if you ask me.
Later that year they released a demo called: “A Lesson in Violence.” A fast song with pounding drums and wall of guitar and bass sounds. On this record Baloff’s vocals has much improved and the instruments are recorded better than the “Turk Street demo” tape. Also Strike of the Beast is on this demo, this time WITH vocals!
In 1990 they released their last demo so far. This is the only demo who has been released by a record company (Capitol Records, 2 singels, 1 ep and 2 full-length albums with Exodus.) The demo is called: “Four Albus and Still No Ballad” great name if you ask me. It contains four songs: Impact is Imminent, Changing of the Guard, Objection Overruled and The Lunatic Parade. Which all can be found in the album that came out later that same year; Impact is Imminent.
I hope you guys enjoyed my first review here! Next week I’ll be back with a review about their live albums!