Exodus – Bonded By Blood (1985)
Exodus should have had it all; the fame, the fortune and their fair share of thrash metal’s spoils.
As it turned out, one of thrash’s most legendary albums comes from a band who hovered on the periphery of The Big 4 without ever making that leap into the big league.
A bullsh*t situation, quite frankly.
It’s fairly common knowledge that Bonded By Blood was actually recorded in 1984, but was held back for a ridiculous 9 months due to record label wrangling and that lost time proved to be more than just significant.
Instead of spearheading the scene they helped to create, Exodus found themselves endlessly playing catch up and they simply ran out of puff; forever chasing the pack and never actually gaining ground. But, Exodus were at the forefront of thrash, capable of out-riffing their Bay Area peers and, pound for pound, they were the heaviest, most dangerous, most unpredictable and most ferociously adept outfit on the block.
“Bonded By Blood”, “A Lesson In Violence”, “And Then There Were None”, “Piranha”, and “Strike Of The Beast” are all thrash gold, tarnished by bad timing but true treasures in thrash’s lock-up. While many bands would try to tap into the virulent violence that positively oozes from each track, none would match the intensity conjured by Paul Baloff, Gary Holt, Tom Hunting, Rick Hunolt and Rob McKillop….a one-off moment in thrash history that would never be repeated.
Bonded By Blood was the greatest album to be released in 1985 and its very existence changed the shape of thrash indefinitely. The more it hurts….the better it feels!!!