Another Lesson in Violence
[Century Media]

The Exodus attack is back (or was, as it seems they broke up AGAIN...) with a 'reunion' live album. But don't let that scare you off. If you're one of the three people in the world who didn't hear about this, this isn't that 'Toxic Schmaltz' stuff - the reunion is of the only Exodus lineup that was worth a shit, the first one, which featured the unique vocal talents of Paul "Buddy Hackett" Baloff (well, they also couldn't dig up Rob McKillop, so they dragged in Gary Holt's Wardance bassist Jack Gibson, but believe me, it's a BIG improvement...). For the set list, they also focused exclusively on the songs from the Baloff-era of the band - everything from the first album except for Metal Command, three songs from the second album that Baloff did demos for before getting the boot, and the demo-era song Impaler (co-written and later ripped off by Kirk Faggett for the Metallica song "Trapped Under Ice").

However, a great set list doesn't automatically guarantee that the performance will be worth a shit, but the band did a fantastic job - the tempos were even faster than back in the day, the H-team nailed literally EVERY solo perfectly, and I dare say that Paul Baloff's vocals were even MORE OTT than they were fourteen years ago. Also present were Baloff's unique stage banter, full of threats to posers and bad jokes on the song titles. Also for another little bonus (if you give a shit about Machine Head, that is...), Robb Flynn takes over on guitar for the song "A Lesson In Violence". The only other thing that might turn off the classic fans is the sound - it's uncompromisingly 'modern' in sound, from the clean, slick obviously digital recording to the blatantly 90's solid-state guitar distortion, but for me the feel and attitude of the band keeps it firmly rooted back in 1985 (as does some of the stage banter - the band relentlessly heckles the idiots who shout out for Toxic Waltz - "this it a fuckin' history lesson, motherfucker!"). If you're the kind who laments the demise of vinyl you might want to try before you buy, but anyone with an interest in classic mid-80s thrash in general and Exodus in particular should end up liking this.

1999 lord vic