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The Atrocity Exhibition - Exhibit A

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Album Review

With the untimely passing of founding vocalist Paul Baloff in 2002, and the subsequent, short-lived reunion with his original successor, Steve Zetro Souza, for 2004's acclaimed comeback LP, Tempo of the Damned, Bay Area thrash metal kings Exodus were forced to audition a new frontman for the first time in 20 years before moving on with their resuscitated career. Rob Dukes, a relative unknown, was duly hired and thrown almost immediately to the mosh pit wolves via 2006's Shovel Headed Kill Machine — acquitting himself rather well thanks to his vocal and temperamental similarities to his predecessors, as well as the reliable ultra-thrash high standards of that album's songwriting, overseen as ever by Exodus' longstanding creative leader, guitarist Gary Holt. But, when the time came for the rookie singer's sophomore outing as Exodus' mouth-of-war, 2007's tellingly titled The Atrocity Exhibition (the group's eighth studio album overall), Dukes was handed a far more challenging homework assignment by taskmaster Holt involving by some of the deepest and most thought-provoking lyrics of the band's career, not to mention their most musically ambitious and eclectic collection of songs since 1992's underrated Force of Habit. Yet, rather than following that album's fatal mistake of discarding some of the band's most defining bludgeoning thrash sounds, Atrocity endeavored to tie the album's songs together with a loosely conceptual theme centered around religiously motivated strife and warfare, as well as slower tempos, while taking advantage of Dukes' ability to sing melodically and incorporate additional flavors amid those signature thrash attributes. Taken as whole, the end results may well qualify as Exodus' personal Master of Puppets (possibly inspired by Machine Head's similarly emboldened The Blackening CD, released just a few months prior), as familiarly single-minded speed thrashers like "Riot Act" and "Bedlam 1-2-3" simply bookend a slew of multi-faceted epics of unprecedented instrumental and dynamic diversity like "Funeral Hymn," "Iconoclasm," and the ten-minute title track itself. Sure, first generation fans may still view Dukes' alternating clean and dirty vocals on "Children of a Worthless God" as no small travesty, but the fact is the strategy works in the context of the song's emotionally charged message, and — let's face it — makes for another welcome talking point. Finally, the return of founding drummer Tom Hunting may help old-school fans cope with these experiments, since, like Dave Lombardo for Slayer or Phil Rudd for AC/DC, Exodus never sound quite right without him and his personal combination of sheer chops, untold power, and all-important "feel." And, like it or not, into every long-term career, change and risk-taking must come sometimes, and, given a few more years (not least for Dukes to further establish himself), one feels that The Atrocity Exhibition will stand up as one of Exodus' deepest, and most intriguing albums.

Customer Reviews

Best Thrash Album of the Year

Hands down this is a must have for any fan of thrash metal. Brutal riffing, great writing and an all around adrenaline inducing sound.


It feels like Exodus have grown considerably since Shovel Headed Kill Machine. The Atrocity Exhibition is an excellent metal album. Complex, sophisticated, hard and brutal all wrapped up in a clean polished sound. I like this album in spite of the fact that I truly lament the replacement of Zetro. It seemed that SHKM was done by a different band entirely. The Atrocity Exhibition, on the other hand, truly sounds like an Exodus album. Rob Dukes is growing on me. I still don't think he's exceptional in any way, but he sounds more confident and may be trying to find his vocal identity. He sounds less like everyone and nobody at the same time on the new album. I'm glad to feel this way, because the loss of Exodus from my playlists would be a big blow. This band is and has always been AWESOME. I strongly recommend The Atrocity Exhibition to any fan of Exodus and any fan of metal.

Amazing CD

I've been a fan of this band for over 20 years, and on this one they out did themselves. This CD is in my opinion their finest work to date. Children of a Worthless God is good enough alone to buy this CD . It's that good. The riffing, the guitar harmonies, the vocals. This is metal at it's elite peak. Don't miss out on this. Itunes messed up already by messing the cover up, but hopefully, they will get that right because even the CD artwork is great.


Formed: 1981 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Once the kings of the Bay Area metal scene -- the birthplace of thrash -- Exodus were unceremoniously demoted from their post with the arrival of Los Angeles' Metallica in 1982. And while they proceeded to eke out a hit-and-miss career of their own over the next few decades, all the while influencing at least two separate generations of younger thrash bands, Exodus were ultimately fated to be the ultimate also-rans of the genre they helped spawn. Formed in 1981 by singer Paul Baloff, guitarists...
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