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Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Trident Studio in Pacheco, California. Thrash metal. The s, for all of their silver-linings, were defined by a period of death for most metal institutions, particularly in America. In turn, the demise of said decade brought about a rekindled interest in the old ways. Exodus was one of many classic 80s metal institutions that were resurrected in the s thanks to a renewed interest in both thrash and traditional heavy metal.
However, their resurgence came with a surprisingly high amount of 90s baggage, in much the same respect as Overkill though they carried it fairly well and dropped much of it by the time "Killbox 13" came into being , and they came out sounding pretty damn similar to the groove infused mixed bags that were "From The Underground And Below", "Necroshine", and a few others from that period, minus a lot of the peripheral elements that made Overkill's version of grayness a little easier to digest.
When coupled with the exit of longtime front man Steve Souza and his replacement being a virtual unknown, the modern trappings that embody "Shovel Headed Kill Machine" put it at an immediate disadvantage. Rob Dukes brings very little to the table in terms of distinctiveness, as his mixture of gruff and nastiness has more in common with Anders Friden circa "Clayman" and a number of metalcore singers who've all but parroted In Flames' latter period.
His work is adequate by modern standards, but generally listens like a one-dimensional affair in tough guy posturing rather than the multiple layers of angst and outrage that normally comes from a seasoned thrash vocalist. By the same token, while the riff work that dominates this album has a pretty strong affinity with the punchy and catchy nature of the late 80s Bay Area sound, the hyper-slick production and overloud guitar sound obscure it to the point that it listens largely like the follow up to "Reinventing The Steel" that never happened, even though it is actually more intricate than anything Pantera ever put out.
As with a number of modern thrash albums, things tend to work better the shorter and faster things are kept on here. Long, drawn out numbers with occasional glory moments like "Altered Boy" do a respectable job of playing up the groove factor in a reasonably multifaceted fashion, but it just drags on too long and the monotony of the vocal sound does little to help matters. Even "Deathamphetamine", which is more thrashing than groovy, just drags on too long and has too many low points to really beat the sense out of the hearer the way it should.
The real strong points of this album are found on "Raze", "44 Magnum Opus" and the closing title track where things are kept short and the neck-wrecking mayhem remains constant. Even when the lyrics start to sound moderately retarded and the vocals start to grate like nails on a chalkboard, the speed factor and Holt's signature and inventive riff work manages to keep thing interesting. The mixed reaction of praise and scorn heaped upon this album is among the more logical reactions regarding the actual nature of a thrash album over the course of the past 10 years.
Even when casting aside the history and legacy of the Exodus name, this album is a mixed bag of stomping skulls into dust power when it's on its game, and just barely avoiding hypnotic overlong drudgery when it's off, and proves to be discount bin treasure for those looking for a complete Exodus collection and a worthy pickup for groove fans who didn't get enough of the 90s version of the style. Loyalists be warned; if consistency is a requirement, you may want to skip this one. There are no huge ups and huge downs like the ones in 'Tempo of the damned'.
The album is pretty solid and consistent through out. Gary holt and company come up with many great songs, proving that they still got it. The most noticeable change here is, Rob Dukes, A new unknown vocalist who just joined Exodus out of nowhere. People have expressed their displeasure at this but I have to Rob Dukes isn't bad at all. Infact, he gets the job done for the most part. A lot of fans want Steve Souza to come back but to be honest, His time here was up already.
He couldn't keep dragging exodus for any longer. In comes dukes, He sounds a bit like Baloff and Zetro when he hits certain notes but he's not quite good as either. His voice is generic, Not unusual among the bands of today.
He certainly lacks the edginess of his predecessors. The strongest part about his vocals are that you can actually make out what he's saying pretty well. The song writing is still intact and pretty strong. Gary holt is still going strong, He does an excellent job on this album, There are plenty of vintage 80's exodus riffs and solos to be found.
The production is good like 'Tempo of the damned', Maybe a little too good. The best tracks on this album are 'Raze' and 'Shovel headed kill machine', They have a 'Metallic' sound about them just like most songs on this album. The drumming is good, They are very good for the most part but nothing too awesome. The lyrics are obviously a little bit immature.
Dukes does a solid job for the most part. There are still lots of Intricate, groovy riffs to be found on this album and no really exceptional solos, But they're not that bad either. There are a few problems, Most songs have the same speed and structure. Some of them feel a little too long, Rob Dukes is not Hetfield, his vocals can't carry some of the longer songs.
It gets repetetive and dull by the 4th track on this album. The lyrics are pointless, The silliness is overwhelming, Rob Dukes adopts a 'tough-guy' vocal style on some of this tracks, Which will make you wonder. Gary Holt certainly trusts in him, So there must be something good about him. There are lots of groove riffs which some people detest.
Overall, a fun listen, Just don't over-analyze the lyrics and the themes found on this album, They're just silly. For , you can't get much better thrash metal albums, All the 'Big 4' have slowed down, and so did Exodus. But this is still a solid offering. Despite how low key Exodus has become in the last decade or so, the reunion album, Tempo of the Damned was an amazing feat in thrash revival and even though Steve Souza did leave Exodus again the band continues on.
Releasing their latest effort, Shovel Headed Kill Machine, Exodus has grounded their rebirth as one of thrash titans in the industry. Granted this album is more groove oriented than Tempo of the Damned and the new singer has more modern thrash vocals. So this isn't a "true" return to old school thrash. It still is one of the best newer thrash albums to be released in the last 5 years.
As newer thrash bands try to cross that boundary between death metal and thrash, bands like Exodus really keep it true. It's nice to know that great guitar writers like Gary Holt are still around to show us that even in metal - the guitars can be both heavy and catchy. His ability to blend speed, brutality, and hooks into his riff work is some of the best in the metal world and Shovel Headed Kill Machine has some of his catchiest riffs yet. Unfortunately, many of the songs in general blend together and the guitar work could use a few more changes in tempo and sound to be truly brilliant.
A little too consistent for my tastes. The riffs are a lot crunchier than before too - there is a lot of bottom to the guitar tone that makes it sound a lot heavier. The solos and leads are well written and played but I didn't find myself just in awe of either. The bass lines are heavy as hell on this album. The bass is still pretty latched onto the guitar lines for the album and it would have been amazing to hear the bass throw a little character into its presence.
It's well played and mixed but overall the bass is a tad stale. The drums are brutal on this album. Positively and awesomely heavy. The double bass is killer on the album and even though I'm not a fan of double bass a lot in thrash - it works on this album quite well. The diversity could have been a little better but the sheer force of the drums makes up for much of the technicality issues. He fits the style of the album well but I can understand where people are pulling the post thrash comments from.
He has more of a barking style than previous Exodus vocalists and this does lead to a more "modern" thrash sound for the band. His vocals can tap that older thrash vibe see "Raze" on the album but overall he does have a unique set of pipes that makes him memorable. This album isn't quite as good as their last - although they are different in many ways. This presents a newer thrash sound for Exodus with an older style attitude mixed in.
Too bad the guitars are a little too heavy for the writing but its older style mix is a little too hard not to like. Songs to check out: Raze, Deathamphetamine, 44 Magnum Opus. There have always been two elements that made Exodus one of the greater classic eighties thrash bands. First of all of course the riffs. Mr Gary Holt has his own definite style within the boundaries of the genre.
Secondly and equally important, characteristic vocals! You may think whatever you must about Baloff and Zetro. They both had their own individual sound. And a characteristic vocalist is something you needed to get your own own face in the scene and to put the icing on the cake. Exodus want to be and want to be called a thrash metal band. Because that is what they once were and what made them famous.
Therefor everything they write and release will of course be compared to their best material from the classic eighties thrash metal period. Simply because they are not that catchy. Just like punk, if thrash metal sounds too clean, it simply sounds unconvincing. Thrash metal must have a thrash metal attitude and atmosphere surrounding it. This is lacking since the production has a certain surgical tightness and sterilised sound.
Anyway, considering the above, it still could have been a decent album. This guy does not look thrash metal, he reeks of groove en nu-metal mediocitry. There can be no such thing as these horrid beards in thrash metal that goes for Kerry King as well! And that is even more painful! Is it bad? Not really…. It is memorable enough? It is plain boring. I get the feeling Exodus were not willing to take the risk of chosing a new characteristic vocalist. Simply because characterictic vocals will always have a big effect on your sound.
A good team without a good forward player might still be good but never score…. Exodus took the supposedly safe path through the middle with a vocalist that sings neither good nor bad and just fills the space. How many times I listened to the album, I could not find nor remember any charateristics in his sound. He simply does not stand out! He just screams his way through the album just for the sake of having some words on it. This man sounds so bloody average he should never be allowed to sing for a major league thrash metal band again.
So you see, three elements that wreck what could have been a great album. What a shame. Clearly, some people didn't get the comeback they wanted with Tempo of the Damned, so Exodus promised that Shovel-Headed Kill Machine would up the ante on attitude and brutality. It certainly does that, but it does have its drawbacks. There's the lingering question of whether Exodus should throw in the towel at this point or not; if you were to judge based solely on this album, the answer would be "Hell no!
They're just getting started! I'll start by saying that the aggression has made a big comeback to the band's sound. Maybe not in a way we were expecting, but it beats the passive nature of Tempo of the Damned. There are plenty of rapid-fire assaults powered by Paul Bostaph's powerhouse drumming and charging guitar lines, but there are also the dirty, mid-paced and snide mid-paced songs as well.
This, however, is where the album fails in some aspects. Songs like "Altered Boy," while certainly catchy, push the limits of how far these things can be pushed before walking a fine line of tedious songwriting and the rehashing of ideas.
The fairly predictable song formulas don't help matters; each song, even the barnburning numbers, follow a typical thrash formula: intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, chorus, etc. Occasionally the intro riffs are repeated at later points, which only gives listeners a sense of, "When the HELL will this song be finished?
Unfortunately, Gary Holt got a little too ambitious in his writing and had the grand idea that he could compose an Exodus album with the epic scope of And Justice for All. Anger, anyone? With this aside, the core of each song is a huge step up from Tempo of the Damned.
Gary's riffs and solos are some of the meanest he's composed in years, and the chemistry of the band is ten times tighter than anything we've seen from the band. Songs like "Going Going Gone" and "Now Thy Death Day Come" are where the band truly shine with skull-bashing palm-muted riffs, shredding leads, and machine-gun double bass.
Some moments hearken to more old-school territory, such as "Shudder to Think," but the majority of the work done here is the new and fierce face of Exodus. Paul's drumming once again proves him to be a thrashing machine, as seen on the mile-a-minute title track. Rob's introduction to the band helps bring back the snide and crass edge to the vocals, but also brings degree of brutality to the sound. His rough, gutteral shouts beat out the old-school vocals in attitude, even though he tries out some clean vocals every now and then.
Unfortunately, his performance is somewhat brought down by Gary's cheesy lyrics. It seems like Gary tried to recapture the essence of the old-school Exodus in the lyrics, but it comes off as nothing more than juvenile tough-guy talk. Exodus need to be a fucking thrash band, not some twats delivering politically correct messages.
Hell, most of the lyrics are downright laughable. Fortunately, the conviction in the music is enough to cover up for it, and the production on the album is incredible. The guitar tone is massive and thick, with enough treble to cut through the mix.
Paul's drums have a deep, punchy sound to them, but have a modern-day control to them that helps things out in the long run. The bass has the signature Exodus sound; sharp and clear, without losing the grit it needs to maintain the nature of everything. If you can deal with the more boring moments of the album and the slight cheese factors, Shovel-Headed Kill Machine is mean and ferocious as hell. Like several other "legendary" bands, my first experience with Exodus was when they released a new album, that being "Shovel-Headed Kill Machine.
This belief actually led me to putting off purchasing the older Exodus albums because I assumed that they were all this bad I later heard some old Souza and Baloff material and realized the error of my ways. So why is this album so bad? Several things. The biggest is the production; Andy Sneap mixed the album but the production is handled by Holt, as opposed to "Tempo of the Damned" which was produced by Sneap.
The change in sound is instantly perceptible; the bass is in the forefront, a major gaffe because not only does the bass sound terrible, Jack Gibson does nothing remotely interesting on his instrument. Also, the rhythm guitars are tuned poorly, down-tuned far more than necessary.
Dukes is just too one-dimensional and lacks any sort of personality other than tough-guy yelling. The only two positive aspects of this album are the lead guitar and the drumming. Gary Holt and Lee Altus are spectacular soloists, and pretty much every song contains a lead by both of them. We all know Paul Bostaph from his days doing a fantastic job taking over for Dave Lombardo in Slayer, and here his performance is just as impressive.
His drumming, while fast and technical, also has a sort of spontaneity that is lacking in many other modern drummers. Unfortunately, these two highlights are not enough to justify the purchase of this album.
Download the first two tracks if possible, but save your money for something more worthwhile. It seems like with Tempo, Gary first had to reassure himself that he could still do it before he could accomplish the solid slab of Thrash that is Shovel. The new album simply sounds tighter and more self-confident, whereas Tempo often sounded a bit too restrained for my taste and also had some filler material.
There are no actual weak songs on Shovel, everything sounds very homogeneous from start to finish. Anyway, the extra speed and ferocity easily make up for the lack of catchiness. The production is yet again very crisp and heavy, although I do have a minor bone to pick with the guitars — they sound a bit too low, a bit too down-tuned for my taste.
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|Shovel headed kill machine exodus||Foryou can't get much better thrash metal albums, All the 'Big 4' have slowed down, and so did Exodus. The most painful part of this album would have to be the midpaced, groove parts. This, however, is where the album fails in some aspects. I get the feeling Exodus were not willing to take the risk of chosing a new characteristic vocalist. The guy fits like a glove. He has more of a barking style than previous Exodus vocalists and this does lead to a more "modern" thrash sound for the band.|
|Shovel headed kill machine exodus||Also, the rhythm guitars are tuned poorly, down-tuned far more than necessary. Dukes is just too one-dimensional and lacks any sort of personality other than tough-guy yelling. And a characteristic vocalist is something you needed to get your own own face in the scene and to put the icing on the cake. He throws a number of interesting and atypical percussive patterns into the mixing pot, but the final outcome fails to make much of its desired impact due to the plastic-sounding nature of the kit. The bass guitar is very well audible and it goes without saying that it contributes a very heavy element. Write your own review. Other sections of the album are a little harder to keep around, like the Dukes-driven dropout verses of "Raze" and the overall mediocre "Karma's Messenger".|
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Shovel Headed Kill Machine is the seventh studio album by the American thrash metal band Exodus, released on October 4, through Nuclear Blast. This album generates speed with unbelievable drums and screaming voice that expresses anger. You must have this album, is just plain and simple. Raze is my. Explore the tracklist, credits, statistics, and more for Shovel Headed Kill Machine by Exodus. Compare versions and buy on Discogs.