Album Review – Exodus – Persona Non Grata
All the riffs all of the time, constantly, everywhere, relentlessly. Basically, this record is an absolute riff-fest of epic proportions to the point it’s quite ridiculous. Yet, I’m not entirely mad about it. This record completely blows your face off and that is something Exodus have always exceeded at.
As well as being an insanely talented Thrash metal band, Exodus are also known for pushing the boundaries of human existence by shining a massive spotlight on various uncomfortable topics and subjects from mass shootings to the Nanjing Massacre. They don’t hesitate to force you to stare evil in the eye. Even this record touches on the horrific Thalidomide Scandal in the track ‘Prescribing Horror.’ Compared to its predecessors, it’s mid-paced, sinister and has very heavy Slayer influences (no doubt thanks to Gary Holt’s time with the aforementioned band).
The opener does not hold back. The title track is energetic, vigorous, and basically demonstrates the malevolent theme for the entirety of the record. At an hour long, no one track is out of place, however the constant riffage (as much as I enjoy a good riff) can get ever so slightly monotonous. Nevertheless, the band have set out to make a statement and they have done just that.
‘Slipping Into Madness’ stands out from the other tracks with its catchy, almost groove-metal hooks and drum beats; this is my favourite from the record. It caught my attention quite abruptly and stopped me in my tracks whilst making an involuntary “oooooooh” noise. This is an atmospheric, adrenaline-charged crowd-chanter with the added bonus of lightning-fast riffing and seething solos.
The drums are aggressive, the vocals are deranged, and the riffs are absolutely endless throughout every single track. Exodus have proven once again that they still have what it takes. Earlier on in the year, Anthrax’s Scott Ian referred to Exodus as one of ‘The Big 5’ of the Thrash Metal world and I have to say I completely agree. I love this album and completely vibe with it. This is a strong contender for my Album of the Year list, and I give it an 8.5/10.
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