Steve Souza Returns to Exodus, Set to Start New Album Recording This Week

Rob Dukes "bummed, but grateful" for spending nine years in the band.

Ultimate Guitar

Thrash metal pioneers Exodus have announced the return of their longtime vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza, confirming they are also parting ways with singer Rob Dukes.

Souza fronted the band from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004, appearing on a total of five studio records.

"As a band, we all had to make a very difficult choice to part ways with Rob Dukes," guitarist Gary Holt noted in the official statement. "We have nothing but love and admiration for him and the deepest gratitude for the hard work he has put in and the great work on some killer records. But at this time, Tom, Lee, Jack and myself thought a change was necessary and the unanimous choice going forward was to welcome back Steve Souza to the fold!"

Further praising Dukes, Holt added, "I have had the honor of watching Rob go from unknown guitar tech to awesome singer and frontman and could not be prouder, and his future is bright as f--k, that's for sure. It doesn't end here. The world will see plenty more from Rob, this much I will bank on. But as for the new Exodus record, it is still in full swing."

Focusing on Zetro's involvement in the studio, the guitarist continued, "Steve will start recording vocals on Wednesday and the small sampling I have of him on the new songs is f--king amazing. His best s--t ever is coming. Be prepared, it's going to kill."

As for Dukes, the singer has issued an official statement via Blabbermouth, expressing both sadness and gratitude, as well as noting that he will focus on his band Generation Kill and riding motorcycles.

"I'm grateful for the last nine years," he said. "I've had the experience of touring the world playing music. I was just a regular guy, a fan, and I got the chance to front a legendary band while [having had] no prior experience of being a singer. I had no idea what I was doing and made it up as I was going along.

"I had the experience of making records. It was a great chapter of my life. I'm bummed it ended with Exodus, but I have another band, Generation Kill. So I will concentrate on that right now and continue to build hotrods and build a car to race in the Baja 1000. I will be riding my motorcycle all over this beautiful country every chance I get. That's the next chapter of my life."

As far as the Exodus album goes, no specific release details have been revealed, although the band did previously stress that they will "find a way to make it happen in 2014."

35 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Call me crazy but tempo of the damned is easily a top 3 exodus album for me. Maybe even my favorite
    Now let's hope for a Tempo Of The Damned Part II, people can cry about the lyrics all they want but no one can deny that it's one of the best comeback albums ever.Every song slays and Gary Holt is a thrash god. Souza always reminded me as a more brutal version of Brian Johnson. I'm so fkn excited for this
    Why can't a band member's departure always be as classy as this? People stigmatize metal to no end, but Exodus has displayed nothing but class here.
    The thing is that Rob Dukes is a fan of Exodus. He respects the band, he knows its better to see Exodus with Souza than with him. If you ever miss Rob Dukes vocals, just go hear "Generation Kill", Its not as good as Exodus but it's something.
    Tempo of the Damned is my favourite Exodus album, if the new one sounds anything like it, it's going to be the best thrash album of thee year by a mile. Eat your hearts out Metallica/Megadeth/Slayer! Great news \m/
    Testament is supposed to release an album this year as well. Looks to be a good year so far though!
    Agent 00Awesome
    And don't forget Overkill! Year of the ****in' THRASH! \m/
    Yes! Don't know how I forgot that Overkill was releasing new music too. I'm glad these bands are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Metallica in their heyday were obviously awesome, but they completely overshadowed bands like Testament, Exodus and Overkill. Those three bands have always put out good quality material, and they're still kicking ass. I'll even go as far as saying they're releasing much better music than Metallica (sorry Metallica fanboys).
    You don't have to be sorry man. We Metallica fanboys also love Exodus, Testament and Overkill. Credit is given where its due.
    I am really looking forward to this album now.No offence to Rob D. but Steve is the right choice
    I can't be the only one who thinks this is a dumb moove?
    I'm with you. Dukes fits really well on those three albums he was on. Especially exhibit A and B.
    I love every Exodus album. Paul Rob and Steve are all awesome Steve for this unique voice Rob was a great front man and had good and heavy voiceAnd Paul (RIP) He might not be the best singer. But he was an amazing front man and he loved metal so much and being in a band. That really showed up in their live shows. I am looking forward to this new era with Steve and i am looking forward to the new album. And i will likely waste to mutch money to get all the different vinyl's
    Agent 00Awesome
    Honestly I'm a bit disappointed, yet excited at the same time. I love the records that Rob did with Exodus and I'll definitely miss him. But there's no denying that Zetro kicks major ass.
    Sweet. Seen them a bunch of times with Dukes. Riffs and shit will still be there. I'll keep supporting them anytime they come my way.
    Well this is a surprise a good one well not for Rob dukes. Rob was great for the band and I love the album's they did with him, he was also great live. That being said I can't hide my excitement for the new record with Steve back in exodus. Zetro is the shit. Can't wait for this album Exodus is thrash!
    Am I the only one who likes Rob better as a vocalist? Exhibit B is my favorite Exodus album, hands down.
    I don't agree with this move. I thought Dukes was great and Exhibit B was a great album.
    I'm a Bay Area, old-school Exodus fan. I've seen all of the singers up close in clubs. Paul was the architect (the best). Zetro and his unique voice was this shit too. Rob was perfect for the albums he recorded. It'll be nice to hear 'War is My Shepard' with Steve behind the mic. But damn, new classics like 'Downfall' and especially the epic 'Funeral Hymn', will be interesting with Steve back in the fold.
    This is spectacular news!! But whats gonna happen to Hatriot? is it on hold or will zetro be replaced?
    Zetro is still in Hatriot and will continue to focus on Hatriot, as well of course focusing on Exodus.
    Exodus are truly the pioneers of thrash metal IMO because they NEVER sold out, not even once.
    Selling out isn't a bad thing. At all.
    I wouldn't say any of those bands sold out, but selling out is bad. Selling out doesn't necessarily mean you changed your sound, and changing your sound doesn't mean you sold out. But betraying your convictions and integrity for money is never a good thing, and that's what selling out is. I really hate the late 90s output of every single one of those bands. Because they sold out? Not at all. I think they were being honest to influences they always had. I also think they're poor imitations of good hard rock, and definitely ill advised. If a thrash band wants to play rock, they should maintain a similar quality, and that flat out isn't the case. What you consider better I would consider very timid, safe rock. They might have taken chances to play it in the first place, but they certain didn't take chances writing it.
    I think what he's saying is exodus has always stayed true to their thrash roots and never once tried appealing to a more popular audience, unlike some other bands.
    As long as you stay true to your roots, that's ok, but you also have to explore and be creative, Megadeth, Anthrax and Metallica all did in the late 90's, and I love all the late 90's albums more than the 80's albums.
    Hahahahah "yaaaay Zetro is back Zetro is back" I just want to see everyone's face when Zetro leaves exodus once more after making one or two records with them. Nobody remembers how the hell he left them high and dry back on 04? Oh no wait he is an old exodus member, he can be forgiven. Come on people don't turn the exodus fans into ****ing pseudo metallica fans, Rob was extremely commited with exodus, he contributed with the music a lot, he was perfect for this new chapter of the band, now they just blow him like that, and everyone accepts it like nothing? This kinda reminds me how everyone just laughed at Dan Nelson when he was kicked out from Anthrax out of the blue, but in this case its worse, because now im in the doubt that either Gary is a ****ing idiot or a bastard, couse he is bringing back the guy who turn his back on him in the past, more than once.
    Excellent news but was also hoping for another Tenet album.