Sound — 10
In the late '80s, Exodus was one of the leading thrash metal bands that fueled the genre, even well into the mid '90s. They were one of the biggest thrash metal bands around, and their comeback album, Tempo Of The Damned only further proved their ability to carry the torch of thrash metal into the 21st century. Few thrash bands are still alive and kicking, and Exodus is a prime example of one of those bands. In their time, they have gone through various lineup changes, and their second orignal vocalist, Steve Souza returns to the band for this recording, proving it to be a classic album. This album shows just enough progression and innovation while keeping an original thrash sound. Tempo Of The Damned would not have been created if not for the tragic death of early Exodus vocalist Paul Baloff, in 2002, which reunited Souza with the band for tribute concerts. After some delaying, they began working on this fine album. Typical thrash stylings are presented well in this album, while the stylings are still able to stand up against newer metal bands which they have influenced. The opening track, a politcally charged anthem, Scar Spangled Banner fuels the fire that is heavy riffs with extremley fast thrashing action. Rick Hunolt and Gary Holt share shredding fast solos and intricitley placed riffing between choruses and verses that really accentuate the message the band is making. War is my Shepard seems to be another politically charged tune this time focusing on war and violence. Blacklist is a hate fueled theme to killing, which shows Souza's ability to scream and screech just like in the old days of thrash, as in Shroud of Urine, another hate charged song. Foward March, Culling the Herd, and Throwing Down seemilingly have similar messages as well, while Sealed With a Fist explains the antics of a bad marriage. Impaler and Tempo Of The Damned are extreme on a differnet level, sounding more epic and heavy. This is an excellent line of songs. For a band that hasn't recorded new material since 1992, this is an excellent sounding album.
Lyrics — 8
Overall, the lyrics on the album are wonderfully foul and vioent, fun to listen to, and easy to remember! Souza sings about hatred, politics, government, hatred FOR politics and government, violnet relationships, and torture, all with his own style of foul flare of screeching and screaming with the essence of thrashing metal in his shreeking voice. The music fits niceley, especially the furiously fast, ripping solos and lightning precision riffs. The lyrics go hand in hand with this kind of metal, and they create and old fashioned feeling with the anger and sometimes humorous ways of bringing across the band's message. Souza is one of the best at the shreaking stylings of his vocals, which is evident in many of the songs on this album like Blacklist, Impaler and Culling The Herd. Songs like Throwing Down express Steve's versitility in his vocals, but after awhile of listening to this album, you may find the vocal styles to be less awesome and more annoying shreaking dosen't go over with everyone and to some, myslef included, Souza may sound like an angry dwarf after awhile, intentional or not but that aside, the lyrics he sings and the music played in compliance is a good combination.
Overall Impression — 8
I would compare this album to other Exodus classics and certanly anything in the Anthrax catalog, as well as Overkill's The Years Of Decay as another thrash classic. The album's soloing and musical patterns are what impresses me most on this album, Impaler and Tempo Of The Damned are the best songs, because they are differnet from the rest of the album. I would probably buy this album again if it were lost. Overall, a good thrash album, period.