Review

Fully 23 years after Exodus' classic debut, Bonded by Blood, the band tackles those songs again. It's uncertain whether this group should even be called Exodus, as only two members, guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Tom Hunting, remain from the original lineup. This remake smells like a cash-in, even though the current incarnation of Exodus still makes energetic, ambitious records. Intentions aside, the results are solid. The biggest surprise is vocalist Rob Dukes, a non-factor on his two records with Exodus thus far. Obviously taking cues from the histrionics of original vocalist Paul Baloff, Dukes transcends his usual facelessness. Though Holt lacks his classic six-string foil Rick Hunolt, Lee Altus (Angel Witch, Heathen) is a more than able replacement. In fact, the guitars are pretty much flawless. Hunting, too, sounds nothing like the white-knuckled ride of yore, instead turning in a disciplined performance. Such perfection is both the strong suit and downfall of this record. On one hand, the monstrous production and tight attack give the songs a heft they never had. On the other hand, the perfectly compressed sound and tick-tock precision strip the songs of the wild, wiry charm they once had. Let There Be Blood does exactly as advertised, recasting Bonded by Blood in 2008 -- nothing more and nothing less. ~ Cosmo Lee, Rovi

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