Rating:
7.8
Exodus - The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A
23 October 2007


01. A Call To Arms
02. Riot Act
03. Funeral Hymn
04. Children Of A Worthless God
05. As It Was, As It Soon Shall Be
06. The Atrocity Exhibition
07. Iconoclasm
08. The Garden Of Bleeding
09. Bedlam 123


The mighty thrash juggernaut Exodus is back after two years with the first of the two planned "The Atrocity Exhibition" albums, "Exhibit A" and they are here to take no prisoners and make no friends. Exodus has always been about thrash metal, but since the return of these monsters of the genre in 2004 with "Tempo Of The Damned" they have been going from strength to strength as thrash metal rises in popularity once more.

"Exhibit A" launches properly with "Riot Act" and an astounding, razor sharp guitar riff like you have never heard before slices through your ears in true Exodus style. This is as sharp as guitar playing gets, each riff sounding like a razor blade cutting through steel. Fast paced, pounding drums, thundering bass guitar and the howls of Rob Dukes on vocals. The last three years have not been the easiest for Exodus, band member changes always seem to follow the band, but the thing with Exodus is that they keep going just the same as they always have, seemingly regardless of the members. The title track "The Atrocity Exhibition" possesses an almost haunting riff reminiscent of what people would associate with the "devil's music" this is really unlike any sound Exodus have made before. The three tracks after this demonic statement are also three of the best on this modern thrash opus.

Track lengths have grown and grown with Exodus, on an album with eight songs - five of them weigh in at a hefty eight minutes or longer which of course is a great thing if the tracks stay interesting, always have something going on in them and are sure to keep your attention. Unfortunately this is not exactly the case with this offering. "Riot Act", the title track and tracks after that are great songs - the album has its fair share of numbers that will impress, but also it has its share of songs that will leave the listener wishing the band would just pick up the aggression like we know they can do so well. "Funeral Hymn" and "Children Of A Worthless God" are both long songs and together are a significant chunk of the album, yet neither seem particularly inspired or are as extreme as we know Exodus can be. This is off-putting but if you can stay awake through the calm after the original "Riot Act" storm, the reward, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, certainly come towards the end of the album.

Produced by Andy Sneap we know this album will sound good, but the production and sound of the guitars on this album are seismic, probably the sharpest album I have ever heard. Another thing that never fails to disappoint with an Exodus album is Jack Gibson always finding ways of getting his bass guitar heard among the oratory, guitar and drumming assault. This album could not have been produced better.

"The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A" is a fabulous album of galloping, thundering thrash metal in true Exodus style and a good edition to the Exodus catalogue. It may have its placid moments, but this album also has its moments of sheer thrash attack. Alas you cannot help but wonder how much of a classic album it would have been if they had used the best tracks from "Exhibit A" and "Exhibit B" just for one single album. Still, the Exodus juggernaut continues to roll, crushing everything it its path.


Band profile: Exodus
Album: The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A


 



Written on 23.10.2007 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››



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Lucas - 23.10.2007 at 20:43  
Should be interesting, I'm going to check it out.
Queen Of Hippies - 23.10.2007 at 20:56  
Good review, nothing more to say.
Opium - 23.10.2007 at 21:18  
Written by Guest on 23.10.2007 at 20:56

Good review, nothing more to say.

Hmm, don't you think this review seems slightly exaggerated at some points? While he does describe how the band sounds, it seems like many reviews I come across about the band's sound being 'this and that', when it really isn't or at least to the point that they describe it...

I shall check it out anyway and make up my own mind, although I don't think this review will help with my expectations.
Passenger - 24.10.2007 at 01:05  
They seem to be covering very familiar terrain, I may be wrong because I didn't gave it that much time to sink in, but it sounds exactly like the previous album, only less catchy. It's still very well produced, raw and there are definitely some great riffs and solos, and Exodus is not one of those bands I want to see doing something different, they're great doing exactly what they do, but I'd place Tempo Of The Damned and Shovel Headed Kill Machine above this one.
Syk - 24.10.2007 at 03:33  
This album has been streamable from beginning to end for at least a week I listened to it like ten times! Their myspace has been changed now that the album is out properly but you can still listen to a bunch of songs from it.

Riot Act is the only really good song here (now happily ingrained in my brain), Iconoclasm is also fairly good and then my next favourite, the title track, is only good for half its duration. I thought Bedlam was bad to mediocre while Soon and Garden are just awful.

The lyrics are pretty shit too, with Act's early backing-less scream of "(something) COUP D'ETAT!" being the only highlight I can remember. "I never gave an expletive about the Middle East" is just one of the lowlights...

Baz is right about the production being strong but the unspiration of the riffs means it doesn't count for so much. Good review I guess, if a bit too positive


Oh yeah I forgot one thing... I was seriously disturbed by the (although minimal) use of clean vocals. That, combined with the massive groove factor makes it sound way too much like Machine Head or Trivium, which is never a good thing
HardSide - 24.10.2007 at 03:47  
So why the 7.8 if the review suggests its such a good album?
GT - 24.10.2007 at 10:17  
After reading the review I got the feeling the rating wasn't fair...the general atmosphere of the review is very positive so I was thinking 8.5-9 the whole time. After listening to the album though I agree with the given rating (might rate it a little lower myself). It has some really good songs but also some boring and uninspiring ones.

Favorite tracks: Riot Act and Children Of A Worthless God
Sunioj - 24.10.2007 at 16:37  
Its a great album alrite, just some of the songs are just long as hell. Fair rating I'd say, and Children Of A Worthless God is a great song, that is true.
DreamWeaver - 24.10.2007 at 20:08  
Written by HardSide on 24.10.2007 at 03:47

So why the 7.8 if the review suggests its such a good album?


7.8 is a good rating.
Lucas - 24.10.2007 at 20:10  
Written by HardSide on 24.10.2007 at 03:47

So why the 7.8 if the review suggests its such a good album?


Because a 7.8 is close to an 8, which means 'very good'.
BitterCOld - 24.10.2007 at 20:37  
Written by HardSide on 24.10.2007 at 03:47

So why the 7.8 if the review suggests its such a good album?


1. Worst. Album Ever
2. Pure Shit
3. Very Bad
4. Bad
5. Not Bad
6. Average
7. Good
8. Very Good
9. Brilliant
10. Perfect

How is an album rating between "Good" and "Very Good", leaning towards "Very Good" not an appropriate score?

Too many people at MS overinflate ratings. Too many people dole out 9's and 10's like AOL discs. The bands themselves that read reviews on sites like this or in mags have expressed that they are cool with reviews chock full of positive comments with scores in the 7-8 range.

Here's some reality for people: NOt every good album is a 9 or 10, and not every mediocre album is a 1-2.
Ereinion' - 25.10.2007 at 12:56  
good review and the grade is fair

The thing i like the most with this album are the 8min long songs you really don't hear that often with thrash metal.
Inlé - 25.10.2007 at 15:30  
Nice review, I need to try this album out at some point over the day. Long songs are ok if your attention is kept up throughout. But it sounds like a pretty good album from what you say
okt31 - 26.10.2007 at 20:25  
Fair enough, this album is at times excellent, at times too modern for my taste. The melodic vocals in CHildren... don't fit, it reminds me of metalcore.
The mark is right, I'd say the same, around 8/10.
Sunioj - 27.10.2007 at 03:13  
Written by Guest on 26.10.2007 at 20:25

Fair enough, this album is at times excellent, at times too modern for my taste. The melodic vocals in CHildren... don't fit, it reminds me of metalcore.


I also think that it remind me of core. But thats just fine with me since alot of thrash bands is influenced by core elements. Its all good.
Cannibal Den - 27.10.2007 at 21:06  
Well damn...sorry for my positivity, but i personally think this is the best album of the year 2007!! i just can't stop listening to it ! Agreed, it does'nt break any new grounds or anything, but man that is some sweet metal!!!!!

All tracks are excellent (exept iconoclasts) pure unadulterated in your face metal...I can't wait for Exhibit B!

Thank god Thrash metal is making a comeback...Exodus still rule even 20 years in the game!!
ParabelluM - 01.11.2007 at 23:13  
I checked out that album and it kicks ass!! I'm following exodus like 14 years ago, and they will come again to argentina. He who like exodus will crush down here and go to see them live. I actually have my ticket here!!
Blood Work - 04.11.2007 at 12:29  
Just got the album and The Atrocity Exhibition grab my attention from the start. I love A Call to Arms, the intro is awsum, however I think the album dies in the end but even still 7.8 is a deserved score. Hope Exhibit B will be a bit better.
Marcel Hubregtse - 08.11.2007 at 22:25  
No mention of the hidden track at the end of the album?
A hillbilly version of Bonded By Blood which the band calls Bonded By Bnajo.
Fairëalkon - 19.11.2007 at 00:12  
This album is very good, but it doesn't show what Exodus can do!
Kincaid - 01.12.2007 at 07:31  
Written by Guest on 27.10.2007 at 21:06

Well damn...sorry for my positivity, but i personally think this is the best album of the year 2007!! i just can't stop listening to it ! Agreed, it does'nt break any new grounds or anything, but man that is some sweet metal!!!!!

All tracks are excellent (exept iconoclasts) pure unadulterated in your face metal...I can't wait for Exhibit B!

Thank god Thrash metal is making a comeback...Exodus still rule even 20 years in the game!!


i totally agree what you think man... seriously this album is the best of 2007 and it has a really important place in the metal history IMO. and for the children of the worthless god, it is the best song of the album with the atrocity exhibition and no fucking way it has any core influence.
yorgenson - 02.12.2007 at 11:25  
I already I heard the new album and he is not bad,What I didn't love this
all the songs in the albom is so long And this starts to be tedious but
The album really rhythmical.
DoomGuard - 16.01.2008 at 06:51  
great lyrics, great guitar, great vocals...an amazing album all around...can't wait to see them in 10 days

Bought this album just to see how these guys follow up with the SHKM album that was a masterpiece in itself
Infurnace - 16.01.2008 at 21:15  
One of my favorite albums of 2007. It contains some of the best Exodus songs i've ever heard. "Children Of A Worthless God" is one of my favorites.
Nicko's Nose - 15.07.2009 at 01:20  
It's an awesome album. It doesn't deserve all of the negative reviews (check The Metal Archives).
Senor Thrash - 10.08.2009 at 23:19  
'neither seem particularly inspired or are as extreme as we know Exodus can be. This is off-putting but if you can stay awake through the calm'

What are you talkin about? These are 2 of the best songs on the album and children is one of the best songs i've heard in ages!

They might not be as extreme as other exodus but they're still sweet songs!
Angelic Storm - 12.04.2010 at 14:02  
I was very disappointed with this album when I heard it. After the modern time thrash classic "Tempo Of The Damned", and the not quite as good, but still great SHKM, I had high expectations for "Exhibit A". Id rate the album a bit lower than the reviewer, a 6, or maybe a 7 if I was feeling very generous. I also dont agree about "Children Of A Worthless God" being one of the weakest on the album. For me, it is definitely one of the strongest, and the fact it's more melodic and Rob actually sings in it makes it stand out. When most of the other songs feature interchangable, and unmemorable riffs. "Riot Act". "Children Of A Worthless God", and the title track are all amazing songs. But the rest just didnt stick with me at all. Despite this, I have very high hopes for "Exhibit B", as the 2 songs Ive heard have been awesome. And I heard a bit of ''Beyond The Pale'' as well, which also sounds great!
Marcel Hubregtse - 13.04.2010 at 13:55  
Written by Angelic Storm on 12.04.2010 at 14:02

I was very disappointed with this album when I heard it. After the modern time thrash classic "Tempo Of The Damned", and the not quite as good, but still great SHKM, I had high expectations for "Exhibit A". Id rate the album a bit lower than the reviewer, a 6, or maybe a 7 if I was feeling very generous. I also dont agree about "Children Of A Worthless God" being one of the weakest on the album. For me, it is definitely one of the strongest, and the fact it's more melodic and Rob actually sings in it makes it stand out. When most of the other songs feature interchangable, and unmemorable riffs. "Riot Act". "Children Of A Worthless God", and the title track are all amazing songs. But the rest just didnt stick with me at all. Despite this, I have very high hopes for "Exhibit B", as the 2 songs Ive heard have been awesome. And I heard a bit of ''Beyond The Pale'' as well, which also sounds great!


I almost agree 100% with you. Except for the part on SHKM. I find that one even more boring and pedestrian than Exhibit A. And to me Children Of A wWorthless God is the highlight of the album as well. But of course , like you said, Tempo Of The Damned is still THE modern day thrash classic.
Angelic Storm - 13.04.2010 at 15:45  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.04.2010 at 13:55
I almost agree 100% with you. Except for the part on SHKM. I find that one even more boring and pedestrian than Exhibit A. And to me Children Of A wWorthless God is the highlight of the album as well. But of course , like you said, Tempo Of The Damned is still THE modern day thrash classic.


Hmm...I find SHKM better than Exhibit A, because I think the songs sound more individual, Aside from the 3 songs I mentioned, (and ''As It Was...") all the songs on Exhibit A sound more or less the same, there's no variation. For me, the worst song on SHKM is '' '44 Magnum Opus'', being that is totally unmemorable, and is just brutal for being brutal's sake. The fact the song is also long, does it no favours at all. Most of the songs on Exhibit A I find very similar stylistically to that song, and that's why I don't like them much. Out of those songs, only "Funeral Hymn" actually has the potential to be a very good song, but it's too long, especially it's dull intro. And ''As It Was, As It Soon Shall Be" sounds like an inferior copy of ''Shudder To Think" from SHKM. The length of the songs on its own isnt the problem. The title track is the longest song on the album, and its awesome! "Children...." is also a long song, which also happens to be my fave song on the album. But the longer a song is, the more it has to do to hold my attention, and most of the songs sound too identikit, with boring riffs to even be great short songs, let alone long songs!

Yeah well, with ''Tempo...'' they really set the standard for thrash in the modern era. Being one of the very few modern day albums that is actually worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as classic thrash albums of the 80's. I find the problem with the album's since then, is Gary is trying too hard to make the music more "brutal'' and as a result, the material overall is suffering. Gary has said that the new album is more melodic than the previous 2, and that, coupled with what I have heard from it gives me a lot of hope it will be a great album. Certainly the best with Rob Dukes on the mic! Whether it can match ''Tempo...'' though remains to be seen.
Marcel Hubregtse - 13.04.2010 at 16:26  
Written by Angelic Storm on 13.04.2010 at 15:45

Yeah well, with ''Tempo...'' they really set the standard for thrash in the modern era. Being one of the very few modern day albums that is actually worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as classic thrash albums of the 80's. I find the problem with the album's since then, is Gary is trying too hard to make the music more "brutal'' and as a result, the material overall is suffering. Gary has said that the new album is more melodic than the previous 2, and that, coupled with what I have heard from it gives me a lot of hope it will be a great album. Certainly the best with Rob Dukes on the mic! Whether it can match ''Tempo...'' though remains to be seen.


Yep, that is the problem with current Exodus that Gary tries to be brutal for brutality's sake (which was the biggest problem with SHKM). Exodus was never really about the brutality but always more about the melody. That is why both Tempo Of The Damned and especially Bonded By Blood are my favs, cause of the melodies on those two.. Just listen to live favourite And Then There Were None (especially the chorus), Metal Command, A Lesson In Violence. Many people blame Dukes for the current sound. But that is just pathetic cause Holt is the main cmposer and Dukes actually sounds a lot like a cross between Zetro and Baloff and not at all as the hardcore shouter people make him out to be.
Dangerboner - 13.04.2010 at 16:37  
The songs on this album are just too pointlessly long (kinda like the newest Metallica), and they sound horribly boring live. Maybe if they sped things up and shortened the songs I'd like it more

Tempo is awesome, but the fact that every song is the same pace makes it drag after a while for me

I don't mind Dukes at all, besides him being an annoying douche live
Marcel Hubregtse - 13.04.2010 at 17:22  
Written by Dangerboner on 13.04.2010 at 16:37

I don't mind Dukes at all, besides him being an annoying douche live


I didn't find him a douche live at all. But then again it might have helped that he had to throw up in a waste disposal basket due to the combination of Dutch weed and shoarma with loads of garlic sauce Although he did look pale before and after throwing up he did give it his all at the time. But then again that was their Double Live Dynamo DVD presentation at the Dynamo Club.
But even there they played way too many songs off Exhibit A and Shovel Headed Kill Machine which dragged on for ages. Damn they should had just played really old stuff that gig due to the fact it was the dvd presentation. Ah well they were as tight as a duck's ass and really fired on all cilinders so there wasn't too much too complain.
Angelic Storm - 13.04.2010 at 17:49  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.04.2010 at 16:26
Yep, that is the problem with current Exodus that Gary tries to be brutal for brutality's sake (which was the biggest problem with SHKM). Exodus was never really about the brutality but always more about the melody. That is why both Tempo Of The Damned and especially Bonded By Blood are my favs, cause of the melodies on those two.. Just listen to live favourite And Then There Were None (especially the chorus), Metal Command, A Lesson In Violence. Many people blame Dukes for the current sound. But that is just pathetic cause Holt is the main cmposer and Dukes actually sounds a lot like a cross between Zetro and Baloff and not at all as the hardcore shouter people make him out to be.


Yep, the 80's Exodus was very thrashy, but also had a lot of melody in it. Because of that, the songs sounded very individual, unlike a lot of Exodus's recent material. Even a lot of their pure thrash songs like ''Parasite'' have great melodies in them. Not to mention the slower songs like ''Til Death Do Us Part". Rick Hunolt also had a lot of melody in his solos. Oh, I know a lot of people blame Rob Dukes for how they sound now, which is very unfair, as it is the music that is the main problem. And only Gary can be blamed for that, as he is the main composer of it. For me, Zetro is Exodus' best vocalist. He just suits the band so well! But Rob does a good job. I thought on SHKM there was obvious hints of Zetro's style in his voice, which was a good move on Rob's part! On "Let There Be Blood", he imitated Paul a lot, which again, was a great thing. I agree with Dangerboner about his stage prescence, he is a bit ''hardcorish'', saying ''motherfucker'' in almost every sentence and seems to keep trying to be in ''tough guy'' mode all the time! But vocally, I think Exodus could have done a lot worse, I like him for sure! xD

@Dangerboner: I dunno why you'd find Tempo hard to listen to cos its all ''one pace''. There's some mid-paced and slower songs on there too! Like ''Blacklist'' and ''Shroud Of Urine''. The latter also has some great melodic parts in it! I really love Tempo, I really dont think they could have made a better or more spectacular comeback. I definitely class it among their best albums!
JohnDoe - 05.01.2012 at 03:16  
Good album, but Tempo... and Shovel... are much better.
John Shock - 29.11.2012 at 22:01  
Really? Nobody talks about Iconoclasm? Fuck...i'm really sad because i have no one to share my feelings about this song! \m/ for me, it's really amazing, and it's my cellphone ringtone it's scares the shit out, on most of the people who's near me and my cellphone starts to ring!

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