Like fellow Bay Area thrashers Death Angel, Exodus have been a frequent guest here during the first decade of Alcatraz Festival but we haven’t caught up with them since 2016. Like no other, Exodus embody the reason why this festival came into existence: our love of thrash music.
Naturally the late Paul Baloff will forever be tied in with the early history of one of the Bay Area’s most legendary bands. In the mid-80s, their phenomenal debut ‘Bonded by Blood’ briefly puts them on a par with Metallica. Fronted by Gary Holt, the Californian metallers are one of the pioneering bands on the Bay Area thrash scene. Baloff is fired prior to the recording of their sophomore effort but his replacement Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza makes an indelible impression on ‘Pleasures of the Flesh’ (1987) and ‘Fabulous Disaster’ (1989) with his snide, venomous vocal style. The nineties are a time of turmoil for Exodus but ‘Tempo of the Damned’ (2004) marks the start of a decade that sees them recording on a regular basis again. The quality of their output during this period is testament to Gary Holt’s songwriting talent but Exodus fans hold their breath when Holt is eventually asked to join Slayer on a permanent basis following the demise of Jeff Hanneman. No worries though, Exodus continue to tour and with ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ (2014) they even put out a new album. In the years that follow no new material is added to the Exodus catalogue but when Slayer pulls the plug in 2019 the time has come for Holt to focus on Exodus full-time again. The new album is tentatively scheduled for a 2021 release and we are obviously looking forward to welcoming them at the start of their fifth decade as one of the most influential thrash bands ever.