Exodus gained fame and clout for their highly aggressive lyrical and musical approach. Hailed as thrash heroes in the Bay Area, the band emerged in the early 1980s alongside Death Angel, Testament, Possessed, and Metallica. Surprisingly, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett started his career as a member of Exodus.
Considered scene pioneers, the band found additional success with Bonded by Blood, their influential 1985 debut. The band is also hailed for their equally impressive third effort Fabulous Disaster. Unfortunately, the band’s popularity waned when grunge became the rave in the early ‘90s.
After regrouping in 2001, Gary Holt, the group’s longest-tenured member, took charge. The band released a string of highly regarded LPs, including 2005’s Shovel Headed Kill Machine and 2014’s Blood In, Blood Out. To date, the latter is the band’s highest-charting album.
The band released Bonded by Thrash: Live in San Francisco 1990 and returned to record Persona Non Grata after. The album was released in 2021. Exodus was formed in 1979 by guitarists Kirk Hammett and Gary Holt, drummer Tom Hunting, bassist Geoff Andrews, and vocalist Paul Baloff.
Heavily influenced by Raven, Iron Maiden, and Motorhead, the band quickly became Bay Area’s thrash metal champions. After several lineup changes, the band released Pleasures of the Flesh in 1987. After incessant touring, the band released Fabulous Disaster. It also brought the group commercial success.
A decade after his departure, Baloff rejoined the band for a series of gigs in 1997. To memorialize their San Francisco homecoming show, Another Lesson in Violence, a live album was released. The band continued to tour for several years until the death of Baloff on February 2, 2002.
With Gary Holt in charge, the band stayed together and worked on the thrash-fest album, Tempo of the Damned. The album is the band’s seventh and was released in 2004. While it did not fare well commercially, it was met with critical acclaim. It also helped establish the band’s rightful place in the thrash metal scene.