EXODUS
"Shovel Headed Tour Machine"

(Nuclear Blast)

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RATING: 9/10

I look at Rob Dukes and I think "now there is a perfect example of a person that looks the part of a band playing this kind of violently world dominant American thrash metal." Then I think "thank goat he's got a perfect voice to match the music." And I mean all of that in a most complimentary fashion as EXODUS is lucky to have found such a suitable frontman to replace Zetro. The guy is a vocal beast of monumental proportions.

The arrival of Dukes is just one part of the story of EXODUS' sensational comeback told on the Disc 3 documentary of "Shovel Headed Tour Machine: Live at Wacken and other Assorted Atrocities", which began with "Tempo of the Damned" and continued with "Shoved Headed Kill Machine" and "The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A". The documentary portion is an excellent view into the one of the very few thrash bands from the '80s that actually upped their game and made some of the most ferocious thrash of the 21st Century to ever be recorded. From the infamous Pearl Room incident in which Dukes took serious issue with over-zealous security to the band's "appearance" on "Metalocalypse" to world tours to the re-recording of "Bonded by Blood" (released as "Let There be Blood") to individual profiles of each member, including iron man Gary Holt whose never say die attitude is a prime reason for the band's success. It is everything you've ever wanted in a documentary DVD, save for the early years, although even some of the events of those days are discussed.

Then there is the band's triumphant performance on Disc 1, "Live at Wacken", where EXODUS mercilessly assaults every one of the 80,000 (or so) persons in attendance. The set borrows heavily from the most recent three albums, as well as pumping even more adrenaline into classics like "Bonded by Blood" and "A Lesson in Violence". The intensity level of the show is so high it doesn't even register on the Richter scale. A third audio disc (actually Disc 2) of the performance is also included. A vintage audio interview with the members from 1985 is the main treat from the bonus section, which also includes music videos and rare live performances. Forget about LAMB OF GOD, EXODUS is truly pure American metal.

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