San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans EXODUS will release their tenth studio album, "Blood In Blood Out", in North America on October 14 via Nuclear Blast. The album art was illustrated by Swedish artist Pär Olofsson, known worldwide for his incredible renderings that have graced the covers of countless heavy metal albums, including EXODUS' "Let There Be Blood".
Audio samples of all the tracks that set to appear on "Blood In Blood Out" can be streamed in the YouTube clip below.
Crafting an industrial sound bed on the intro to "Blood In Blood Out" opener "Black 13" is electronic music producer Dan the Automator (GORILLAZ, MIKE PATTON, DELTRON 3030).
"[Dan and I] ran into each other a couple times," shares EXODUS guitarist and songwriter Gary Holt. "I knew what I wanted to hear and I knew he could do it, and could do it that day. So we sent him a file with the drums and guitars we already had there and just told him to go crazy with it."
TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy lends his signature roar to the track "BTK", one of the first songs recorded by returning vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza, who recently said: "Chuck and I have known each other forever. We work really well together; we know each other really well. So if I'm doing my vocals and he's there, I can trust him to go, 'No way, Zet, [it] doesn't sound good like that. Do it like this,' or, 'Yeah, that's killer.' If he says it sounds killer, I know it is."
Original EXODUS guitarist Kirk Hammett, who has been a member of METALLICA for the past 31 years, contributed a solo to "Salt The Wound", which can be streamed in the YouTube clip below.
"This was actually the first time Kirk got to play on an official EXODUS release," states Holt. "He did the early demo, and then joined METALLICA and didn't do anything with us after that. So he was totally gung-ho about it. He came down and ripped out a bunch of takes and we picked the best one and then had a barbecue and drank beer."
"It felt really casual, really cool — just like it did back in 1980 when we were all just hanging out back in the day," Hammett told RollingStone.com. "Me, recording a solo on their album was a huge thing for me. Other than the EXODUS demo that's been heard by a lot of people, it's the only time I ever recorded with EXODUS. It was a huge thing for me."
He added: "I play a pretty cool solo, and then Gary comes in and plays another solo, and you know what? I listened to that and thought, 'Wow, it's 1982 all over again and here we are, Gary and I are trying to cut each other's heads off with our guitar solos.' Nothing has changed much in the last 30 years. I love it. I love those guys. I've only known them for most of my life, so I'm really happy that I finally got to record with them."
"Blood In Blood Out" track listing:
01. Black 13 (featuring Dan the Automator)
02. Blood In Blood Out
03. Collateral Damage
04. Salt The Wound (featuring Kirk Hammett)
05. Body Harvest
06. BTK (featuring Chuck Billy)
07. Wrapped In The Arms Of Rage
08. My Last Nerve
10. Honor Killings
11. Food For The Worms
Bonus DVD includes:
* "Blood Upon The Goat" making-of footage
* Behind-the-scenes tour footage
* Footage from Kirk Hammett's Fear FestEVIL After-Party at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con
The digital version of "Blood In Blood Out" will include the digital bonus track "Angel Of Death" (ANGEL WITCH cover).
The album's Japanese edition includes the "Protect Not Dissect" bonus track featuring Rat from THE VARUKERS/DISCHARGE.
"When I was working on the record, I was sitting around watching TV series like 'Gangland' and all these locked-up prison reality shows," said Holt. "And I thought, 'Yeah, that's like EXODUS.' It's a brotherhood. You bleed to get in, you bleed to get out.
"I've been doing this kind of music since I was a teenager, and I'll be doing it 'till I can't physically do it anymore."
The concept for the art was impressively envisaged by Olofsson based on the album title alone, as Gary Holt explained: "The concept came from Pär Olofsson. I fed him the title and he immediately came up with the final concept, and it's perfect! One of my favorite covers we've ever done and it fits the title and theme to a T!"
"Blood In Blood Out" is EXODUS' first album since the departure of the band's lead singer of the past nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of his predecessor, Steve "Zetro" Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.
Asked what EXODUS is doing differently on "Blood In Blood Out" compared to the band's previous efforts, Souza said: "I just think it's way more brutal now. I think if you look at the production value in the albums, from 'Bonded By Blood'  and even 'Impact Is Imminent'  and now you look at them, from 'Tempo Of The Damned'  and then 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine'  and 'The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A'  and 'Exhibit B: The Human Condition'  and now to 'Blood In, Blood Out', I just think the maturity level and knowing what you wanna sound like and knowing what you're going for and knowing what you do well. Not trying to second-guess yourself and go, 'Oh, we've gotta do this because of this.' It's not like that anymore. Now it's all about, 'Hey, we're EXODUS. We've been EXODUS for 30 years. And let's just be EXODUS.'"
The album can be pre-ordered from the Nuclear Blast USA webshop in CD, digipak, and 2-LP exclusive yellow vinyl formats. Bundles include a t-shirt with exclusive artwork for North America + a poster (while supplies last).
EXODUS will head out to South America in October before returning for a supporting run in November with fellow metal titans SLAYER and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. The Scion-sponsored leg of this U.S. tour launches on November 11 with two shows at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California. Tickets are on sale now via the links on the official EXODUS Facebook page.