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Shovel Headed Kill Machine

4.4 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 4, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Requiring little to no introduction, thrash metal titans and pioneers of the Bay Area Thrash scene, Exodus, return with the follow-up to what was deemed 'the comeback record of the decade' ( Tempo Of The Damned) by fans and critics alike, Shovel Headed Kill Machine! Shovel Headed Kill Machinefeatures new drummer, Paul Bostaph (ex-Forbidden / Slayer)! Nuclear Blast. 2005.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nuclear Blast America
  • ASIN: B000AP2ZOE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,220 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
(4.5 stars)

The sticker on the cover of Exodus' latest disc, "Shovel Headed Kill Machine," brags that this is the "heaviest and meanest album of their career." This statement is furthered by some rather graphic cover artwork (which is a depiction of a futuristic, bloodied tank shooting while driving over skulls). And from the moment the opening track's punching riffs and pounding drums kick in, the listener knows that the sticker is probably true.

Newcomer Rob Dukes' vocals (which wouldn't be out of place on a Kreator album) are only so-so, but there's enough stellar musicianship to make up for that small flaw. Exodus' tenth album is full of dual guitar shredding (fiery riffs, smoking leads, and extended, wailing, Judas Priest-y solos), and fast, skillful drumming (by former Slayer skinsman Paul Bostaph).

"Deathamphetamine" features fast drumming which is complimented well by blowtorch, rapid-fire guitars, and a breakneck tempo change. Tracks three through six are fueled by catchy chug and churn riffs and thumping drums (plus track three has a long, four part guitar solo), and "Going Going Gone" has a pounding double bass as well as a great, memorable, shout-along chorus (which makes this song probably the catchiest on the album). Next, "Now Thy Death Day Come" includes more pulverizing guitar and drum work, and "44 Magnum Opus" is capped off by a searing solo. Finally, the album ending title cut is another scorcher, with a rocketing beat and still more propulsive, bullying riffs.

So, it's good to hear that Exodus have overcome losing three band members to release a new album. But it's even more exciting that this twenty year old band is, clearly, still at the top of its game.
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Comment 28 of 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Some say that thrash and speed metal died in 1989 following Testament's "Practice what you Preach". Wrong. Over the course of the last 5 years thrash metal has reared its head once again and is blowing up the metal scene. The new Exodus album is straight brutal thrash. New singer sounds great, guitars are shredding 100 MPH, old school metal with a brutal fresh take. Even as a hardcore 80's thrash fan, I absolutely reccomend this CD to anyone who loves fast, driving rhythm guitar, pounding drums and screaming solos. Great pick. Grab this CD with the new Overkill and Testament's "The Gathering" and help put thrash/speed metal back on the thrown where It should be.
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Format: Audio CD
Hey, wouldn't it be great if Kirk Hammett of Metallica realized that his band had literally choked on their own 'superstardom' and rejoined his ORIGINAL bandmates, Exodus, who appear to be only getting better with age. That is, if Metallica's demise hasn't sapped him of his once excellent guitar playing ability. With the departure of Rick Hunolt, Steve Souza and Tom Hunting leaving guitarist Gary Holt as the sole original member, Exodus is now somewhat of a partial 'supergroup' with Lee Altus (of Heathen) and Paul Bostaph (of Slayer and Forbidden). Holt and Altus definitely click on the dual guitar attack. New vocalist Rob Dukes sounds a little high-pitched at first (as evidenced on 'Raze') but settles in nicely as the album progresses. Standout tracks include 'Deathampthetamine', 'Karma's Messenger', 'Altered Boy' (a cool pun on 'altar boy' attacking pedophile priests), 'Going Going Gone' and '.44 Magnum Opus', but really I like 'em all.. So I'd say that that this version of the 'Exodus lineup' is an interesting one, but that does not take away from the fact that the latest album is noticeably more brutal than the previous 'Tempo Of the Damned', also a personal favorite. So Kirk, what do you think of coming back to where you started. At this point Exodus is a brutally unstoppable thrash machine. But once again, I'm just wondering how a guitar duo of 'Holt and Hammett' would hypothetically sound like today if they were to re-unite. Anybody ever thought of that? An awesome release!
1 Comment 10 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
In terms of quality 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine' is only marginally better than the last Exodus album, but in terms of thrashiness it blows it out of the water. 'Tempo of the Damned' had too damn much groove, too clean of production, clicky, wussy drums and not enough straight head pounding palm-muted driving riffs to be true, classic thrash. It was thrash, but it was *modern* thrash. Not so here. This is real classic thrash. That's not a recommendation in and of itself, necessarily, but it's pretty rare nowadays, so much so that we got so many people imagining that whatever album or band is the rebirth of thrash. This album provides the clearest reminder that no, none of that modern, core or melodeathified stuff so many people have been ranting over is thrash. But, on the down side, this means we're working in extremely well established parameters, were you aren't gonna find anything new, and it's gonna be pretty tough to top what came before. And it doesn't, but it's still a helluva good time and the thrashiest album of the last 10 years. (That I've heard, anyway.)

The cover says Exodus, but we don't have much of the same band, with only Gibson and Holt returning. Paul Bostaph fills in for Tom Hunting, and easily out does him. (Though this is partially the harder, heavier production on the drums that helps it) Lee Altus joins Gary Holt on the guitar, and this album has easily the finest leadwork of any Exodus album I've heard. Rob Dukes replaces Steve 'Zetro' Souza on the vox (himself two time replacement for Paul 'Worst Singer in the History of Thrash' Baloff) and is sufficiently competent, if not especially remarkable. He does a kinda half-bark half-growl, which is acceptable, but not very dynamic. He's nothing for melody, but has got aggression done pretty well.
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