Customer Reviews: Tempo of the Damned
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on April 4, 2004
By the time EXODUS split up in the early '90s, they had all but lost their steam, their latter-day recorded output serving as little more than a painful reminder of the fact that the band would never recapture the magic that had made their first couple of efforts such classics in the thrash metal genre. The group's last studio album, 1992's "Force of Habit", was a decent enough effort that died a quick death at the hands of Capitol Records, who had effectively given up on the band after their failure to capitalize on their early sales potential.
Although it would be another five years before EXODUS would reunite with original singer Paul Baloff to record the now-classic live album "Another Lesson In Violence" (one of the greatest "live" albums ever made, in this writer's humble opinion), the band's legend never faded away, with many extreme metal acts citing the group's precision-like delivery and riff-laden approach as a major influence (just ask the likes of KREATOR, AT THE GATES or any of the current purveyors of the ever-popular Swedish "Gothenburg" sound).
Seven years later, EXODUS - still mourning the loss of Baloff, who passed away in February 2002 after suffering a massive stroke - have been rejoined by Baloff's replacement, Steve "Zetro" Souza, and have delivered an inspired and impressive comeback album that stays true to the band's pioneering sound while sounding fresh enough to avoid coming across like a mere rehash.
Aided in no small part by the crystal-clear, flawless production of British metal producer extraordinaire Andy Sneap, "Tempo of the Damned" opens with several tracks that can only be described as "typical EXODUS". "Scar Spangled Banner" is all dizzying riffs and pounding drums, with Zetro's distinctive delivery and "gang" backing vocals sounding like they could have come straight off one of the band's late '80s releases. "War Is My Shepherd" follows in the same aggressive, up-tempo fashion, while "Blacklist" is a classic EXODUS mid-tempo cruncher that possesses an infectious groove and an equally hooky chorus. "Shroud of Urine", like many of the other cuts on the album, showcases Zetro's much-improved vocal range, with a higher-pitched, scratchier-sounding edge adding to the song's intensity and making it one of the album's highlights.
The high standard is maintained for the next couple of cuts, with "Forward March" featuring more classic riffing from the Gary Holt/Rick Hunolt guitar team and vocals that range from "typical Zetro" to something that can only be described as borderline "rapping" (and no, we're not talking LIMP BIZKIT-style ebonics here). "Culling the Herd", while not a personal favorite, represents a slight change of pace, with Souza sounding, for once, like he's not gargling glass and proving that he can carry a melody when necessary.
Much has been made of EXODUS' decision to go back to the vaults for material to include on this CD, and for a good reason: "Sealed With A Fist" and "Throwing Down" are both reworked versions of songs originally written for and demoed by WARDANCE, the ill-fated mid-'90s act formed by Holt and drummer Tom Hunting, and unsurprisingly, neither fully justifies its presence on here (especially the latter, which at times sounds like second-rate PANTERA). "Impaler", on the other hand, is an early '80s EXODUS classic that was never before properly captured in a recording studio, and one that comes across as far too NWOBHM-inspired to fit comfortably alongside the much more aggressive nature of the rest of the material.
These minor grievances aside, "Tempo of the Damned" is as good an album as one could have hoped for from EXODUS after such a lengthy absence from the recording studio. Arguably the group's finest effort since 1989's "Fabulous Disaster", this is the work of a band who still hold a respectable spot in the metal scene and who still have a lot of good days left ahead of them.
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on October 6, 2004
I wouldn't normally use the phrase "instant classic" under any circumstances, but Tempo of the Damned is exactly that. Unlike so many other bands who have attempted to recapture their old magic, for Exodus it actually worked. They haven't changed a bit, yet somehow that doesn't make this album sound stale at all. As always, beneath the precision shredding and jackhammer beats there's a wacky sense of humor that gives the whole thing life and energy. They haven't given up their demented solos or cartoon-villian vocals in favor of more approachable sound, nor have they regressed into ripping themselves off like some of their contemporaries. Even though the production is much more modern sounding the guitars still have that metallic, edgy tone that just screams "Exodus!!!" from the opening riff. And Steve Souza's vocals have never sounded more seethingly sarcastic, delving into everything from politics to domestic violence with perfectly crafted, pointedly comedic turns of phrase. He even experiments a little with some growling and a lower singing voice on "Throwing Down" - a hilarious song with a monster groove and a ridiculously drawn-out solo. Like Impact is Imminent and Fabulous Disaster, a few songs stand out above the rest but you can't help listening to it all the way through. Your Exodus collection is really missing something if you haven't picked this up yet.
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on March 24, 2005
Unlike their counterparts Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer, Exodus never quite made it to the status of the "big four" in the thrash era of the mid to late 1980's. It's a shame because at least in the case of Anthrax and Megadeth, Exodus is a far superior band.

Anthrax has suffered from terrible productions, with the exception of "Sound of White Noise". Megadeth gets boring quickly with its overkill guitar noodling and Mustaine's grating vocals.

"Tempo Of The Damned" gives us a band that has slowed their breakneck tempos somewhat in favor of monster riffing, and it's a good trade-off. Keeping up that punishing pace would kill Holt's and Hunolt's wrists after a while. It's catchy, especially on "Blacklist" and "Culling The Herd". It's hilarious ("Sealed With A Fist" - take that, wife beaters!) and musically first rate, with great soloes and vocals one can easily understand. Credit Steve Sousa, he of the Yosemite Sam on crack/Bon Scott hybrid. It's a unique voice/rap that gave Exodus a real trademark vocal. It's too bad he's out of the band.

I'm 44 and I still love a good thrash CD to get the blood flowing. I was of the generation that embraced Their Heaviness Metallica and Iron Maiden when they were young pups. I like to think I know the difference between a fake and a band that genuinely loves its craft. Exodus is the real deal.
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on February 12, 2004
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss, they are back! This album is incredible. It's pure 80's Thrash Metal with clean vocals, great Riffs, great songs, very good production and pissed off lyrics. Thank god that there's still Thrash Metal that doesn'y copy the Gotheborg Death Metal sound including the crap Vocals. If you are into Thrah you MUST own this one,and in my opinion it's one of the best Metal records released in years.
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on January 24, 2016
I've always loved this album. They are very tight as a band on this release. The songs (I do take exception with a song or two), for the most part, are almost perfect. Some of the subject matter is iffy, but I'd say about 8 songs here are fantastic. Highly recommended to a thrash or heavy metal fan!
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on June 6, 2012
I hate to admit this but Im just getting into Exodus. I had known about them for years but never heard any of their music other than "toxic waltz" which I liked. Still I never took a chance on buy one of their discs.. Well I finally took a chance and WOW !!! These guys are amazing. Very very underrated if you ask me. This disc is a killer. Tons of hooks great riffs great sound as metal as metal can be. I love this disc. It might be one of my favorites disc.. although that is a long list but never the less this is a great great disc.
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on July 17, 2004
This is truly one of the heaviest albums to be released in awhile & high on the Exodus accomplishment list.
Is it original? Probably not. Is it groundbreaking? Na..... but it sure is something we've needed for a long time!
It is not 100% thrash but is sure isn't nu-metal (or marginal death metal) crap we've been fed either. It simply never let's up. Aggressive hard driving guitars is what we wanted & this delivers the goods!
You can feel the spit & anger coming outta Steve Souza's vocals & yes, this is a foul, pissed off album. This would not come over with the same intensity if it was any other singer.
Alot of people may get offended if they take the lyrics too seriously, but hey, this is America & we all have our right to voice our religious & political opinions & there sure is a firestorm present on this album.
The guitar work is stellar the entire album & there's just nothing here that is marginal. Forward March, Blacklist, & War is My Shepherd will get your fists pumping if you don't go off the road banging your head. If you are a fan of this band's entire catalog, you will not go wrong here. It's just too damned heavy not to like!
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on April 7, 2004
OK, tecnically, I am a liar. Two albums and a live album were the actual follow-ups to "Fabulous Disaster" but as it would seem with most Exodus fans, most would rather forget "Impact Is Imminent" and it's follow-up. Like many metal stalwarts of the late 80s/early 90s, Exodus made a leap of faith onto the back of a major label and were promoted about as well as the Catholic Church would promote their "love of little boys" (low blow). And, like many of those who put their faith in a major, Exodus seemingly became jaded with the music business and disappeared for a good number of years, sans occasional festival appearances and the like.
Now, in 2004, Exodus appears to be re-invigorated with a new lease on life and have put their best foot forward with a brand new album in "Tempo Of The Damned". The first question that will instantly come to mind would be "How will Exodus fare musically against a generation of younger, more experimental bands?". The answer is "Very well.". Truth be told, Exodus proves that they have not forgotten who they were and have also taken heed of where metal is at today and musically have succeeded at achieving a good balance of their classic thrash attack with a more technical approach. The bite is still there but in a more calculated way and in the long run, this new approach is going to benefit Exodus in a sweeping fashion.
If I had a complaint (and I do), it would be the lyrics. Though they are sung well enough to be catchy, they are so poorly written that's it's near embarassing. No one ever said that lyrics should be vague and poetic but they also don't have t come off as if they were written by a 6-year old. There are moments of singing where a rhyme scheme is damn nea=r forced into a measure and the overuse of profanity is difficult to take seriously. One could gather by the simple verocity of the music that Exodus is still relevant and more importantly, determined to make their voice be heard.
Complaints aside, there is a lot to be praised within this album. Once again, Andy Sneap his another home run in the production arena and on their end, Exodus has proven that time could not slow them down or hinder their focus. "Tempo Of The Damned" is a landmark album for a legendary band.
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on April 28, 2014
i will tell ya .............any exodus cd is worthy of buying and def. this one
so go ahead and order all their cds /// seriously //// they rule the metal world 4 years
get this cd and any one that looks like it , you'll see what i mean
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on March 23, 2004
May I have your attention please [!] The mighty Exodus have returned with Tempo of the Damned, a 10 song attack of pure thrash metal. From start to finish, this cd assaults your ears. Killer riffs, great lyrics, awesome leads, and pounding drums. Everything you ever wanted in your metal band is right hear. If you are an Exodus fan then you must get this cd.
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