Album review: Exodus – Persona Non Grata

Bay Area metal heroes Exodus continue to take out the thrash…

Album review: Exodus – Persona Non Grata
Dan Slessor

A great many thrash bands have come and gone since Exodus first started making a noise and helped shape the fabled Bay Area sound, and back with their 11th studio album they retain their lust for devastation. Guitarist Gary Holt has, of course, been preoccupied with Slayer for the past few years, but now, returning to his 'day job', if anything he’s been fired up by his time away, and his songwriting is as strong as it has ever been.

Kicking things off with the seven-and-a-half-minute title track, they make it clear that they still have it in them to be be supremely heavy. Seething, serrated riffs are matched by the bilious vocals of Steve 'Zetro' Souza, and they make every second count, and the same could be said for pretty much all of the album. Gary’s time in Slayer clearly rubbed off to an extent, resulting in the evil Prescribing Horror, which easily could be the work of that band with its sinister, atmospheric riffs. But then there’s the likes of Clickbait, The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves) and Slipping Into Madness, which are all classic Exodus, every one featuring killer soloing, goading budding guitarists to do better.

At over an hour in length it is arguably too long and by the end it is somewhat exhausting, but you would be hard pressed to pick the track/s to cut to tighten it up, with every one a winner and having its place in the whole. Regardless, it does a great service to the genre, keeping the fires stoked, and definitively proves that dudes well into their 50s can still destroy with the best of them.

Verdict: 3/5

For Fans Of: Slayer, Trivium, Sodom

Persona Non Grata is released on November 19 via Nuclear Blast.

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