Jury, have you reached a verdict?
Yes, your Honor.
How do you find the defendant, Exodus?
On the charge of “death by melting the listener’s face off”; We, the Jury, find Exodus guilty as charged!
I think I’ll start this review by stating the first thing that comes to mind after hearing this album: and that is the fact that Exhibit B seems to be (one of) the most “melodic” Exodus efforts to date. Sure, there is plenty of awesome thrash riffing, but I can’t help but think that Lee Altus’ influence of melodic Heathen writing took hold here in this Exodus album as well. For comparison’s sake, Exhibit B and The Evolution of Chaos both open with an acoustic guitar leading into awesome thrash metal riffing. Comparing this Exodus album with Heathen’s album isn’t a bad thing though, I’ve had Heathen’s last album on my playlist for a long time. Seriously, when Exodus start their upcoming shows with The Ballad of Leonard And Charles it’s going to set shit on fire.
Even though Exhibit B is supposed to be “the sequel” (or something) to Exhibit, I don’t really feel that the albums are that similar. I mean, obviously they’re both Exodus thrash albums, but Exhibit B is much more varied in style: it’s faster, more melodic and more epic. Speaking of epic, the track The Sun Is My Destroyer features Peter Tagtgren (Hypocrisy, Bloodbath) on guest vocals and it just sounds so crushing to have Peter’s growls layered in the mix (I guess that’s why I saw Gary Holt at the Hypocrisy show this past weekend). I have to say, Rob Dukes does a pretty good job of keeping up with the brutality.
There are 12 tracks on this album, so I’m not going to get into each one, but one title that sticks out from the theme of rest of the album is Burn, Hollywood, Burn. This song is a quick 4 minute “beat you over the head” kind of a big “fuck you” to the Hollywood culture of worshiping celebrities that don’t need to be worshiped (although you could argue that in Hollywood they idolize Paris Hilton and in San Francisco they idolize Steve Jobs). Regardless, I think most people can sympathize with the meaning.
There’s not really anything bad to say about Exhibit B. The mixing is awesome (as if you’d expect anything less than perfection from Andy Sneap), the songs are great, there are no weak spots – it’s just awesome. Which is good, because there were like fifty chat sessions and videos documenting and hyping the album’s production.
To sum things up, I’ll just go ahead and say that it is absolutely the best post-Zetro album to date.
Overall – 97/100