Great Metal Albums of 1986: Exodus- Bonded by Blood


My first experience of Exodus was seeing them live in support of Anthrax in 1986. I quoted my reaction to them through the characters in “Rock and Roll Children” because like them, I was “amazed that mortal men could play so fast.” The speed and ferocity which they played took thrash to a whole new plane in my view. Therefore, for me, it was a no brainer that I get their debut album, “Bonded by Blood.”

If I were to break down each song individually, I would simply be repeating myself each time. Though in this case, that’s not a bad thing. Each song is one big mosh party in it’s own right. One could pick out any song on the album and it would have me bouncing around the room at 250 mph trying to put holes in the wall.

However, to quell one myth many non-metal people believe about metal in general, no two songs sound exactly the same. There are some points that I notice in individual songs which are noteworthy. First one is the way guitarists Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt trade off guitar solos on the song which bears the band’s name. They do this quite a bit throughout the album, but it’s the most noticeable on this track. The ‘slowest’ song, (it’s played at Metallica speed), is “And Then There Were None.” Slowest it may be, bit it’s still capable of making your eardrums bleed if played at the right volume.

What really surprised me with the song, “A Lesson In Violence” was that it doesn’t seem to have come onto the radar of the PMRC back in the day. You might have thought that there would be a major outcry over lyrics which went:

I’ll teach a lesson in violence you won’t soon forget

The pleasure of watching you die is what I will get.

There are also lyrics about stabbing someone in the throat further along in “A Lesson in Violence,” so I am very surprised that it didn’t make it onto the PMRC’s hit list. It is probably a good reason why it’s my pick for best track on “Bonded by Blood.”

Like I said, I would just be repeating myself if I went through each song but there are some great highlights. For one, “Metal Command” has a cool guitar solo and “Piranha” has a good drum and rhythm guitar intro on it. It also ends with a cool mosh part after another cool guitar solo trade off. One trick which many a thrash band did on their albums was to have a song which lures you into thinking it’s going to be a gentler song on account of an acoustic intro before blasting your ears. “No Love” gets that treatment on this album. Again, in this case, it’s a good little change up on the album that sets the album up for the remaining ear blasting tracks to close this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Bonded By Blood
  2. Exodus
  3. And Then There Were None
  4. A Lesson in Violence
  5. Metal Command
  6. Piranha
  7. No Love
  8. Deliver Us to Evil
  9. Strike of the Beast


Paul Baloff- vocals

Gary Holt- guitar

Rick Hunolt- guitar

Rob McKillop- bass

Tom Hunting- drums


Exodus, Bloodstock 2013

I got the chance to see Exodus again at Bloodstock in 2013 and I can say, if anything, they were even more fearsome than when I had seen them 27 years earlier. “Bonded By Blood” is the album that started it for them and it made Exodus a force to be reckoned with in the thrash metal world.

Next post: Dio- Intermission

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13 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1986: Exodus- Bonded by Blood”

  1. They are so good live 🙂

    I never thought about this before, but I’m reading a book at the moment about rock and roll shenanigans, and Gary says they were only able to play so fast as they were using meth and it made them all speed up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Way to heavy for me! lol But a great read none the less.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have two copies of this, the original and the re-do. Awesome stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. never heard!! Thank you for you telling it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] is a real easy read, very smoothly written). Most recently I’ve just started fellow blogger 80s Metal Man’s simi-fiction, semi-history of Metal/Rock coming of age novel Rock N Roll Children, and […]

    Liked by 1 person

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