"Tempo of the Damned
" is the first album by Exodus
I ever heard and I was mightily impressed. To say the least, it represents everything I love about extreme music.
The whole thing moves along with such a grisly, cloyingly thick atmosphere of heaviness and the blindingly fast "tempo" never lets up.
"Scar Spangled Banner" opens up this headbanging feast with some of the most insane lyrics ever penned and a catchy hook to boot.
"War Is My Shepherd
" isn't any different and is a direct thrash attack in the vein of Demolition Hammer
. "Blacklist" has a basic but groovy riff and is hellishly catchy, in a way combining the best bits of Sepultura
with incredible licks from Holt/Hunolt.
"Shroud Of Urine" starts out slowly, barely simmering and then before you know it, comes the pounding "come hither" riff inviting you to headbang, added to that is a near-hysterical vocal perfomance from Steve Souza.
On "Throwing Down
" drummer Tom Hunting shows some feathers, especially during the groovy chorus which employs an urgent vocal bit full of diabolical intent (Feed me the blame like it's my fault/ I'll put it back in your face with an assault/ Crack in the back and I'll raise up/ To crush mindless fools like you )
" sounds like something off "Reign
" with its chugging riffs in tandem with Hunting's relentless drumming and over-the-top and sometimes uncoordinated solos. It is saved by Souza's insistent ranting.
"Culling The Herd" has more ranting courtesy of Souza and humorous lyrics that call for ridding humanity of its bottommost. It gives way to "Sealed With A Fist
" where the lyrical slants towards domestic violence and the vocal slants towards morbid fun. Zetro sings like he's watching murder and enjoying every minute of it, giving his voice a Bon Scott-ish twist. And
speaking of Bon Scott, Exodus
' cover of "Dirty Deeds
" is not to be overlooked. The riffage remains the same but is given a brutal edge that thankfully doesn't take too much from the mother song.
"Forward March" is my favorite. Its pounding marching riffs and drumming give way to a sludgy breakdown and this smart arrangement keeps it at an even pace when it threatens to fall apart. The solo starts out with a few repetitive strokes then yields to a wail and then a bluesy groan and all this behind a construction of even-paced drumming and barely suppressed extraneous noise.
Souza sounds like he is bellowing from the hills but towards the end he lets rip like a bat out of hell.
General overview; "Tempo of the Damned
" pounds relentlessly from start to finish and that is all there is to it! Pure