|Open your ears, brace yourself and step into a metal time machine. The date is now 1982. Tom Hunting and Kirk Hammet, followed soon after by Gary Holt, form Exodus. They searched in vain for a frontman to complete their band, until the fateful day Rich Burch introduced them to one Paul Baloff. They became hugely popular amongst the worldwide underground tape trading community. Within a couple of years the metal scene is exploding all over the world but the San Francisco Bay Area in particular, is exploding with a new brand of aggressive metal all it's own.
Unquestionably, it was Exodus's innovating song writing and explosive live shows along with their brutally sick attitudes that spawned the Bay Area thrash scene. Exodus was instrumental in pioneering this style of music and soon became the toast of the Bay Area metal scene, in the process inspiring a host of other groups such as Metallica, Testament, Death Angel and Violence (which Rob Flynn would later leave to form Machine Head). "If it wasn't for Exodus there would be no Machine Head," is how Rob Flynn recently evaluated Exodus's immense impact and influence on his bands current musical direction. Metallica were impressed enough by Exodus to recruit Kirk Hammet as the replacement for Dave Mustaine following his departure from the Metallica ranks in 83'. Gary, Paul and Tom forge on and create a whole new world musically, they go through several other guitar players until they find Rick Hunolt and then they add Rob McKillop. The machine is born and they soon become the holy men of metal. Completed nearly a year before it's eventual April 1985 release, Exodus's debut album, Bonded By Blood (originally titled A Lesson In Violence), was a groundbreaking effort that is still being regarded as one of the greatest and most timeless classics the metal genre has ever produced. They set out on tour with Venom and Slayer and leave a path of sick & disgusting, torture and destructive violence.
Personal and musical differences led to Paul Baloff's dismissal before the release of the bands second album Pleasures of the Flesh. This featured new singer Steve "Zetro" Souza (ex- Legacy front man). Legacy later went on to change their name to Testament.
Exodus went on to obtain greater commercial heights with some of their subsequent records (Pleasures of the Flesh, Fabulous Disaster, Impact is Imminent and Force of Habit) and tours (which included gigs with the likes of Pantera, Anthrax, Motorhead, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Sabbath, Celtic Frost, Megadeth, Metallica and Ice T's Body Count.
After experiencing a host of record company and personal problems that added further pressure on the already fragile relations within the band, Exodus eventually split up in 1992, just a short time following the release of their final studio effort entitled Force of Habit.
In late 1996, nearly 13 years after Bonded by Blood was recorded, vocalist Paul Baloff, Gary Holt, Rick Hunolt, Tom Hunting and new bassist Jack Gibson were reunited. On March 8th 1997 at a sold out performance in their hometown of San Francisco the show was recorded and a "live" album was released entitled Another Lesson in Violence and a full tour of Europe and North America followed. After the tours were completed, the band once again went their own ways. Everyone would have to wait until September 2001 for Exodus to reunite again, they came to the aid of "Testaments" Chuck Billy. The Thrash of the Titans' the show was a benefit that featured Exodus, Legacy, Anthrax, S.O.D. and Death Angel, after the benefit Exodus begins working on new material for another album and are starting to play more shows again, when on February 2, 2002 Paul Baloff suffers a stroke, which ultimately takes his life. The rest of the band feels compelled to soldier on for Paul. Zetro comes back onboard and the band is feeling more powerful and vital than ever as well as retaining that brutally sick attitude that they had since the very beginning. They are in the pre-production stage right now for their new album that will be out late 2002- early 2003.